Friday’s matchups to watch in the NCAA Tournament Liberal-news

The NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament finally gets underway, as we’re into our second day of first-round action for the men. Follow along with live support and scores, and check out our picks for the Friday games we don’t want to miss (all ET):

Women’s Tournament

11:30 a.m., ESPN2

The opener of the women’s tournament features South Florida and Marquette, who played together in Conference USA and the Big East for 18 seasons but haven’t met since 2013. Marquette went 21-10 on the season , including a win over UConn in February. . South Florida went 15-1 in the American Athletic Conference and won the regular season title for the second time. At stake in this game: A date against undefeated South Carolina.

2:00 p.m. ESPN

Norfolk State is led by forward Kierra Wheeler and guards Camille Downs and Deja Francis. The Spartans are in the tournament for the first time in 21 years after winning the Middle East Athletic Conference. His reward? A showdown with defending champion South Carolina, owners of a perfect 32-0 record and led by reigning National Player of the Year Aliyah Boston and coached by Dawn Staley. South Carolina needs six wins to repeat as champion.

15:00 ESPNU

UNLV, one of the best teams in the country, is currently riding a 22-game winning streak that includes the Mountain West tournament title, though the Rebels are 0-2 all-time against Michigan. UNLV is playing in its second straight NCAA tournament after last being on the field in 2002. Michigan made the Elite Eight last year, so the pressure is on their Big Three, Leigha Brown, Laila Phelia and Emily Kiser, each of whom is averaging at least 16 points per game. The winner here will face No. 3 LSU or not. 14 Hawaii.

8 p.m., ESPN News

South Dakota State missed the tournament last year, but had become a fixture before then; this is his 11th trip in 18 years since joining Division I. The Jackrabbits have wins over Louisville and Kansas State this year and finished the season on a 21-game winning streak. Southern California is back on the field for the first time since 2014. Forward Rayah Marshall is averaging a double-double, with 12.6 points and 11.4 rebounds. The teams have met twice before, but not since 2006.

2:00 p.m., TBS

St. Mary’s tied with Gonzaga for the regular season title in the West Coast Conference, though the Gaels lost to the Bulldogs in the tournament final. St. Mary’s is a No. 5 seed for the second straight NCAA tournament, which remains the highest seed for the school. Virginia Commonwealth reached the Final Four in 2011, beginning a seven-year streak of tournament appearances. The Rams haven’t had a losing season since 1998-99.

4:30 p.m., TBS

UConn began the season with a 14-game winning streak and ended up winning eight of their last nine games, but the Huskies lost in the Big East semifinals to Marquette. Iona also posted a 14-game winning streak, ending the season with a win over Marist in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference tournament. Iona is coached by Hall of Famer Rick Pitino, who has also coached at Kentucky, Louisville and Providence, as well as UConn NBA guard Jordan Hawkins, is projected as a first-round NBA draft pick this year.

7:10 p.m., CBS

Kentucky lost in the first round last year to 15-seeded St. Peter’s, one of the tournament’s biggest upsets. Are the Wildcats vulnerable to an upset again? Kentucky ended their season with a loss to Vanderbilt in SEC tournament play. Providence posted a nine game winning streak during the season and notched double overtime victories against Marquette and Creighton. Modelers are giving Providence a better chance than public supports, according to The Upshot’s support tool.

7:25 p.m., TBS

Although Miami clinched the Atlantic Coast Conference regular season crown with a 15-5 record in conference play, the Hurricanes’ misses included losses to Georgia Tech and Florida State. Miami may be without forward Norchad Omier, who injured his ankle in the ACC tournament. Drake has won 13 of his last 14 games and is led by guard Tucker DeVries, who is averaging 19 points per game.

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