The New March Madness TV Schedule, Made Simple With This Guide

Good news! The 2011 NCAA Tournament will be the first year in history that will have every game of March Madness broadcast on TV. It's a hoops fan's dream, but with games being shown on four different channels (CBS, TNT, TBS, Tru TV) instead of one (CBS), the transition could be a little jarring. How will at work?

Well, Sports Illustrated's got you covered. Some answers are after the jump.

From Richard Deitsch:

What's the biggest change this year?
All NCAA tournament games will be available live in their entirety across four national networks: CBS, TBS, TNT and truTV. Each of the games have staggered start times (many up to 30 minutes apart) so viewers can toggle between them. The staggered tipoff times, in theory, will enable fans to watch the beginning and end of every tournament game.

So, there's your basic information. But what about the start times?

The scheduled start times for [first round] games on March 17 (Thursday) and March 18 (Friday) are as follows: noon (CBS), 12:30 p.m. (truTV), 1:30 p.m. (TBS) and 2 p.m. (TNT). The second set of games begin at 2:30 p.m. (CBS), 3 p.m. (truTV), 4 p.m. (TBS) and 4:30 p.m. (TNT). Then we get to prime time. TBS opens the coverage with a 6:45 p.m. tip-off followed by games at 7 p.m. (CBS), 7:15 p.m. (TNT and truTV). The final games of the night begin at 9:15 p.m. (TBS), 9:30 p.m. (CBS), 9:45 p.m. (TNT), and 9:55 p.m. (truTV).

More from Deitsch is over at Sports Illustrated, including an explanation of CBS' new "live look-in" strategy, Charles Barkley's final four picks, and maybe the best news of all: Marv Albert will be announcing March Madness with Steve Kerr. In a word, "YES!"

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