NCAA Tournament 2017: Round-by-Round Dates and Schedule Info

Paul KasabianSenior ContributorMarch 6, 2017

WEST LAFAYETTE, IN - FEBRUARY 18: Caleb Swanigan #50 of the Purdue Boilermakers reaches for a rebound against Eron Harris #14 of the Michigan State Spartans at Mackey Arena on February 18, 2017 in West Lafayette, Indiana.  (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images)
Michael Hickey/Getty Images

The 2017 NCAA men's college basketball tournament has the potential to be one of the best in history thanks to some fantastic individual star power as well as some great teams.

Here's a look at the NCAA tournament schedule (the full bracket won't be revealed until 6 p.m. ET on Sunday, March 12) as it stands, as well as three storylines to watch this March.

NCAA Tournament Schedule

Tuesday, March 14 and Wednesday, March 15First FourDayton, Ohio
Thursday, March 16 and Saturday, March 18First/SecondBuffalo, New York
Thursday, March 16 and Saturday, March 18First/SecondMilwaukee
Thursday, March 16 and Saturday, March 18First/SecondSalt Lake City
Thursday, March 16 and Saturday, March 18First/SecondOrlando, Florida
Wednesday, March 17 and Friday, March 19First/SecondGreenville, South Carolina
Wednesday, March 17 and Friday, March 19First/SecondIndianapolis
Wednesday, March 17 and Friday, March 19First/SecondTulsa, Oklahoma
Wednesday, March 17 and Friday, March 19First/SecondSacramento, California
Thursday, March 23 and Saturday, March 25Midwest RegionalKansas City, Missouri
Thursday, March 23 and Saturday, March 25West RegionalSan Jose, California
Friday, March 24 and Sunday, March 26South RegionalMemphis, Tennessee
Friday, March 24 and Sunday, March 26East RegionalNew York
Saturday, April 1 and Sunday, April 3Final FourPhoenix


Three Storylines

1. Feel-Good Stories of the Year

The feel-good stories will arrive in waves as the tournament progresses, but we know of two already that have garnered national attention.

First, Purdue sophomore forward Caleb Swanigan, who is averaging 18.6 points and 12.8 rebounds per game, overcame an incredible set of obstacles to be in the position he is today:

Swanigan is the front-runner for Big Ten Player of the Year and could make a case for national player of the year awards as well.

Second, Northwestern will very likely make its first-ever appearance in the NCAA tournament, ending a 68-year drought.

In addition to seeing Northwestern in March Madness for the first time, fans following the team might be taken for a wild ride since the Wildcats have a flair for the dramatic, as evidenced by this incredible Hail Mary pass that gave Northwestern a 67-65 win over Michigan this season:

Video Play Button
Videos you might like

2. Freshmen Stars

A whopping seven of the 10 players that DraftExpress has mocked to go in the top 10 of the 2017 NBA draft are freshmen who will make appearances in the NCAA tournament: UCLA point guard Lonzo Ball, Kansas forward Josh Jackson, Duke forward Jayson Tatum, Florida State forward Jonathan Isaac, Arizona forward Lauri Markkanen and Kentucky guards De'Aaron Fox and Malik Monk.

Fans will be seeing all those players numerous times in March as well. According to ESPN bracketologist Joe Lunardi's latest projections, UCLA, KU, Duke, FSU, Arizona and UK are projected to be top-four seeds in the tournament, so most of them will likely be playing in the second weekend (and perhaps beyond into the Final Four).

It should be exciting to watch these freshmen and how they react to the bright lights of March Madness.

3. Will Villanova Repeat?

The Wildcats have locked a No. 1 seed up at this point, which means that they'll be playing in the East Regional. It also means that if the Wildcats advance through the first two rounds, then they'll be playing in Madison Square Garden, just a two-hour drive from the Villanova campus.

Villanova already has a strong fanbase and alumni base in New York City, so opposing teams may not exactly feel welcome in the Garden if Nova is playing. It should likely be a home away from home for the Wildcats, which would prove to be a huge boost to returning to the Final Four.

Once there, it's anyone's guess as to who takes the title. The top 10 teams in the Associated Press poll have legitimate chances to be the national champion, with a couple others in the Top 25 also having cases.

However, Villanova has just as good a chance as anybody to win it all this year.