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NCAA Tournament First Round Viewing/Rooting Guide - Day One

Here’s who to watch and what to cheer for.

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-Milwaukee Practice Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

Today is the day, folks. The greatest day on the entire sports calendar. It is the first day of the NCAA Tournament. The buzz is palpable as we dream of upsets and buzzer beaters. No matter where you are, there is some place you can watch and no matter what team is your No. 1, there’s a reason to watch and something to root for. Here’s the rundown for day one.

NCAA Basketball: ACC Conference Tournament-Florida State vs Notre Dame Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

No. 5 Notre Dame vs. No. 12 Princeton

Region/Location: West/KeyBank Center, Buffalo, New York

Time: 12:15 p.m.

TV/Stream: CBS/NCAA.com

Announcers: Verne Lundquist (play-by-play), Jim Spanarkel (analyst) and Allie LaForce (sideline)

Line: Notre Dame -7

Who/what to root for: It’s the classic five versus 12 matchup. Every person filling out a bracket will have one of these upsets picked. Will the first game of the NCAA Tournament get that done? In this one go for the Irish. I still have not forgiven the Ivy League for what its representative did to UC in 2014.

No. 5 Virginia vs. No. 12 UNC-Wilmington

Region/Location: East/Amway Center, Orlando, Florida

Time: 12:40 p.m.

TV/Stream: truTV/NCAA.com

Announcers: Ian Eagle (play-by-play), Steve Lavin (analyst) and Evan Washburn (sideline)

Line: Virginia -8

Who/what to root for: UNCW is a trendy pick to be this year’s giant slayer. But why go with the sheeple? Instead, pull for Virginia, who is UC’s brother when it comes to style of play, as the Cavaliers value defense over offense, ranking first in the nation in defensive efficiency and 351st in adjusted tempo.

No. 4 Butler vs. No. 13 Winthrop

Region/Location: South/BMO Harris Bradley Center, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Time: 1:30 p.m.

TV/Stream: TNT/NCAA.com

Announcers: Carter Blackburn (play-by-play), Mike Gminski (analyst), Debbie Antonelli (analyst) and Lisa Byington (reporter

Line: Butler -12

Who/what to root for: Butler beat UC for the second year in a row earlier this season. Go Eagles.

No. 1 Gonzaga vs. No. 16 South Dakota State

Region/Location: West/Vivint Smart Home Arena, Salt Lake City, Utah

Time: 2 p.m.

TV/Stream: TBS/NCAA.com

Announcers: Andrew Catalon (play-by-play), Steve Lappas (analyst) and Jamie Erdahl (sideline)

Line: Gonzaga -18

Who/what to root for: When did Gonzaga become the West Coast, Mid-Major version of Duke? While you should always hope for a No. 16 seed victory because of history and whatnot, Gonzaga is one of the lone programs standing against the domination of the Kentuckys and North Carolinas of the world.

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-Buffalo Practice Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

No. 4 West Virginia vs. No. 13 Bucknell

Region/Location: West/KeyBank Center, Buffalo, New York

Time: 2:45 p.m.

TV/Stream: CBS/NCAA.com

Announcers: Verne Lundquist (play-by-play), Jim Spanarkel (analyst) and Allie LaForce (sideline)

Line: WVU -16.5

Who/what to root for: Former Bearcats head coach Bob Huggins leads the Mountaineers. Better luck next year, Bucknell.

No. 4 Florida vs. No. 13 East Tennessee State

Region/Location: East/Amway Center, Orlando, Florida

Time: 3:10 p.m.

TV/Stream: truTV/NCAA.com

Announcers: Ian Eagle (play-by-play), Steve Lavin (analyst) and Evan Washburn (sideline)

Line: Florida -11.5

Who/what to root for: If you are wondering what that smell is its the scent of an upset. Root hard and amaze your friends when you confidently say ETSU will win all day.

No. 5 Minnesota vs. No. 12 Middle Tennessee State

Region/Location: South/BMO Harris Bradley Center, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Time: 4 p.m.

TV/Stream: TNT/NCAA.com

Announcers: Carter Blackburn (play-by-play), Mike Gminski (analyst), Debbie Antonelli (analyst) and Lisa Byington (reporter

Line: Minnesota -1

Who/what to root for: The most trendy pick in the entire nation and I’m another sucker who’s fallen into their trap. But the Blue Raiders have some strong scoring options like Jacorey Williams (17.3 PPG) and the Golden Gophers already got P.J. Fleck. What more do they want?

No. 8 Northwestern vs. No. 9 Vanderbilt

Region/Location: West/Vivint Smart Home Arena, Salt Lake City, Utah

Time: 4:30 p.m.

