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NCAA Bracket 2017: Round of 32 Saturday tip times

Hey, three mid-majors are still dancing.

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-First Round-Gonzaga vs South Dakota State Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

No, the mid-majors didn’t feast on the NCAA Tournament’s opening day. And let’s just call that what it was: a missed opportunity for the entire viewing public.

But come Saturday, three mid-majors will still be in action, all with legitimate chances to continue their March runs. Here are the game times and quick previews on the games that matter most to us:

Round of 32 game times

Game Date Tip Time (ET) Network Site Commentators
Game Date Tip Time (ET) Network Site Commentators
(4) West Virginia Mountaineers vs. (5) Notre Dame Fighting Irish March 18 12:10 p.m. CBS Buffalo Verne Lundquist / Jim Spanarkel / Allie LaForce
(1) Villanova Wildcats vs. (8) Wisconsin Badgers March 18 Approx. 2:40 p.m. CBS Buffalo Verne Lundquist / Jim Spanarkel / Allie LaForce
(1) Gonzaga Bulldogs vs. (8) Northwestern Wildcats March 18 5:15 p.m. CBS Salt Lake City Andrew Catalon / Steve Lappas / Jamie Erdahl
(3) Florida State Seminoles vs. (11) Xavier Musketeers March 18 6:10 p.m. TNT Orlando Ian Eagle / Steve Lavin / Evan Washburn
(4) Butler Bulldogs vs. (12) Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders March 18 7:10 p.m. TBS Milwaukee Carter Blackburn / Mike Gminski / Debbie Antonelli / Lisa Byington
(2) Arizona Wildcats vs. (7) St. Mary's Gaels March 18 Approx. 7:45 p.m. CBS Salt Lake City Andrew Catalon / Steve Lappas / Jamie Erdahl
(4) Florida Gators vs. (5) Virginia Cavaliers March 18 Approx. 8:40 p.m. TNT Orlando Ian Eagle / Steve Lavin / Evan Washburn
(4) Purdue Boilermakers vs. (5) Iowa State Cyclones March 18 Approx. 9:40 p.m. TBS Milwaukee Carter Blackburn / Mike Gminski / Debbie Antonelli / Lisa Byington

(1) Gonzaga vs. (8) Northwestern, 5:15 PM ET, CBS

For a half, Gonzaga made you sweat. Or if you’re one of the many Zags-doubters, they made you giddy. But in the end, a close first half with South Dakota State turned into another Gonzaga blowout, as the Bulldogs won their tournament opener by 20 points. They now get Northwestern in a battle of two of the tournament’s most intriguing story lines. It’s the Bulldogs polarizing quest against the first-time darling (for some, at least). One stat to watch is Gonzaga’s three-point attempts. The Zags settled for 30 shots from distance against SDSU, which is not their game. But that might be tempting again against a Wildcats’ defense that has been solid defending the paint, holding opponents to just 43.8 percent on two-point field goal attempts this season.

(4) Butler vs. (12) Middle Tennessee, 7:10 PM ET, TBS

Like last year, Middle Tennessee won its NCAA Tournament opener behind Reggie Upshaw. Unlike last year, it wasn’t a surprise. The No. 12 Blue Raiders were a one-point favorite over No. 5 Minnesota, and proved the oddsmakers right with an 81-72 win. They now move on to play Butler as the program seeks its first Sweet 16 appearance. Kermit Davis’ team will have its hands full with an efficient Bulldogs’ offense that rarely turns the ball over. If there’s anywhere MTSU has an advantage, it may be in the paint. Upshaw, Jacorey Williams and Brandon Walters helped limit the Golden Gophers to just four offensive rebounds, and should be able to fare well against Butler.

(2) Arizona vs. (7) Saint Mary’s, 7:45 PM ET, CBS

The metrics that have loved Saint Mary’s all year looked pretty darn smart on Thursday. The Gaels’ ruthlessly efficient offense helped them build a 13-point half time lead against a physical VCU team. The Rams would fight back in the second half, but Saint Mary’s held on for an eight-point win. Those metrics get put to a stiffer test, as a talented Arizona team stands between Saint Mary’s and its third Sweet 16. The spotlight individual battle should be between Jock Landale and Wildcats’ freshman Lauri Markkanen, two excellent big men that get it done in very different ways on the offensive end.