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NCAA Tournament 2017 Sweet Sixteen: Tip times, announcers, matchups for Friday

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UCLA/ Kentucky is what we all wish for when we think of the Sweet Sixteen.

NCAA Basketball Tournament - Second Round - Sacramento Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Tonight, the NCAA Tournament games feature a lot of blue bloods - and blue uniforms - as familiar names work their way towards the Elite Eight.

Now, we could do a review of the toughness of the mascots again - oh heck, why not...

The North Carolina Tar Heels take on the Butler Bulldogs a little after 7 pm on CBS in Memphis, with Jim Nantz, Bill Raftery, Grant Hill and Tracy Wolfson on the call. North Carolina doesn’t even seem to know what a “tar heel” is, sticking with a story about soldiers who stayed (“stuck”) in the battlefield during the Civil War. We can’t say that the Butler Bulldog name is steeped in a war that Butler’s ancestors lost, so let’s go with the Bulldogs here.

In reality, North Carolina is fast and will misshape what Butler wants to do. But Butler prepares very well. UNC should win but it will be tough.

Meanwhile, the games at Madison Square Garden start at 7.29 with Baylor Bears taking on the South Carolina Gamecocks. Bears are large and strong, but roosters are prideful, and quick. If the goal is survival, they can coexist. But in basketball terms, Baylor should be able to out-tough South Carolina.

I said the same thing about Duke, the Gamecocks’ previous victim. Verne Lundquist and Jim Spanarkel and Allie LaForce will be the announcing team.

At 9.40 or so, UCLA takes on Kentucky in Memphis. Playing on the road for UCLA against the young talent of Kentucky will mean one thing - every single NBA team with a high pick will be watching Lonzo Ball against the UK roster.

But that UCLA defense may not be very good, which means we’re going to get some high scoring spectaculation on the court. Yes, that is not a word. Just enjoy the show. Bruins, aka bears, would smash an undomesticated housecat, as we discussed yesterday. The end.

Closing out the NYC games will be the Florida Gators against the Wisconsin Badgers.

There are going to be a lot of confused people walking around New York. They really should put an East cCast team in New York. Oh? That was supposed to be Villanova? OH

So, basketball-wise, Florida looks ferocious. And Gators are vicious. Badgers are also vicious. This game will require stitches, but a motivated Gator would eat a badger.

The matchups, in table format...

NCAA Tournament Games: Friday, March 24, 2017 (Round of 16)

Game/ Commentators Date Tip Time (ET) Network Site
Game/ Commentators Date Tip Time (ET) Network Site
(1) North Carolina Tar Heels vs. (4) Butler Bulldogs 24-Mar 7:09 p.m. CBS Memphis
Jim Nantz / Grant Hill / Bill Raftery / Tracy Wolfson
(3) Baylor Bears vs. (7) South Carolina Gamecocks 24-Mar 7:29 p.m. TBS New York City
Verne Lundquist / Jim Spanarkel / Allie LaForce
(3) UCLA Bruins vs. (2) Kentucky Wildcats 24-Mar Approx. 9:39 p.m. CBS Memphis
Jim Nantz / Grant Hill / Bill Raftery / Tracy Wolfson
(8) Wisconsin Badgers vs. (4) Florida Gators 24-Mar Approx. 9:59 p.m. TBS New York City
Verne Lundquist / Jim Spanarkel / Allie LaForce
Sweet Sixteen matchups Norman Rose