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NCAA Tournament 2017: Thursday TV schedule & open thread

There are a whole lot of games today, starting at 12:15 p.m. ET.

NCAA Basketball: Florida State at Syracuse Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

The Syracuse Orange don’t need to be NCAA Tournament participants for us to watch and enjoy the event (really). And chances are a lot of us will be tuning into the action, which starts in earnest today with first round matchups.

Below, is your schedule for the afternoon and evening. Additionally, some reading materials from TNIAAM to get prepared. If you haven’t joined our bracket group by now, there are still a few minutes to do so.

Assuming you’re torn on who to root for/against in this year’s tourney, we have some ideas for you there. Also, Aaron and I created another beer bracket, so plan accordingly over the course of the next few weeks. Plus, Dan and I give away our “expert” NCAA Tournament selections on this week’s podcast.

Oh, and if you’re looking to stream the games because you’re stuck at work, the NCAA (for once) has you covered.

Schedule for Thursday, March 16 (all times ET):

12:15 p.m. (CBS)

No. 5 Notre Dame Fighting Irish vs. No. 12 Princeton Tigers

12:40 p.m. (TRUtv)

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

1:30 p.m. (TNT)

No. 4 Butler Bulldogs vs. No. 13 Winthrop Eagles

2 p.m. (TBS)

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

2:45 p.m. (CBS)

No. 4 West Virginia Mountaineers vs. No. 13 Bucknell Bison

3:10 p.m. (TRUtv)

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

4 p.m. (TNT)

No. 5 Minnesota Golden Gophers vs. No. 12 Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders

4:30 p.m. (TBS)

No. 8 Northwestern Wildcats vs. No. 9 Vanderbilt Commodores

6:50 p.m. (TNT)

No. 6 Maryland Terrapins vs. No. 11 Xavier Musketeers

7:10 p.m. (CBS)

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

7:20 p.m. (TBS)

No. 7 St. Mary’s Gaels vs. No. 10 VCU Rams

7:27 p.m. (TRUtv)

No. 4 Purdue Boilermakers vs. No. 13 Vermont Catamounts

9:20 p.m. (TNT)

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

9:40 p.m. (CBS)

No. 8 Wisconsin Badgers vs. No. 9 Virginia Tech Hokies

9:50 p.m. (TBS)

No. 2 Arizona Wildcats vs. No. 15 North Dakota Fighting Hawks

9:57 p.m. (TRUtv)

No. 5 Iowa State Cyclones vs. No. 12 Nevada Wolf Pack