TV/Stream: TBS/NCAA.com

Announcers: Andrew Catalon (play-by-play), Steve Lappas (analyst) and Jamie Erdahl (sideline)

Line: Vanderbilt -4

Who/what to root for: This is the first NCAA Tournament appearance for the Wildcats. If that’s not enough to make you root for them, how about the fact that they have two players from Ohio on the roster and Vanderbilt has none. Plus, even though he can’t play until next season, the Commodores Larry Austin Jr. used to play at Xavier. Gross.

NCAA Basketball: Big Ten Tournament-Northwestern vs Maryland Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

No. 6 Maryland vs. No. 11 Xavier

Region/Location: West/Amway Center, Orlando, Florida

Time: 6:50 p.m.

TV/Stream: TNT/NCAA.com

Announcers: Ian Eagle (play-by-play), Steve Lavin (analyst) and Evan Washburn (sideline)

Line: Maryland -1.5

Who/what to root for: Do you really need to ask? Terps by a billion.

No. 1 Villanova vs. No. 16 Mount St. Mary’s

Region/Location: East/KeyBank Center, Buffalo, New York

Time: 7:10 p.m.

TV/Stream: CBS/NCAA.com

Announcers: Verne Lundquist (play-by-play), Jim Spanarkel (analyst) and Allie LaForce (sideline)

Line: Villanova -26.5

Who/what to root for: What better way for the defending champs to go down than to a No. 16 team and who better to be on the call than Uncle Verne?

No. 7 St. Mary’s vs. No. 10 VCU

Region/Location: West/Vivint Smart Home Arena, Salt Lake City, Utah

Time: 7:20 p.m.

TV/Stream: TBS/NCAA.com

Announcers: Andrew Catalon (play-by-play), Steve Lappas (analyst) and Jamie Erdahl (sideline)

Line: St. Mary’s -5

Who/what to root for: The Bearcats are 2-3 all-time against VCU and they’ve never played St. Mary’s. The Gaels aren’t the most exciting bunch, ranking 350th in the country in adjusted tempo, but this is a great chance to cheer on not one, not two, not three, not four, not even five but six players from Australia.

No. 4 Purdue vs. No. 13 Vermont

Region/Location: Midwest/BMO Harris Bradley Center, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Time: 7:27 p.m.

TV/Stream: truTV/NCAA.com

Announcers: Carter Blackburn (play-by-play), Mike Gminski (analyst), Debbie Antonelli (analyst) and Lisa Byington (reporter

Line: Purdue -9

Who/what to root for: Even though UC had a miserable time in terms of the football season, it still managed to beat up on the Boilermakers, so maybe they deserve a little sympathy. Plus Caleb Swanigan is the double-double machine of your dreams.

NCAA Basketball: Boston College at Florida State Melina Vastola-USA TODAY Sports

No. 3 Florida State vs. No. 14 Florida Gulf Coast

Region/Location: West/Amway Center, Orlando, Florida

Time: 9:20 p.m.

TV/Stream: TNT/NCAA.com

Announcers: Ian Eagle (play-by-play), Steve Lavin (analyst) and Evan Washburn (sideline)

Line: FSU -12

Who/what to root for: DUNK CITY THE SEQUEL! With that said, I’d like to throw some love to the Seminoles and Dwayne Bacon, one of my favorite players to watch. But that’s a personal thing, you should be rooting for 10 trillion dunks.

No. 8 Wisconsin vs. No. 9 Virginia Tech

Region/Location: East/KeyBank Center, Buffalo, New York

Time: 9:40 p.m.

TV/Stream: CBS/NCAA.com

Announcers: Verne Lundquist (play-by-play), Jim Spanarkel (analyst) and Allie LaForce (sideline)

Line: Wisconsin -4.5

Who/what to root for: Buzz Williams is Virginia Tech’s head coach. The former Marquette coach is a short, bald man who yells a lot during basketball games. He’s basically the ACC’s version of Mick Cronin. Stick with Mick...er...Buzz.

No. 2 Arizona vs. No. 15 North Dakota

Region/Location: West/Vivint Smart Home Arena, Salt Lake City, Utah

Time: 9:50 p.m.

TV/Stream: TBS/NCAA.com

Announcers: Andrew Catalon (play-by-play), Steve Lappas (analyst) and Jamie Erdahl (sideline)

Line: Arizona -16.5

Who/what to root for: Allonzo Trier is easily the best player for either side so if an upset doesn’t really grab you, watching Trier handle the rock should be something to cheer for.

No. 5 Iowa State vs. No. 12 Nevada

Region/Location: Midwest/BMO Harris Bradley Center, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Time: 9:57 p.m.

TV/Stream: truTV/NCAA.com

Announcers: Carter Blackburn (play-by-play), Mike Gminski (analyst), Debbie Antonelli (analyst) and Lisa Byington (reporter

Line: Iowa State -6.5

Who/what to root for: Although UC has split two meetings with the Cyclones in the last two seasons, I suppose competition has bred a little bit of affection rather than contempt. Nothing against Nevada, but I’ll be hoping to see Monte Morris and company keep dancing.