First Four Gets It All Started Today

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The First Four will start the 2024 NCAA tournament tonight in Dayton, Ohio. Wagner (16-15) faces Howard (18-16) in the first game tonight at the UD Arena, beginning at 6:40 p.m. ET.. Virginia (23-10) will take on Colorado State (24-10) in the late game. Tip-off is set for 9:10 p.m. ET. Both games will be broadcast by truTV.

The First Four continues tomorrow night with two more games. Tonight’s first game will decide which team becomes the No. 16 seed in the West Region. The winner will face top-seeded North Carolina in the first round of the NCAA tournament.

First Four Gets It All Started Today
All First Four games are played in Dayton, Ohio.

The Virginia-Colorado State winner will earn the No. 10 seed in the Midwest Region. The Rams are a 2.5-point favorite heading into tonight’s First Four matchup. The winner will take on No. 7 Texas in a first-round game on Thursday, March 21, at 6:50 p.m. ET.

The Origin of the First Four

In 1985, the NCAA expanded its postseason tournament to 64 teams. In 2001, the newly formed Mountain West Conference and its conference tournament champion began receiving an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament. That made the field 65 teams.

Instead of expanding the field any further, the NCAA decided to match up the two lowest seeded automatic qualifiers with the winner advancing to the first round of the Big Dance. That is the origin of the First Four. Ten years later, the NCAA expanded the field to 68 teams. Now, there are four play-in games, hence, the name First Four.

First Four Gets It All Started Today
The origin of the First Four is tied to the MWC.

First Four games consist of two games with the four lowest ranked teams. The selection committee takes the No. 65, 66, 67, and 68 teams, which are usually the four lowest-ranked conference champions and has them play to make the first round of the tournament.

The other two games in the First Four are played by the four lowest-ranked at-large seeds. In terms of Bracketology, these are the “last four in.” In this year’s tournament, those four teams are Colorado State, Virginia, Boise State, and Colorado. Colorado State plays Virginia tonight and you can bet on CBB props in that game as well as all of the First Four games.

Sports Hub Cappers Look Ahead to Tournament

Sports Hub handicappers are looking ahead to the 2024 NCAA tournament. Our cappers have your back tonight with the two First Four games. There are already about a dozen picks for the games tonight. Check throughout the day as more of our experts will have picks for the First Four.

Yesterday, it was Sports Central that took the top spot on the board. After Sports Central, it was a number of Sports Hub experts who went unbeaten yesterday. If you were lucky enough to tail any of these guys, your bankroll is a little heavier today.

Here are yesterday’s results.

First Four Gets It All Started Today
Sports Central and Seth Cohen are both having strong weeks.
  • Top dog for a day: Sports Central has had a solid last seven days. Yesterday, Sports Central started off a new week with a 4-1 record, hitting all three of its NBA picks. Yesterday’s leader collected $300 in winnings. That gives Sports Central profits of $675 for the last week with a record of 28-21.
  • Double trouble: Evan Lewis and Seth Cohen each went 2-0 yesterday and added $200 to their bankrolls. Both Sports Hub exclusive cappers have been getting after it lately. Evan is now 11-5 over the last seven days and has profits of $585. Set has been on one for a while. He’s No. 1 on our 7-day and 30-day leaderboards. Over the last week, Seth is 17-5 on his picks and has won $1165. That puts him up $2941 for the month, tops here at Sports Hub.
  • Team totals: SportsHub expert Randall Dickelman has been hitting NBA team totals over the past two days. He nailed two more last night and picked up another $156 in winnings. 
  • The Hawk leads the rest of the pack: Sports Hub betting expert Mike Hawk was one of 23 cappers to go 1-0 yesterday. He was the only one that didn’t win the standard $100. The Hawk had the Caps on the moneyline over Calgary last night in NHL action. The next 22 cappers on the list all hit their only pick and won $100. Plenty of recognizable names there.

Cash Money Flying Around Today 

There will be plenty of betting on the First Four games tonight, but there is also a bunch of coin being dished out in professional sports. There were big signings in both the NFL and MLB yesterday. Two big names inked new deals with new teams. An NBA star may be out of the lineup for some time as well.

Let’s check it out.

  • Chase Young signs with Saints: After being traded from Washington to San Francisco last season, Young will leave the Bay and become a New Orleans Saint. Young signed a new contract for one year with the Saints valued at $13 million. 
  • Blake Snell signes with SF Giants: The reigning NL Cy Young Award winner signed a two-year deal with the Giants worth $62 million. Snell, who also won the AL Cy Young in 2018, went 14-9 last season with a 2.25 ERA. 
  • Ovechkin hits 20: For the 19th consecutive season, Washington Capitals star Alex Ovechkin has hit the 20-goal mark. Ovechkin, 38, scored two power play goals in the second period of Washington’s 5-2 win over Calgary last night. He now has 843 career goals, which is second in NHL history behind Wayne Gretzky’s 894.
  • Anunoby out again: Anunoby missed last night’s Knicks’ win over Golden State with a flare up to the elbow that he had surgery on in February. He is expected to miss Thursday’s game at Denver.

First Four Kicks Off March Madness

It’s no secret. The NCAA tournament and March Madness is here. The First Four kicks everything off tonight with two games from the UD Arena in Dayton, Ohio. The NIT also gets underway and there is still the usual assortment of NBA and NHL games.

Here’s what you could be betting on tonight.

  1. First Four: The First Four opener pits Wagner against Howard. Game time is 6:40 p.m. Game 2 might just put you to sleep. Colorado State takes on Virginia. The Cavs play at the slowest pace in the nation. The Rams aren’t much faster, ranking No. 298 compared to Virginia’s 362.
  2. NIT: There are nine NIT games on tap tonight. UCF hosts South Florida in an all-Sunshine State matchup. Georgia hosts Xavier and Providence is the home team in a New England showdown with Boston College.
  1. Pro hoops: There are five NBA games tonight highlighted by a Denver-Minnesota matchup in the Twin Cities. The winner of tonight’s game will take over the No. 2 spot in the Western Conference standings.
  2. Big night on the ice: It’s a Hulu doubleheader among the 13 NHL games tonight. Carolina plays at the New York Islanders in the opener at 7:30 p.m. Minnesota is at Anaheim in the nightcap at 10:00 p.m. ET. 
  3. US Open Cup: Nine matches in the US Open Cup highlight the Tuesday soccer schedule. 
  4. Miami Open: The ATP and WTA Tours are in Miami for the next two weeks. Round 1 in the women’s tournament begins today. The men begin Round 1 play tomorrow.

Get your First Four picks right here at Sports Hub. Another handful have gone into the system as you read this. Come on back tomorrow and we’ll see how your favorite cappers did in leading you to more wins!