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NCAA tournament 2017: Wisconsin defeats Virginia Tech in first round

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It wasn’t always easy, but the Badgers are moving on.

Koenig's Record Day Helps Badgers Advance (Wisconsin Badgers/YouTube)

After a week of debate concerning their seed in the 2017 NCAA tournament‘s East Region, the Wisconsin Badgers finally got back to playing ball Thursday night.

They hardly played like a top seed, but an 84-74 win over the No. 9 seed Virginia Tech Hokies was enough to carry the No. 8 seed Badgers onto the second round. Now, Wisconsin will face No. 1 seed Villanova on Saturday.

Wisconsin’s victory at the KeyBank Center in Buffalo, N.Y., was too close for comfort at many points, but key contributions from some of the most veteran Badgers kept UW afloat. Bronson Koenig’s game-high 28 points were compiled almost exclusively from three-point range, where the senior point guard was 8-of-17 (he was 9-of-21 overall). Fellow senior Nigel Hayes added 16 points (8-of-9 shooting from the free-throw line) with 10 rebounds, while sophomore Khalil Iverson returned from a brief personal absence to add 11 points and seven rebounds.

Koenig on Record Setting Round One Win (Wisconsin Badgers/YouTube)

Sophomore Ethan Happ garnered plenty of buzz heading into the tournament, but first-half foul trouble limited him to fewer minutes than usual. He still contributed 10 points and eight rebounds.

Overall, Wisconsin shot 43.3 percent from the field, 41.9 percent from three-point range and 76 percent from the free-throw line. Virginia Tech shot 46.9 percent from the field, 41.2 percent from deep and 80.8 percent from the charity stripe.

Wisconsin will face Villanova at approximately 1:40 p.m. CT Saturday. The game will again air on CBS (same crew) from Buffalo.

The remaining first-round TV schedule can be found here; the first set of Round of 32 games is below.

2017 NCAA Tournament Round of 32

Game Date Tip Time (ET) Network Site Commentators
Game Date Tip Time (ET) Network Site Commentators
(4) West Virginia Mountaineers vs. (5) Notre Dame Fighting Irish March 18 12:10 p.m. CBS Buffalo Verne Lundquist / Jim Spanarkel / Allie LaForce
(1) Villanova Wildcats vs. (8) Wisconsin Badgers March 18 Approx. 2:40 p.m. CBS Buffalo Verne Lundquist / Jim Spanarkel / Allie LaForce
(1) Gonzaga Bulldogs vs. (8) Northwestern Wildcats March 18 5:15 p.m. CBS Salt Lake City Andrew Catalon / Steve Lappas / Jamie Erdahl
(3) Florida State Seminoles vs. (11) Xavier Musketeers March 18 6:10 p.m. TNT Orlando Ian Eagle / Steve Lavin / Evan Washburn
(4) Butler Bulldogs vs. (12) Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders March 18 7:10 p.m. TBS Milwaukee Carter Blackburn / Mike Gminski / Debbie Antonelli / Lisa Byington
(2) Arizona Wildcats vs. (7) St. Mary's Gaels March 18 Approx. 7:45 p.m. CBS Salt Lake City Andrew Catalon / Steve Lappas / Jamie Erdahl
(4) Florida Gators vs. (5) Virginia Cavaliers March 18 Approx. 8:40 p.m. TNT Orlando Ian Eagle / Steve Lavin / Evan Washburn
(4) Purdue Boilermakers vs. (5) Iowa State Cyclones March 18 Approx. 9:40 p.m. TBS Milwaukee Carter Blackburn / Mike Gminski / Debbie Antonelli / Lisa Byington
(2) Louisville Cardinals vs. (7) Michigan Wolverines March 19 12:10 p.m. CBS Indianapolis Jim Nantz / Grant Hill / Bill Raftery / Tracy Wolfson
(2) Kentucky Wildcats vs. (10) Wichita State Shockers March 19 Approx. 2:40 p.m. CBS Indianapolis Jim Nantz / Grant Hill / Bill Raftery / Tracy Wolfson
(1) Kansas Jayhawks vs. (9) Michigan St. Spartans March 19 5:15 p.m. CBS Tulsa Kevin Harlan / Reggie Miller / Dan Bonner / Dana Jacobson
(1) North Carolina Tar Heels vs. (8) Arkansas Razorbacks March 19 6:10 p.m. TNT Greenville Brian Anderson / Chris Webber / Lewis Johnson
(3) Oregon Ducks vs. (11) Rhode Island Rams March 19 7:10 p.m. TBS Sacramento Spero Dedes / Steve Smith / Len Elmore / Ros Gold-Onwude
(3) Baylor Bears vs. (11) USC Trojans March 19 7:30 p.m. truTV Tulsa Kevin Harlan / Reggie Miller / Dan Bonner / Dana Jacobson
(2) Duke Blue Devils vs. (7) South Carolina Gamecocks March 19 Approx. 8:40 p.m. TNT Greenville Brian Anderson / Chris Webber / Lewis Johnson
(3) UCLA Bruins vs. (6) Cincinnati Bearcats March 19 Approx. 9:40 p.m. TBS Sacramento Spero Dedes / Steve Smith / Len Elmore / Ros Gold-Onwude
Christopher Novak