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NCAA Tournament Round of 32: matchups, odds, announcers, streaming, how to watch

The final day of the first weekend, where rampaging UMBC can be the first 16-seed to ever make the second weekend.

NCAA Basketball: Butler at Purdue Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

The final day of the first weekend starts with an Indiana rivalry and ends in a West Virginia rivalry. There will be Tiger on Tiger action, and for the first time, we will see what a 16 seed can do in a Round of 32 game.

(10) Butler Bulldogs vs. (2) Purdue Boilermakers

Time: 12:10 p.m.

How to watch: CBS | Stream

Odds: Purdue, -3.5

The Indiana rivalry comes to the NCAA Tournament, with the hot-shooting Boilers facing off against the sometimes hot-shooting Bulldogs. The two teams met in December, where Purdue knocked off Butler 82-67 in a game that wasn’t close.

Butler will need to find a way to minimize their every-game lull, where the shots stop falling and, like against Arkansas, a 21-2 lead evaporates into a deficit in the first half. Egregious scoring droughts will not do against Purdue, who bring in multiple skilled seven-footers and a raft of effective perimeter shooters.

Purdue’s Isaac Haas, however, fractured his elbow. After saying he would be out for the remainder of the Tournament... Haas practiced on a limited basis with a protective sleeve that the NCAA needs to approve. Will he play? Won’t he? Without Haas, the Boilers only have one player over seven feet tall and two over 6’8”. (In other words: they’re still tall).

(11) Syracuse Orange vs. (3) Michigan State Spartans

Time: 2:40 p.m.

How to watch: CBS | Stream

Odds: Michigan State, -8

The narrative surrounding the Orange included Syracuse not belonging in the tournament, Syracuse not getting out of the First Four (Syracuse +1 against Arizona State), and Syracuse not beating TCU (Syracuse +6). Like some pimples, the more you try to get rid of it, the more it sticks around. Syracuse has held their tournament opponents to a combined 108 points, while only scoring 60 against Arizona State and 57 against TCU. Syracuse’s zone defense has been their biggest strength all season, as they are 12th nationally in opposing points per game.

On paper, Michigan State checks most, if not all, boxes one expects from a Final Four team. Nationally, the Spartans are first in assists, first in blocks, seventh in rebounds, sixth in three-point shooting percentage, and fifth in field goal percentage. However, Michigan State went 1-3 against the other Big 10 teams in the Tournament losing by an average of 12 points and winning by only three. Michigan State’s choice to keep a traditional big man on the floor at all times may be the decision that keeps them from effectively spreading out the Orange zone defense.

(7) Texas A&M Aggies vs. (2) North Carolina Tar Heels

Time: 5:15 p.m.

How to watch: CBS | Stream

Odds: North Carolina, -6

North Carolina had 19 assists in their balanced blow-out victory (84-66) over Lipscomb on Friday. Nothing particularly new was learned about North Carolina, as they can still rebound and score at a high level.

Texas A&M is another big, rebounding team, and that should help keep the Tar Heels off the offensive boards. The Aggies were able to bother the Providence shooters, so they will likely use their length to try and bother the North Carolina shooters as well.

The winner will likely be the team that gives up the least offensive rebounds.

(7) Nevada Wolf Pack vs. (2) Cincinnati Bearcats

Time: 6:10 p.m.

How to watch: TNT | Stream

Odds: Cincinnati, -8

Sophomore guard Jarron Cumberland rattled off 27 points (8-17 FG, 4-11 3PT) to lead the Bearcats past Georgia State. Cincinnati is a defensive team (second nationally is opposing points per game), and if they get a good offensive night from either Cumberland or senior forward Gary Clark, Cincinnati will be a tough team to beat.

Nevada won in an overtime thriller against Texas. The Wolf Pack may need to reel back in their excitement, especially coach Eric Musselman, to bring a poised attack on Cincinnati’s defense. The Wolf Pack are 7th in the nation in total points, and 14th in assists. Redshirt junior forward Caleb Martin (19.0 PPG) and red-shirt junior guard/forward Jordan Caroline (17.8 PPG) will likely both need big nights in order to send Cincinnati back to Xaviertown.

