March Madness 2023 viewer's guide: What to watch and what to skip on Saturday
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. But then things really get going with 12 games all starting within five hours of each other Saturday evening. Have your remote ready to change channels.
Here’s your full viewing guide for Saturday’s action. All times Eastern.
12:10 p.m — No. 5 San Diego State vs. No. 13 Furman (CBS)
2:40 p.m. — No. 4 Tennessee vs. No. 5 Duke (CBS)
5:15 p.m. — No. 1 Kansas vs. No. 8 Arkansas (CBS)
11:30 a.m. — No. 1 Indiana vs. No. 16 Tennessee Tech (ESPN2)
1 p.m. — No. 4 Tennessee vs. No. 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. No. 12 Florida Gulf Coast (ESPNU)
3 p.m. — No. 2 UConn vs. No. 15 Vermont (ABC)
4 p.m. — No. 6 North Carolina vs. No. 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: Arkansas is just a 3.5-point underdog against the defending national champions despite the seeding difference between the two teams. CBS knew what it was doing putting this game in the late afternoon on the East Coast. Arkansas has made it to the Elite Eight in each of the past two seasons while Kansas is fully 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 traveled to Des Moines following his release from the hospital on Sunday.
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 potential upset: Keep an eye on Florida Gulf Coast. Washington State is just a 1.5-point favorite over the Eagles. FGCU finished the regular season 32-3 and went 17-1 in the Atlantic Sun. The Eagles score over 78 points per game and outscored their opponents by an average of 23 points a contest. Senior guard Tishara Morehouse is just 5-3 but shoots 40% from 3 and attempts over five per game.
Player to watch: 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 is averaging over 22 points per game and shoots 69% from the field. She’s nearly unstoppable in the post and should be in line for a big game.
6:10 p.m. — No. 7 Missouri vs. No. 15 Princeton (TNT)
7:10 p.m. — No. 1 Houston vs. No. 9 Auburn (TBS)
7:45 p.m. — No. 2 Texas vs. No. 10 Penn State (CBS)
8:40 p.m. — No. 2 UCLA vs. No. 7 Northwestern (TNT)
9:40 p.m. — No. 1 Alabama vs. No. 8 Maryland (TBS)
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. 3 Duke vs. No. 14 Iona (ESPN2)
10 p.m. — No. 4 Texas vs. No. 13 East Carolina (ESPN)
11:30 p.m. — No. 4 UCLA vs. No. 13 Sacramento State (ESPN2)
Must-see: Will there be a No. 15 seed in the Sweet 16 for the second straight season? Princeton is a 6.5-point favorite against Missouri and will need to shoot much better from behind the 3-point line than it did against Arizona to knock off the Tigers from the SEC. 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 hot from behind the arc against Colgate and Penn State also shoots well from deep. Texas is just a 5.5-point favorite in that one.
Must-skip: Duke is a 23.5-point favorite over Iona and Texas is a 20.5-point favorite over 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 potential upset: Auburn and Houston deserve to be in the must-see category but their matchup fits even 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. This game is in Birmingham, which means there will be a lot of Auburn fans in attendance. We’ll see if the Alabama fans waiting for the Tide’s game against Maryland will help counter some of that crowd noise.
Player to watch: Oklahoma’s Taylor Robertson has been one of the best 3-point shooters in college basketball throughout her entire career. Robertson ranks fifth in the country at 43% from behind the arc in 2022-23 and is a lifetime 44% shooter from deep. She averages nearly three made 3s a game and has attempted 10 or more 3s in five games this season.