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March Madness 2017: Day one preview, TV and online schedule, discussion thread

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THE BEST DAY OF THE YEAR

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-First Round-Virginia vs North Carolina-Wilmington Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

March Madness is officially here — the 2017 NCAA tournament tipped off a couple of hours ago, so we’re just a tad late on this one, but there’s still a lot of basketball to play. So here you go!

Two of the more interesting matchups are coming down the stretch right now: the 5/12 pairings between Notre Dame and Princeton, and Virginia and UNC Wilmington. Both have been competitive — the Seahawks held a big lead early, but as Tony Bennett teams are wont to do, the Cavaliers have crawled back in for a halftime lead — and look like they’re headed for close finishes.

Here’s today’s TV schedule; all games are being streamed on NCAA.com.

2017 NCAA tournament TV schedule, Day 1

Game Date Tip Time (ET) Network Site Commentators
Game Date Tip Time (ET) Network Site Commentators
(5) Notre Dame Fighting Irish vs. (12) Princeton Tigers March 16 12:15 p.m. CBS Buffalo Verne Lundquist / Jim Spanarkel / Allie LaForce
(5) Virginia Cavaliers vs. (12) UNC Wilmington Seahawks March 16 12:40 p.m. truTV Orlando Ian Eagle / Steve Lavin / Evan Washburn
(4) Butler Bulldogs vs. (13) Winthrop Eagles March 16 1:30 p.m. TNT Milwaukee Carter Blackburn / Mike Gminski / Debbie Antonelli / Lisa Byington
(1) Gonzaga Bulldogs vs. (16) South Dakota State Jackrabbits March 16 2 p.m. TBS Salt Lake City Andrew Catalon / Steve Lappas / Jamie Erdahl
(4) West Virginia Mountaineers vs. (13) Bucknell Bison March 16 Approx. 2:45 CBS Buffalo Verne Lundquist / Jim Spanarkel / Allie LaForce
(4) Florida Gators vs. (13) East Tennessee State Buccaneers March 16 Approx. 3 p.m. truTV Orlando Ian Eagle / Steve Lavin / Evan Washburn
(5) Minnesota Golden Gophers vs. (12) Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders March 16 Approx. 4 p.m. TNT Milwaukee Carter Blackburn / Mike Gminski / Debbie Antonelli / Lisa Byington
(8) Northwestern Wildcats vs. (9) Vanderbilt Commodores March 16 Approx. 4:30 p.m. TBS Salt Lake City Andrew Catalon / Steve Lappas / Jamie Erdahl
(6) Maryland Terrapins vs. (11) Xavier Musketeers March 16 6:50 p.m. TNT Orlando Ian Eagle / Steve Lavin / Evan Washburn
(1) Villanova Wildcats vs. (16) Mt. St. Mary's March 16 7:10 p.m. CBS Buffalo Verne Lundquist / Jim Spanarkel / Allie LaForce
(7) Saint Mary's Gaels vs. (10) VCU Rams March 16 7:20 p.m. truTV Salt Lake City Andrew Catalon / Steve Lappas / Jamie Erdahl
(4) Purdue Boilermakers vs. (13) Vermont Catamounts March 16 7:27 p.m. TBS Milwaukee Carter Blackburn / Mike Gminski / Debbie Antonelli / Lisa Byington
(3) Florida State Seminoles vs. (14) Florida Gulf Coast Eagles March 16 Approx. 9:20 p.m. TNT Orlando Ian Eagle / Steve Lavin / Evan Washburn
(8) Wisconsin Badgers vs. (9) Virginia Tech Hokies March 16 Approx. 9:40 p.m. CBS Buffalo Verne Lundquist / Jim Spanarkel / Allie LaForce
(2) Arizona Wildcats vs. (15) North Dakota Fighting Hawks March 16 Approx. 9:50 p.m. TBS Salt Lake City Andrew Catalon / Steve Lappas / Jamie Erdahl
(5) Iowa State Cyclones vs. (12) Nevada Wolf Pack March 16 Approx. 9:57 p.m. truTV Milwaukee Carter Blackburn / Mike Gminski / Debbie Antonelli / Lisa Byington

Today is a day primed for upsets. Beyond the closeness of the two games finishing up now, kenpom.com has predicted these two games to be virtual toss-ups: No. 11 Xavier vs. No. 6 Maryland and No. 12 Middle Tennessee State and No. 5 Minnesota. And there are sure to be more — I particularly like No. 14 Florida Gulf Coast to shock No. 3 Florida State.

And then, of course, there’s always the opportunity for you to root for Gonzaga to be the first No. 1 seed to lose to a No. 16. (Kenpom calls that 98 percent for the Zags, but we can dare to dream, right??)

Discuss below. Go Cougs!