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NCAA Bracket 2012: March Madness Schedule Begins With 16 Games On Thursday

The 2012 NCAA Tournament bracket was finalized on Wednesday night when the final game of the First Four was completed, meaning March Madness will begin in earnest on Thursday morning. The game that should be most important to readers in Minnesota will happen a little bit later when the South Dakota State Jackrabbits take on the Baylor Bears, but college basketball fans will probably enjoy every second of Thursday's Big Dance coverage.

The Jackrabbits enter the tournament as the No. 14 seed so their matchup with the Bears isn't going to be an easy one, especially when considering the higher seed in a bit more athletic than St. Cloud, Minn., native Nate Wolters and the rest of his Jackrabbits teammates. Whoever wins that game will advance to play the winner of Thursday evening's matchup between the Colorado Buffaloes and UNLV Runnin' Rebels.

Earlier this week, we posted where to find printable brackets for both the men's and women's 2012 NCAA Tournament.

The full schedule for Thursday, separated by location, is included below. All times are Eastern

Louisville (West Region)
12:15 p.m.: No. 6 Murray State vs. No. 11 Colorado State, CBS
2:45 p.m.: No. 3 Marquette vs. No. 14 BYU, CBS
6:50 p.m.: No. 1 Kentucky vs. No. 16 Western Kentucky, TBS
9:20 p.m.: No. 8 Iowa State vs. No. 9 Connecticut, TBS

Pittsburgh (East Region)
12:40 p.m.: No. 8 Kansas State vs. No. 9 Southern Miss, truTV
3: 10 p.m.: No. 1 Syracuse vs. No. 16 UNC-Asheville, truTV
7:20 p.m.: No. 7 Gonzaga vs. No. 10 West Virginia, TNT
9:50 p.m.: No. 2 Ohio State vs. No. 15 Loyola Maryland, TNT

Portland (West Region)
1:40 p.m: No. 4 Louisville vs. No. 13 Davidson, TBS
4:10 p.m.: No. 5 New Mexico vs. No. 12 Long Beach St., TBS
7:15 p.m.: No. 5 Wichita State vs. No. 12 VCU, CBS
9:45 p.m.: No. 4 Indiana vs. No. 13 New Mexico State, CBS

Albuquerque (East Region)
2:10 p.m.: No. 4 Wisconsin vs. No. 13 Montana, TNT
4:40 p.m.: No. 5 Vanderbilt vs. No. 12 Harvard, TNT
7:27 p.m.: No. 3 Baylor vs. No. 14 South Dakota State, truTV
9:57 p.m.: No. 6 UNLV vs. No. 11 Colorado, truTV

For more on the Jackrabbits, visit our team page. For more coverage of South Dakota State in the 2012 NCAA Tournament, visit our 2012 NCAA Tournament StoryStream. Oh, and here's a link to both the men's and women's printable NCAA Tournament bracket.

Photographs by Micah Taylor, clairity, and Fibonacci Blue used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.