Portland Trail Blazers March Madness first round viewing guide: Thursday, March 17
1:45 PM – (9) Memphis vs (8) Boise State
Jalen Duren is perhaps the top true big in this year’s draft class. Tune in to see how he can impact a game on both ends of the court with his fluidity, athleticism, and timing. He’ll have to lead the Tigers to a small upset if he wants a premier matchup with Gonzaga and Chet Holmgren in the round of 32.
2:00 PM – (16) Norfolk State vs (1) Baylor
There are two possible lottery picks on the Baylor Bears this year in Jeremy Sochan and Kendall Brown. They’ll have an opportunity to run wild against a cannon-fodder Norfolk State team and introduce themselves to fans who don’t tune into college basketball until March Madness.
3:10 PM – (12) Richmond vs (5) Iowa
The biggest knock on Iowa Hawkeyes star forward Keegan Murray this year has been his inconsistent play against the tougher opponents he’s had the opportunity to face this season. Now, he’ll have a lot of eyes on him as one of the draft’s biggest risers thus far. Scouts will be looking to see if he’ll prove himself under March Madness’s bright lights.
4:15 PM – (16) Georgia State vs (1) Gonzaga
Chet Holmgren sits atop a lot of big boards due to his rare combination of size and skill. He and the Bulldogs have dominated all season and have earned their cakewalk through the first round, where he’ll have a chance to show off without too much pressure.
4:30 PM – (9) Marquette vs (8) North Carolina
Justin Lewis will try to extend his stellar sophomore campaign against a Tar Heels team that doesn’t feature any first-round prospects but has a well-balanced, experienced attack led by second-year guard Caleb Love.
7:10 PM – (15) Saint Peter’s vs (2) Kentucky
The Kentucky Wildcats unsurprisingly have two potential lottery picks this season in TyTy Washington Jr. and Shaedon Sharpe. Both project to be scoring guards at the next level, which might be the archetype that the Blazers least need, but this game undeniably has significant NBA talent — even if Sharpe isn’t suiting up.
9:57 PM – (16) Texas Southern/Texas A&M-Corpus Christi vs (1) Kansas
Ochai Agbaji has been on a revenge tour all season after seeing his draft stock tank following last year’s combine. He’s generated serious National Player of the Year considerations while leading the Jayhawks to a one-seed. As a senior, he’s older than nearly every other lottery prospect, but his combination of skills and size predict that he’ll be ready to contribute from day one. He’s a wing to watch for Portland Trail Blazers fans.