The first two days of the NCAA tournament have been almost historically chalky, which has left some viewers a little restless. The good news? All those better seeds advancing means we’re set up for some really, really entertaining second-round matchups over the next 48 hours.
You can see Saturday’s full schedule here.
Refresh this page throughout the day for live updates and commentary on all of Saturday’s tournament action.
11:53 — Final: Purdue 80, Iowa State 76
11:36 — Iowa State will not go away. Purdue’s lead is down to two, 71-69, with just under 4 minutes to play.
11:28 — DEONTE BURTON. Cyclones down six.
11:20 — This one isn’t over yet. Iowa State is making a run of their own. Eight straight points for the Cyclones and the lead is down to only seven. 9:25 left in the game.
11:06 — Caleb Swanigan is dominating this game for Purdue. The Boilmakers are up 56-39 in the second half on Iowa State with 14:34 left in the game.
10:47 — Final: Florida 65, Virginia 39
10:33 — Purdue is rolling in the first half, jumping out to a 44-31 lead over Iowa State at the break.
10:25 — Final: Arizona 69, Saint Mary’s 60
10:02 — Florida currently leads Virginia, 40-17. Virginia has not scored in the last seven minutes of game action. There is currently 17:35 left in the second half. Time to wake up.
9:48 — WOOOOOO look at this fast break dunk from Kadeem Allen. Arizona-St. Mary’s now has had nine lead changes, all in the second half. This is gonna be a good one down the stretch.
9:38 — There have been seven lead changes so far during Arizona – St. Mary’s. Arizona is currently hanging on to a 40-39 lead with 14:48 left in the second half.
9:15 — Final: Buter 74, Middle Tennessee 65
9:02 — Butler led by 12 with 7:18 to go, and then Middle Tennessee went on a 9-0 run and the Butler lead is now down to three, 59-56, with 3:30 left in the game. We’ve got a good one on our hands.
8:27 — Final: Xavier 91, Florida State 66
8:26 — Middle Tennessee is trying to pull off another upset but Butler is keeping them at arms length. The Bulldogs currently lead 42-33 with 15:32 remaining in the second half.
8:07 — Xavier is absolutely handling Florida State. Currently up 81-60 with 3:50 left in the second half. This will be quite an upset as no. 11 seed Xavier takes down no. 3 seed Florida State.
7:48 — Final: Gonzaga 79, Northwestern 73
7:37 — Northwestern will not give up. Down six to Gonzaga with 1:15 to go.
7:24 — Soooo Gonzaga is no longer continuing to roll Northwestern. The Wildcats have trimmed the lead all the way down to five after Vic Law’s authoritative put-back slam. Five minutes to go.
7:01 — Florida State briefly showed some signs of life, but Xavier quickly responded and will carry a 44-34 advantage into the locker room at halftime. Gonzaga continues to roll Northwestern, and Middle Tennessee vs. Butler is a few minutes away from tipping.
6:53 — You may have noticed that Florida State center Michael Ojo is a very large human being. As it turns out, Nike spent $15,000 on a special machine just to make a shoe large enough for Ojo. I hope they could afford that.
6:39 — We’re 12 minutes into Florida State-Xavier, and the Seminoles haven’t seemed to figure out anything resembling an effective way to attack the Musketeer defense. Chris Mack’s team is on top, 25-14.
6:16 — At halftime, Gonzaga leads Northwestern, 38-20. Florida Sate and Xavier are underway, giving us a much-needed life raft.
6:14 — Finally, multiple games going on at the same time has returned to the NCAA tournament. Timing couldn’t be better. Northwestern is being annihilated.
5:54 — Also brutal: What Gonzaga is doing to Northwestern right now. It’s 22-8 with 7:40 to go in the first half.
5:53 — Brutal
5:43 — Zags showing zero regard for the feelings of sportswriters across the country and are out to an impressive 16-6 early lead.
5:35 — The evening session is off and running with a once lovable team people started hating six years ago and another once lovable team people started hating six days ago. It’s Gonzaga-Northwestern on CBS.
5:18 — Villanova’s feast or famine March existence continues. Since 2009, they haven’t seen their season in end in week two of the tournament. That span includes one national title, one Final Four, and six first weekend exits.
5:14 — Annnnnd he can sing
5:13 — Brown drills one of two but Nova can’t get a look to tie the game. There will be a new champion in college basketball this year. Wisconsin ended the game on a 15-5 run.
