It's here. It's really here.

The NCAA tournament kicks off with the First Four tonight

The first game of the 2017 tournament tips off when 16-seed Mount St. Mary's and 16-seed New Orleans fight for the chance to play overall No. 1 seed Villanova (6:40 ET, TruTV) in the West. WATCH LIVE

Next, 11-seed Wake Forest and 11-seed Kansas State face off for a spot against 6-seed Cincinnati (9:10 ET, TruTV) in the South. WATCH LIVE

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Every single first-round game analyzed

NCAA.com’s Mike Lopresti previewed every one of the 36 games played Thursday and Friday, from Mount St. Mary’s vs. New Orleans to Dayton vs. Wichita State. If you need some background on any matchup, we’ve got you covered.

Here's a list of the times and TV schedule for those games.

The top five players to watch in each region

This was a tough list to put together as, spoiler alert, there are quite a few good players in the tournament. You’ve got Josh Hart and Luke Kennard in the East, and then Malik Monk, Justin Jackson and Lonzo Ball just in the South.

NCAA.com’s Joe Boozell broke down each region:

 

Women's NCAA tournament field released

UConn's women's team landed the No. 1 overall seed in the women's 2017 NCAA tournament and the Huskies' (32-0) march for a record fifth straight national title truly begins. Notre Dame (30-3), South Carolina (27-4) and Baylor (30-3) rounded out the rest of the 1 seeds.

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The final AP Top 25 of the season came out yesterday

Villanova took back its No. 1 spot, which Kansas had held for the past two weeks and Gonzaga claimed for the four weeks before that. It’s certainly not a bad position to be in, but it is by no means a guarantee of Nova’s success.

History shows that the AP No. 1 is far from a championship lock in the NCAA tournament. The final No. 1 has captured the title just once since 2001 and only four times since the tournament expanded to 64 teams in 1985.

See the full Top 25

Behind the numbers of the final AP Top 25

More bracket tips coming your way

Here's one. Get the Final Four as close to perfect as you can. The glory in picks often feels like nailing 30-of-32 first-round games and successfully picking a 14-3 upset, but the points come in the Elite Eight and the Final Four, according to what we've seen from winners over the past six years. For instance, the guy that got his first 25 picks right in our 2016 game didn't even finish in the top 20 percent when it was all said and done. NCAA.com's Joe Boozell has more.

Brackets close at noon ET on Thursday, but there's still plenty of time to make your picks.

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Mark your calendar

First Four in Dayton: March 14, 15 - Watch these games live on the March Madness Live App
First Thursday of the NCAA tournament: March 16
Sweet 16 begins: March 23
Final Four in Phoenix: April 1-3

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