March Madness Fans Enraged Over Late Start Times Set For Sweet 16

March Madness Houston

The eternal battle between needing to sleep and watching sports late into the night.

Making the difficult decision is not for the faint of heart, and often tends to happen more frequently when you get older. In a perfect world, sports fans could watch the game and still have some time to unwind afterwards, but that rarely ever happens.

And it certainly isn’t happening with the next weekend of March Madness. While your bracket was getting busted (probably at the hands of Oakland guard Jack Gohlke), teams were punching their tickets to the next round of the NCAA tournament. After some first round upsets, the round of 32 was mostly what some call “chalk,” meaning that many of the teams that were supposed to win did just that.

The seeding laid out by the tournament committee look to be rather accurate, considering the seeding that is left to make up the Sweet Sixteen:

With all of the top seeds still alive (except for the University of Kentucky), the matchups should be incredible from here on out. And it’s funny that the tournament has worked out this way (puts on tin foil hat), considering just last year, the Final Four consisted of a 4-seed, two 5-seeds, and a 9-seed. Anyone smell what I’m stepping in?

But anyways, the Sweet Sixteen matchups are set, and like the first weekend of March Madness, teams will play on a Thursday-Saturday and Friday-Sunday schedule as the numbers continue to dwindle down. They should be really exciting games… that is if anyone stays up to watch them.

Tip off times were released for the Thursday and Friday games, and let’s just say people are upset with how late they are set to start. The schedule for the Sweet Sixteen goes like this:

Thursday, March 28th

Game 1: 7:09 p.m. (ET) – (6) Clemson Tigers vs. (2) Arizona Wildcats

Game 2: 7:39 p.m. (ET) – (5) San Diego State Aztecs vs. (1) UConn Huskies

Game 3: Estimated 9:35 p.m. (ET) – (4) Alabama Crimson Tide vs. (1) North Carolina Tarheels

Game 4: Estimated 10:05 p.m. (ET) – (3) Illinois Fighting Illini vs. (2) Iowa State Cyclones

Friday, March 29th

Game 1: 7:09 p.m. (ET) – (11) NC State Wolfpack vs. (2) Marquette Golden Eagles

Game 2: 7:39 p.m. (ET) – (5) Gonzaga Bulldogs vs. (1) Purdue Boilermakers

Game 3: Estimated 9:35 p.m. (ET) – (4) Duke Blue Devils  vs. (1) Houston Cougars

Game 4: Estimated 10:05 p.m. (ET) – (3) Creighton Blue Jays vs. (2) Tennessee Volunteers

God forbid one of those games goes into overtime. I’m not saying that as a regular use of the phrase, I’m literally praying for all of the contests to end in regulation. America’s sleep schedule can’t afford to have a game go into extra time.

As you can probably see, those starts times (which are presented in EST) will have games ending after midnight on the east coast. They really aren’t all that great for Central Time Zone residents either. Seems like the tip off times will only be ideal for Mountain Timers and Pacific Timers, who generally don’t care all that much for college basketball (comparative to CST and EST).

And for some reason, they have games on the West Coast tipping off ahead of the games on the East Coast? Who came up with that bright idea? Obviously someone that doesn’t care much about a healthy 8 hours of sleep per night (at least for those in EST).

The tip off times even got the attention of UConn head coach Dan Hurley, who assumed they were given one of the earlier time slots as a 1-seed because the selection committee doesn’t want them to win:

All in all, it’s just a shame that games have to start so damn late. Shoutout to all of the dads out there who have mastered the art of dozing off on the couch. This Sweet 16 is your time to shine.

This shouldn’t be a hot take, but sporting events and concerts should end at reasonable times. During the first weekend of March Madness, there were games being played at 12 o’clock in the afternoon. How do we go from that to having games start at 7 ET and not wrapping up until possibly the next morning?

Those that run the NCAA tournament should do better, and keep those sleepy people in mind when they choose game start times. That’s at least what everyone was saying online:

A beer bottle on a dock



A beer bottle on a dock