What to watch on Saturday and what to skip

The first Sweet 16 berths will be booked on Saturday as the NCAA men’s tournament begins the second round while the women’s tournament enters Day 2 of the first round.

Saturday’s schedule is significantly backloaded. Just nine of the 24 games between the men’s and women’s tournaments tip off before 5 p.m. ET. Things get interesting when 12 games start tipping off within five minutes of each other Saturday night. Make sure you have your remote handy to change channels.

Here’s your full viewing guide for Saturday’s action. All times Eastern.


Men’s schedule

12:10 p.m — No. 5 San Diego State vs. No. 13 Furman (CBS)

2:40 p.m. — No. 4 Tennessee vs. 5 Duke (CBS).

5:15 p.m. — No. 1 Kansas vs. No. 8 Arkansas (CBS)

Women’s schedule

11:30 a.m. — No. 1 Indiana vs. No. 16 Tennessee Tech (ESPN2)

1 p.m. — No. 4 Tennessee vs. 13 St. Louis, (ABC)

1:30 p.m. — No. 3 Ohio State vs. No. 14 James Madison (ESPN2)

2 p.m. — No. 8 Oklahoma State vs. No. 9 Miami (ESPN).

2:30 p.m. — No. 5 Washington State vs. 12 Florida Gulf Coast (ESPNU)

3 p.m. — No. 2 UConn vs. No. 15 Vermont (ABC)

4 p.m. — No. 6 North Carolina vs. 11 St. John’s (ESPN)

5 p.m. — No. 4 Villanova vs. No. 13 Cleveland State (ESPNU).

5:30 p.m. — No. 7 Baylor vs. No. 10 Alabama (ESPN2)

Must-see: Despite the difference in seeding between the two teams, Arkansas is only a 3-point underdog against the national champions. CBS knew exactly what it was doing when it placed this game on the East Coast in the late afternoon. While Arkansas made the Elite Eight the last two seasons, Kansas is well capable of another national title run. It’s still not publicly known if Kansas coach Bill Self will be on the bench after his heart procedure last week. Self flew to Des Moines after being released from the hospital on Sunday.

Defending national champions Kansas take on Arkansas on Saturday. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

Arkansas takes on Kansas, the national champions, on Saturday. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images.

Must-skip: UConn is a 34.5 point favorite over Vermont. With the way the women’s tournament is staggered throughout the day on Saturday afternoon, you’ll have plenty of other viewing options. Feel free to check in on the Huskies at the start of the game, but we’re guessing you’ll be able to find a better game on a different channel.

Most likely, possible upset: Keep an eye on Florida Gulf Coast. Washington State is a 1.5-point favorite to beat the Eagles. FGCU was 17-1 in the Atlantic Sun’s regular season. The Eagles average over 78 points per contest and outscored their rivals by an average 23 points per match. Tishara Morehouse, a senior guard, is just 5-3. She shoots 40% at 3 and attempts more than five shots per match.

Pay attention to this player: Indiana scored the first No.1 seed in women’s program history with a 27-3 record. The Hoosiers are huge favorites, so this game likely won’t be close, but it’s worth watching MacKenzie Holmes for a few minutes if you haven’t seen her play this year. Holmes averages over 22 points per game, and shoots 69% from behind the arc. She’s nearly unstoppable in the post and should be in line for a big game.


Men’s schedule

6:10 p.m. — No. 7 Missouri vs. No. 15 Princeton (TNT).

7:10 p.m. — No. 1 Houston vs. 9 Auburn (TBS).

7:45 p.m. — No. 2 Texas vs. No. 10 Penn State (CBS)

8:40 p.m. — No. 2 UCLA vs. 7 Northwestern (TNT).

9:40 p.m. — No. 1 Alabama vs. No. 8 Maryland (TBS).

Women’s schedule

7 p.m. — No. 6 Colorado vs. No. 11 Middle Tennessee (ESPNEWS).

7:30 p.m. — No. 5 Louisville vs. No. 12 Drake (ESPN2)

9 p.m. — No. 5 Oklahoma vs. No. 12 Portland (ESPNU).

9:30 p.m. — No. No. 3 Duke vs. 14 Iona (ESPN2)

10 p.m. — No. 4 Texas vs. No. 13 East Carolina (ESPN).

11:30 p.m. — No. 4 UCLA vs. 13 Sacramento State (ESPN2)

Must-see: Is there a No. For the second consecutive season, will there be a No. 15 seed in Sweet 16? Princeton is a favorite by 6.5 points against Missouri. The Tigers will be knocked out by Princeton if it shoots better behind the 3-point line. Princeton hasn’t won multiple games in the NCAA tournament since 1965. A very close second in this category is Penn State’s game against Texas. The Longhorns were strong from behind the line against Colgate. Penn State is also a good shooter from deep. Texas is only a 5.5-point favourite in that one.

Must-skip: Iona is a 23.5-point favourite over Duke and Texas is a 21-point favorite against East Carolina. With so many other games to choose from thanks to the way CBS and Turner scheduled the men’s tournament, Saturday night is no time to be watching a blowout if you can avoid it. At least the Texas men and Texas women aren’t playing at the same time.

Most likely, possible upset: Auburn and Houston both deserve to be considered must-sees, but their matchup fits better in this category. Houston star Marcus Sasser aggravated the groin injury he’s been dealing with against Northern Kentucky and missed the second half. If he’s not available against the Tigers, Houston could be in trouble. There will be many Auburn fans at the Birmingham game. We’ll see if the Alabama fans waiting for the Tide’s game against Maryland will help counter some of that crowd noise.

Pay attention to this player: Oklahoma’s Taylor Robertson has been one of the best 3-point shooters in college basketball throughout her entire career. Robertson is fifth in the nation at 43% from behind in 2022-23, and a lifetime 44% from deep. She makes nearly three (3) made 3s per match and has attempted 10 to more 3s in five of her games so far this season.

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