The 2012 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament, or March Madness, is only about a week away. TSN and TSN2 have released their skeleton schedule. The question many Canadians have is how many games will air on Canadian TV this year. I can only guess until the second round schedule is released Sunday. So, here are my guesses.
The second round (or round of 64) takes place next Thursday and Friday. TSN2 will begin coverage at 11am ET with TruTV’s pregame show both days. TSN will begin coverage at 12pm ET with the first game of the day (from CBS). Due to the large number of games (there are 3-4 on at any one time), it is hard to predict what TSN will show. Teams that have Canadian players will take precedence.
TSN will have a window from noon through 6:30pm and 7pm until the end of play. TSN2 will have coverage from 12:30pm until the conclusion of play. This should allow for TSN to show all or most of 5 games and TSN2 to show all or most of 5-6 games. There are 16 games on each Thursday and Friday, so more than half of those will be available on TSN or TSN2.
The third round (or round of 32) is a lot easier to predict. The schedule should look something like this on Saturday.
TSN2 – Games at 12pm ET (CBS), 2:30pm ET (CBS), 5pm ET (CBS), 7pm ET (TBS), 8:30pm ET (TNT) and 9:30pm ET (TBS)
TSN – One game at 6pm ET (TNT)
And on Sunday
TSN2 – 12pm ET (CBS), 2:30pm ET (CBS), 5pm ET (CBS), 6pm ET (TNT), 8:30pm ET (TNT), 9:30pm ET (TBS)
TSN – One game at 7:30pm ET (TBS)
Most of the round of 32 games will get at least some coverage on TSN or TSN2.
TSN and TSN2 will each show four Sweet 16 games, as every game from that round-on is on Canadian TV (CBS will also show four games). TSN2 will show all four Elite 8 games (these are also on CBS), while TSN will show the Final Four and the Championship game (again, these are also on CBS).
Coverage of the tournament has certainly improved over last year, when TSN scooped up rights after scheduling NHL games during the first few rounds of the tournament.