Saturday TV: Pre-Madness Championships

champ2The brackets of March Madness have their start in what happens this weekend, on championship week of men’s college basketball.

It all starts early with UMBC vs. Vermont (ESPN2, 11 a.m.) in the America East championship, followed by Cornell vs. Harvard (ESPNU, 12:30 p.m.) and Yale vs. Pennsylvania (ESPN2, 3 p.m.) in the Ivy League semifinals; Memphis vs. Cincinnati (CBS, 1 p.m.) and Wichita State vs. Houston (CBS, 3:30 p.m.) in the AAC semifinals; Alabama vs. Kentucky (ESPN, 1 p.m.) and Tennessee vs. Arkansas (ESPN, 3 p.m.) in the SEC semifinals; Hampton vs. North Carolina Central (ESPN, 1 p.m.) for the MEAC championship; Saint Joseph’s vs. Rhode Island (CBS Sports, 1 p.m.) and St. Bonaventure vs. Davidson (CBS Sports, 3:30 p.m.) in the Atlantic 10 semifinals; San Diego State vs. New Mexico (CBS, 6 p.m.) in the Mountain West championship; Kansas vs. West Virginia (ESPN, 6 p.m.) in the Big 12 championship; Providence vs. Villanova (Fox, 6:30 p.m.) in the Big East championship; Toledo vs. Buffalo (ESPN2, 7 p.m.) for the MAC championship; Montana vs. Eastern Washington (ESPNU, 8 p.m.) for the Big Sky championship; Marshall vs. Western Kentucky (CBS Sports, 8:30 p.m.) for the Conference USA championship; Virginia vs. North Carolina (ESPN, 8:30 p.m.) for the ACC championship; Stephen F. Austin vs. SE Louisiana (ESPN2, 9 p.m.) for the Southland championship; Grand Canyon vs. New Mexico State (ESPNU, 10 p.m.) for the WAC championship; USC vs. Arizona (Fox Sports 1, 10 p.m.) for the Pac-12 championship; and Cal State Fullerton vs. UC Irvine (ESPN2, midnight) for the Big West championship.

Gary Oldman won an Oscar for his portrayal of the guy, but Brian Cox also played “Churchill” (Starz, 8 p.m.) in a film last year making its premium cable debut.

Also new to cable tonight are “My Cousin Rachel” (HBO, 8 p.m.), a romantic drama with Rachel Weisz and Sam Claflin, and “Patriots Day” (Showtime, 8 p.m.), the drama about the Boston Marathon bombing starring Mark Wahlberg, Kevin Bacon, John Goodman and J.K. Simmons.

“The Zoo” (Animal Planet, 9 p.m.) begins its second season with an arthritic kangaroo and a pregnant pygmy marmoset.

Richard Pryor is the first subject of the new series “It Happened Here” (Reelz, 10 p.m.)

The Slender Man case is retold on “20/20 on ID” (Investigation Discovery, 8 p.m.).

On the made-for-TV “Love, Once and Always” (Hallmark, 9 p.m.) a fight over historic preservation turns to romance. With Amanda Schull and Peter Porte.

“Stalked by a Reality Star” (Lifetime, 8 p.m.) is not a political story, but a thriller about a different creepy reality star. With Cynthia Preston, Emily Bader and Robert Scott Wilson.

Somebody needs a dress for a New Year’s Eve wedding on “Say Yes to the Dress” (TLC, 8 p.m.).

On “Iyanla: Fix My Life” (OWN, 9 p.m.), the host works with a former hip hop executive and at 10, sits with five brothers in need.

If “The Bachelor” has proven to be the wrong way to date, here’s another TV method: “Hear Me, Love Me, See Me” (TLC, 10 p.m.).

“The Dead Files” (Travel, 10 p.m.) goes to Kentucky to investigate ghosts.

Take and Alex interrogate Shadowman on “Falling Water” (USA, 10 p.m.).

Turner Classic Movies starts a Saturday Night Noir series with “Kansas City Confidential” (8 p.m.), “The Crooked Way” (10 p.m.), and “Stranger on the Third Floor” (midnight). Later comes two films about friends at a funeral: “The Big Chill” (1:30 a.m.) and “Bye Bye Braverman” (3:30 a.m.).

NBA action in prime time has San Antonio at Oklahoma City (ABC, 8:30 p.m.).

Spring baseball includes Mets vs. Yankees (MLB, 1 p.m.) and Seattle vs. Cincinnati (MLB, 8 p.m.).

In women’s college basketball, it’s Buffalo vs. Central Michigan (CBS Sports, 11 a.m.) for the Mid-American championship.

Golf has third round action in the Valspar Championship (Golf, 1 p.m.; NBC, 3 p.m.).

Auto racing has NASCAR’s DC Solar 200 (Fox, 4 p.m.) and the AMA Monster Energy Supercross (Fox Sports 1, 7 p.m.).

IN rugby’s Six Nation Championship, it’s Ireland vs. Scotland (NBC Sports, 3 p.m.) and France vs. England (NBC Sports, 5 p.m.).

And in Peyonchang, the paralympics are underway with U.S. vs. Japan (NBC Sports, 10 p.m.) in sled hockey, along with some wheelchair curling.

James Bay and Rhiannon Giddens play a 2016 episode of “Austin City Limits” (PBS, 11 p.m., check local listings).

Sterling K. Brown of “This is Us” hosts a new “Saturday Night Live” (NBC, 11:30 p.m.) with musical guest James Bay.


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