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March Madness 2017: NCAA tournament Elite Eight TV schedule, live online streaming, preview, discussion thread

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The first two teams punch their tickets to the Final Four tonight.

Purdue v Kansas Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images

It’s the moment of truth for both America’s favorite “Cinderella” and the Pac-12, as Gonzaga and Oregon have the opportunity to secure their spots in the Final Four.

The former is considered much more likely than the latter. Before we get to that, here’s the TV schedule. All games are also streamed on NCAA.com.

NCAA tournament schedule 3/25

Game Tip Time (PT) Network Site Commentators
Game Tip Time (PT) Network Site Commentators
(11) Xavier Musketeers vs. (1) Gonzaga Bulldogs 3:09 p.m. TBS San Jose Brian Anderson / Chris Webber / Lewis Johnson
(1) Kansas Jayhawks vs. (3) Oregon Ducks 5:49 p.m. TBS Kansas City Kevin Harlan / Reggie Miller / Dan Bonner / Dana Jacobson

The Zags survived a slugfest with West Virginia on Thursday, leading observers to conclude that this edition of Mark Few’s Merry Band of Midmajor Monsters is tougher than previous editions. And I actually won’t argue with that; the Bulldogs were splendid on defense against the Mountaineers, even if West Virginia isn’t exactly an offensive juggernaut.

Had the Zags played Arizona today — as they should have, since it took an epic choke job from the Wildcats to thwart the dream rematch — I would have been interested to see how the Bulldogs would have held up against a team with enough offensive talent to attack from a lot of different spots on the floor, especially following such a draining game less than 48 hours prior.

Alas, the Bulldogs now only have to face Xavier, which features just player on offense who truly scares you: Trevon Bluiett. He carried the Musketeers against Arizona with 25 points, but it’s going to be an incredibly tall order for him to do the same against Gonzaga. So much so, that I think it’s pretty likely ... sigh ... that the Zags make it to their first Final Four.

(If that happens, godspeed to those of you who live in Spokane and refuse to cross party lines in this “rivalry.”)

The nightcap figures to be the better matchup of the two; kenpom.com sets the Jayhawks as “just” a 2-to-1 favorite over Oregon, vs. 4-to-1 for the Bulldogs. And it should be more entertaining stylistically.

Both the Ducks and Jayhawks feature excellent shooting, each shooting greater than 38 percent as a team this season, including a remarkable 41 percent for Kansas — third in the nation.

One problem Oregon could face is that while their defensive 3-point percentage is excellent (31 percent, 23rd nationally), they tend to give up a lot of attempts from beyond the arc. It worked out OK for them against Michigan, when the Wolverines could only hit 36 percent of their 31 3-pointers, but that’s going to be playing with fire against Frank Mason and Co.

Oregon also was spectacular on the defensive glass against Michigan, but that’s not typically a strong suit for the Ducks. Kansas is a whole different beast, and I suspect this is the first game where Oregon truly misses Chris Boucher in the middle.

Discuss below. Go Cougs!