5:11 — Another really poor decision by Josh Hart. He drives wildly to the basket and gets stripped by Vitto Brown. Brown can now seal the deal with two free-throws.
5:10 — I’d probably guard Kris Jenkins here.
5:09 — Incredible move by Nigel Hayes results in a bucket and a two point Wisconsin lead with 11 seconds left. This is tremendous.
5:07 — DiVincenzo makes one and we’re tied with 30 seconds to go.
5:06 — They get something even better, a steal and a foul on Hayes that was dangerously close to being intentional. Donte DiVincenzo will have a chance to put Villanova ahead with two free-throws.
5:05 — Josh Hart, the potential national POY, travels on a key possession with his team down one and less than a minute to go. Nova needs a stop now.
5:04 — “You’re livin’ in this tiny booth, and your teams tied up at tw–” I cut it off there because I stabbed myself in the face. Not really. I am sick of the commercial though.
4:59 — And just like that the Badgers are back up one. If you’re reading this live blog and not watching the game, well that’s a really difficult combination to understand, but also turn your television on and flip to CBS. Just 2:25 to go.
4:54 — If this is the end for Nigel Haeys, let’s remember the good times.
4:47 — Villanova up seven and Donte DiVincenzo is playing as well as I’ve ever seen him. People who struggled with spelling and pronouncing “Ryan Arcidiacono” during last season’s run are having PTSD.
4:42 — ‘Nova is finally playing with the confidence of a team that won it all a year ago. They’re up by four, but to Wisconsin’s credit, the Badgers keep swinging back. This feels like one of those games where the No. 1 seed looks back in a couple weeks and talks about what a scare it was. Or maybe they lose. I don’t know.
4:28 — About 24 hours ago, this man was coaching Oklahoma State in a highly competitive and intense NCAA tournament game.
Sports are wild, man.
4:25 — Speaking of Big Ten teams, Wisconsin has allowed Villanova to take its first lead in a long time, and appears to be entering something of a dangerous time. ‘Nova up by two with 13 minutes to play, and the Badgers are dealing with some serious foul trouble.
4:18 — Illinois hiring Brad Underwood is a complete stunner, but a remarkable higher for the Illini. Assuming he’s able to get the current players to buy into his culture and win over the favor of Chicago’s high school and AAU coaches, that program should get back to competing for Big Ten titles.
4:08 — We’ve got a good one going here, but I am loving the buildup for Kentucky-Wichita State tomorrow.
3:48 — Halftime: Wisconsin 31, Villanova 27
3:38 — I’m not making a prediction here, but Wisconsin has looked more composed and just flat-out better than Villanova through the first 17 minutes of this game. They lead, 29-23. Also, picked Villanova to win the whole thing.
3:24 — Northwestern football coach Pat Fitzgerald remains more excited about his school’s NCAA tournament run than any football coach in history.
3:22 — Wisconsin had opened up a 20-12 lead before Josh Hart started doing Josh Hart things and Nova was able to cut the margin back to three. Eight minutes to play in the opening half.
3:14 — My kingdom for a second game to flip to during commercials. I’d rather have one now than two at 11:30 tonight, which is exactly what’s going to happen. I’ll never understand the second round scheduling. Wisconsin up, 12-10.
3:07 — Wisconsin showing zero signs of intimidation, just as you’d expect. Badgers lead it by two early as Villanova struggles with its shot early on for the second straight game.
2:53 — We’re finally back basketballing and we’ve got about as solid a 1/8 second round matchup as you could ask for. It’s the reigning national champs against the program that’s won more tournament games over the last four years than any other. Wisconsin hasn’t been sent home before the tournament’s second weekend since 2013, and they’ve won multiple games in five of the last six big dances.
2:24 — We now have 30 minutes without basketball, which translates to seven hours in NCAA tournament opening weekend time. Villanova-Wisconsin up next.
2:23 — Final: West Virginia 83, Notre Dame 71. The Mountaineers are the first team through to the Sweet 16, and Notre Dame’s run of consecutive Elite 8 appearances is over at two.
2:21 — Verne makes an easy “do you know the way to San Jose?” joke but he does it so well that it doesn’t even matter.
