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2017 NCAA Tournament First Round — Saturday Viewing Guide

The afternoon doubleheader in Buffalo goes full national, as games spread out for the Round of 32.

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-Orlando Practice
Humor me. This may be the final time I get to use Albert this season.
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Not near a TV? You can stream each game on NCAA March Madness Live.

All times are Eastern.

Buffalo

CBS will air both games with Verne Lundquist (play-by-play), Jim Spanarkel (commentary), and Allie LaForce (reporting) on the call.

West Region

No. 5 Notre Dame Fighting Irish (25-9) vs. No. 4 West Virginia Mountaineers (27-8), 12:10 p.m.

East Region

No. 8 Wisconsin Badgers (26-9) vs. No. 1 Villanova Wildcats (32-3)*, approx. 2:40 p.m.

One year later, we get the Second Round matchup we didn’t see in the 2016’s East bracket in Brooklyn, thanks to Stephen F. Austin stunning the Mountaineers in the first round. In the finale from Buffalo, the No. 1 overall seed should get a stern test from an underseeded Badger squad, and Nova will want to start much more quickly than it did against Mount St. Mary’s on Thursday night.

Salt Lake City - West Region

CBS will air both games with Andrew Catalon, Steve Lappas, and Jamie Erdahl are on the call.

No. 8 Northwestern Wildcats (24-11) vs. No. 1 Gonzaga Bulldogs (33-1)*, 5:15 p.m.

No. 7 Saint Mary’s Gaels (29-4) vs. No. 2 Arizona Wildcats (31-4)*, approx. 7:45 p.m.

Salt Lake City is the lone site where the two pods will feed into the same region, so the coaches will each be scouting the opposite game just in case a Regional Final showdown is in the cards next weekend in San José. Gonzaga was another No. 1 seed who started slowly on Thursday, and that could mean trouble against a Northwestern squad that will probably have the crowd on its side. Could you imagine the Wildcats continuing their first NCAA trip into a second week? In game two, Arizona will look to cool off a Saint Mary’s squad that looked excellent in rolling past VCU on Thursday night.

Orlando

TNT will air both games with Ian Eagle, Steve Lavin, and Evan Washburn on the call.

West Region

No. 11 Xavier Musketeers (21-13) vs. No. 3 Florida State Seminoles (26-8), 6:10 p.m.

East Region

No. 5 Virginia Cavaliers (23-10) vs. No. 4 Florida Gators (24-8), approx. 8:40 p.m.

It will be a fascinating crowd in Orlando with the Sunshine State’s archrivals occupying both ends of the doubleheader. Florida State’s size and depth should be too much for Xavier in game one, while Virginia will have to force Florida to the perimeter in the nightcap. If the Cavaliers can do that, they’ll have a great shot at advancing to their third Sweet Sixteen in four seasons.

Milwaukee

TBS will air both games with Carter Blackburn, Mike Gminski and Debbie Antonelli, and Lisa Byington on the call.

South Region

No. 12 Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders (31-4)* vs. No. 4 Butler Bulldogs (25-8), 7:10 p.m.

Midwest Region

No. 5 Iowa State Cyclones (24-10)* vs. No. 4 Purdue Boilermakers (26-7), approx. 9:40 p.m.

Can Middle Tennessee do one better than last season and reach week two? If Butler plays as well as it did in dismantling Winthrop on Thursday afternoon, probably not. But the Bulldogs have been a bit inconsistent (maddeningly so if you ask their fans). The last game in Milwaukee — and of today’s lineup — should be fascinating given Purdue’s side and Iowa State’s scoring ability. It might just be similar to the game the Cyclones played against Gonzaga back over Thanksgiving weekend, a game Iowa State lost by just two.

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