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March Madness 2022: Live updates from Thursday as the NCAA Tournament chaos begins

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The madness officially kicks off today with a 16-game roster in the first round of the men’s NCAA Tournament and two more First Four games in the women’s field tonight.

Among the featured matchups on the men’s side: No. 1 seed overall Gonzaga begins his quest for an elusive championship when he takes on No. 16 Georgia State. Two other top seeds, Baylor and Kansas, are also in action.

The Bears play Norfolk State in an Eastern Region matchup, and in the Midwest Region, the Jayhawks play in the last game of the day while entertaining Texas Southern, who won their First Four game against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi .

Michigan, barely cracking the 68-team field, begins the action Thursday at 12:15 pm ET when it faces a dangerous Colorado State team and its Mountain West Player of the Year, David Roddy.

Other intriguing matchups include No. 9 Memphis against No. 8 Boise State in the Western Region and the ever-dangerous 5-12 scoreline, with New Mexico State and Connecticut battling it out.

On the women’s side, Longwood battles Mount Saint Marry’s in a battle for the No. 16 seed (7 p.m.) while Missouri State faces Florida State for the No. 11 seed.

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Michigan Wolverines forward Moussa Diabate (14) grabs a rebound against the Colorado State Rams.

Michigan without its best point guard in the opening game vs. Colorado State

Michigan’s best point guard, DeVante’ Jones, did not travel with the team to Indianapolis due to a concussion. Jones averaged 10.7 points, 4.6 rebounds and 4.6 assists per game this season. Eli Brooks, Frankie Collins and Kobe Bufkin are expected to take on most of the ball-handling duties.

– Detroit Free Press

Dark horses and overrated teams

As you round out your group, keep in mind that there are sure to be plenty of surprises, so don’t forget to keep an eye out for these teams, like Iowa, which is a hot pick to make it to the Final Four. Also, watch out for UCLA, which is trying to repeat the Final Four magic of a year ago. The Bruins are starting to bounce back at the right time and could be a problem for teams that overlook them.

While there are sleepers on the field, there are also teams that have nothing to do in the tournament or could find their way home before the first weekend is over.

Teams like Houston, Texas, Iowa State, Saint Mary’s and Ohio State all earned blanket offers as they navigated their regular-season schedule, but they haven’t shown why you should score them when it comes to advancing in the tournament.

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Dick Vitale against cancer

College Basketball Hall of Fame broadcaster Dick Vitale is usually in high spirits this time of year, but after being diagnosed with cancer and recovering from surgery on his vocal cords to treat lymphoma, Vitale hasn’t been able to talk and show his enthusiasm for the game he loves.

“Not being able to communicate makes me cry,” Vitale, 82, told USA TODAY Sports via text message. “I love talking to people, at lunch or dinner, with my wife and family, and especially with people in public when they come up to me for a chat.”

Vitale was scheduled to undergo an evaluation to check his voice on March 16, the day before the first round of the NCAA Men’s Tournament.

Bill Self tops college basketball’s highest-paid list

Kansas coach Bill Self has guided the Jayhawks to success on the court and is handsomely rewarded for his efforts to become one of the highest-paid coaches in college basketball. Self is making $10.2 million this season as the Jayhawks have another team capable of making a title run.

Each of the top five highest earning coaches has won at least one national championship.

On the women’s side, Dawn Staley of South Carolina sets the standard as she earns nearly $3 million per season.

Notre Dame beats Rutgers in double overtime

Notre Dame forward Paul Atkinson Jr. made a throwback layup with 1.4 seconds remaining in second overtime that led the Fighting Irish to an 89-87 win in the First Four’s final game at Dayton. . The Irish now travel to San Diego in a West Region contest to take on No. 6 seed Alabama.

Indiana plane problems

After Indiana beat Wyoming in a First Four matchup, the Hoosiers had trouble leaving Dayton. The team didn’t leave town until 4 am because they had to change planes because the one waiting for them was too small to accommodate everyone.

The plane ended up landing five hours later in Portland, giving Indiana less than 36 hours before facing Saint Mary’s in the first round of the NCAA tournament on Thursday.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: March Madness Live Updates: Action Tips for NCAA Brackets

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