2:14 — Jevon Carter just hit what looks like a backbreaking three-pointer. The junior guard has been fantastic all day and has 21 points. Mountaineers just a couple of minutes away from being the first team to punch their ticket to week two.
2:12 — If there’s something you don’t like about yourself and you think you can’t change it, just remember Nathan Adrian and his hair.
2:07 — Bonzie Colson single-handedly trying to keep Notre Dame alive. He’s got 24 points, but he’s also playing with four fouls. Mountaineers by nine.
2:03 — Vasturia misses a wide-open three. These guys just cannot buy one today.
2:02 — Notre Dame is in the bonus, which is a huge deal since they’re the best free-throw shooting team in the country. WVU lead is down to seven. Need stops, some whistles, and someone to knock down an open shot or two and we should have a great finish.
1:56 — Notre Dame finally gets a little bit of momentum and freshman Temple Gibbs gets T’d up for slapping the ball out of a West Virginia player’s hands. Dumb move by a young player, but man, you don’t have to call that. Just warn the kid and play on.
1:52 — I’ve been saying since the bracket came out that you can’t trust a team like West Virginia who relies so heavily on the mistakes of their opponents. I’ve also been saying that this was the worst possible draw for the Mountaineers, because they’d have to play two highly efficient teams that don’t turn the ball over with any sort of regularity.
I’m wrong about everything and you should probably stop reading this live blog.
1:44 — If you’re just now starting to watch this game and are looking for some form of recap, this clip should suffice:
1:35 — Still stunning that West Virginia seems to be making this extremely efficient and effective Notre Dame offense do whatever it wants them to do. Mountaineers lead by 10 and the Irish look like they’re not going to find the answers.
1:32 — Second half is underway and Bonzie Colson has three fouls. Huge moment there. Looks like Brey is going to roll the dice and let him stay on the floor.
1:15 — I can never see Mike Brey anymore without thinking about this incredible lede from Adam Kilgore of The Washington Post from last year’s tournament.
These days, Mike Brey looks like a day trader who has endured a particularly aggressive happy hour. Notre Dame’s head coach has traded ski lodge chic for businessman-on-a-bender. He ditched trademark turtlenecks for open collars, unfastened buttons, slicked-back hair and slept-in-a-ditch stubble. He dresses like a lost soul on his fourth martini and down to his last Marlboro Light. He looks primed to view a Vegas sunrise. He looks, to be honest, kind of awesome.
“I love that,” Notre Dame point guard Matt Farrell said. “Who cares? Just let it ride.”
“I like the look,” forward Bonzie Colson said. “I think he’s the smoothest coach in the league.”
“I guess he’s past the midlife crisis,” longtime assistant Rod Balanis said, laughing.
1:04 — When halftime comes on the first Saturday of the tournament and you have the realization that there isn’t another game to flip to
1:02 — Halftime: West Virginia 42, Notre Dame 35. Irish started turning the ball over again right after I said that thing.
12:59 — This is anti-American.
Verne’s a gamer though. Playing right through it.
12:58 — I don’t know how the rest of this tournament is going to play out, but I feel quite confident in saying that there won’t be another matchup featuring two coaches you’d more like to have a postgame drink with than Huggins and Brey.
12:53 — The Irish have collected themselves a bit here and this is turning into more of the game we thought it would be. West Virginia leads by three with three to play.
12:43 — One of the most surprising things I’ve seen this tournament is Notre Dame looking like it has no answer for West Virginia’s pressure. The Irish are second in the country in turnovers per game (9.4) and turnover percentage (12.2% of possessions), which would seemingly make them the worst matchup possible for Press Virginia. Instead, ND keeps inexplicably getting trapped in the corner and has already turned the ball over six times. The result is an 8-point lead for the Mountaineers.
12:32 — Notre Dame is alive. A quick run spearheaded by point guard Matt Farrell has tripped West Virginia’s lead to 15-11.
12:29 — The first Saturday of the tournament is always sort of like Christmas night. Yeah, there’s still a whole lot of cool stuff going on here, and I’m appropriately entertained, I’m just not flooded with entertainment anymore like I’d gotten used to and now it feels weird.
12:15 — West Virginia has roared out to a 10-0 lead. I think I speak for all of America when I say that we’re going to need Notre Dame to wake up here. Not necessarily because we want the Fighting Irish to win, but because for the first time in what feels like an eternity there are no other games to flip to, and we’re sort of freaking out about it right now.