(5) Clemson Tigers vs. (4) Auburn Tigers

Time: 7:10 p.m.

How to watch: TBS | Stream

Odds: Auburn, -1

Senior guard Gabe DeVoe and red-shirt junior forward Shelton Mitchell had big nights against New Mexico State on Friday, 22 points (10-15 FG, 2-5 3PT) and 23 points (8-13, 2-3 3PT) respectfully. Clemson methodically created separation in their first half and maintained that separation in the second half. In this all-Tiger match-up, Clemson will need to avoid turning the ball over to the aggressive Auburn defense in order to keep the game close.

Auburn’s win over Charleston became more interesting until sophomore guard hit a three to break the tie with just over a minute remaining. Auburn was inefficient offensively (21-59 from the field) and will need to clean up their shot selection if they hope to continue. Defensively, Auburn was able to force 21 turnovers, which kept these Tigers in the game. Auburn is 3-4 in their last seven games, and will not have many more opportunities to turn this rough patch around.

(16) UMBC Retrievers vs. (9) Kansas State Wildcats

Time: 7:40 p.m.

How to watch: truTV | Stream

Odds: Kansas State, -10

After losing 135 straight games, a 16 seed finally beat a 1 seed, and that was UMBC. The Retrievers played to their strengths of ball movement (29th in the country is assists) and three-point shooting (8th most made three-pointers this year). Having 12 assists and making 12 of 24 from deep powered UMBC past Virginia. UMBC will need to recreate their offensive performance (which may include some pre-game video games) will adding in some steals (22nd nationally in steals) if they hope to play again next weekend.

Kansas State had an offensive performance of their own against Creighton, where the Wildcats went 9-19 from deep. That was uncharacteristic of Kansas State, as they were 185th nationally in three-point shooting percentage. If the Wildcats can establish their game better than Virginia did, Kansas State has a good chance to make the Sweet Sixteen.

(9) Florida State Seminoles vs. (1) Xavier Musketeers

Time: 8:40 p.m.

How to watch: TNT | Stream

Odds: Xavier, -5.5

Exactly one year later, Xavier will play Florida State in the second round of the NCAA Tournament. Xavier’s core is largely intact from that tournament run, as Edmond Sumner missed the last two months of the season with a knee injury. Last year, Xavier got 29 points (8-14 FG, 3-5 3PT) from guard Trevon Bluiett and 10 points (4-10 FG, 2-3 3PT) from guard J.P. Macura. If Xavier can get the same from Bluiett, a little more from Macura, and a third strong showing (senior forward Kerem Kanter had 24 points off 11-15 FG and 1-2 from 3PT in 20 minutes on Friday), Xavier has a chance to repeat their 91-66 victory over the Seminoles last year.

While the Musketeers largely kept their core, the Seminoles lost their top three scorers from a season ago. Florida State’s top three scorers now, senior forward Phil Cofer, junior guard Terance Mann, and sophomore guard Braian Angola-Rodas scored a combined 6 points on 1-8 from the field and combined 1-5 from deep. With Mann likely out, the remaining duo will look to pick up the slack and send Xavier back to Cincinnatitown.

(13) Marshall Thundering Herd vs. (5) West Virginia Mountaineers

Time: 9:40 p.m.

How to watch: TBS | Stream

Odds: West Virginia, -12.5

The rivalry game has new juice! The two West Virginia teams are known to have coaches who dislike each other, longtime beef, and the desire to fight over scraps of respect. Currently, the beef is over whether the in-state state schools should play each other every year; West Virginia feels no need to sully themselves by playing Marshall on a neutral site or anywhere but Morgantwon.

This game could be wild, with Marshall willing to shoot at any time and any play, and West Virginia willing to put pressure on at any time and any place. Marshall took out Wichita State with a 27-point outing from Jon Elmore and by forcing turnovers. West Virginia smashed Murray State behind 21 points from Jevon Carter and by forcing turnovers. Marshall stuggled to keep Wichita State off the offensive boards; expect the Mountaineers to feast there.

(Why so late, though? Yeesh!)