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What to watch at U.S. Figure Skating Championships on Saturday

Nathan Chen

Nathan Chen performs during the men’s short program at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships in San Jose, Calif., Thursday, Jan. 4, 2018. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

AP

Nathan Chen looks to complete his maturation from child star to Olympian, among many figure skaters chasing Olympic berths at the U.S. Championships on Saturday, live on NBC and NBCSN and streaming on NBCOlympics.com.

NBC will air pairs’ free skate coverage from 4-6 p.m. ET. NBCSN will have the men’s free skate from 8-11 p.m.

One pair and three men -- not necessarily the top finishers from nationals -- will be named to the Olympic team on Sunday.

PAIRS’ FREE: Stream Link | Start List/Results
MEN’S FREE: Stream Link | Start List/Results

The pre-event pairs’ favorites -- husband and wife Alexa Scimeca Knierim and Chris Knierim -- topped Thursday’s short program by 2.17 points.

The Knierims have been the top-scoring U.S. pair each of the last four seasons and could be named the lone U.S. Olympic pairs team even if they are beaten Saturday.

Chen, the only undefeated male skater this season, carries a 7.93-point lead into the free skate, where he plans five quadruple jumps.

He could tumble out of the top three Saturday and still make the Olympic team on the strength of his incredible 2017 -- winning last season’s national title, beating Sochi gold medalist Yuzuru Hanyu at the Olympic test event and going unbeaten in the fall Grand Prix season.

The question is which two skaters join Chen in PyeongChang.

Adam Rippon and Jason Brown, the U.S. champions who preceded Chen, are second and third going into the free skate. Vincent Zhou, the 2017 U.S. silver medalist, is in fifth but plans more quads than Rippon and Brown.

The key skaters going Saturday:

Pairs’ Free Skate
Deanna Stellato/Nathan Bartholomay -- 5:16 p.m. ET
Haven Denney/Brandon Frazier -- 5:25 p.m.
Tarah Kayne/Danny O’Shea -- 5:34 p.m.
Alexa Scimeca Knierim/Chris Knierim -- 5:43 p.m.

Men’s Free Skate
Vincent Zhou -- 10:03 p.m.
Grant Hochstein -- 10:11 p.m.
Ross Miner -- 10:19 p.m.
Adam Rippon -- 10:28 p.m.
Jason Brown -- 10:36 p.m.
Nathan Chen -- 10:44 p.m.

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DateTime (ET)ProgramNetwork
Wednesday11 p.m.-1Women’s ShortNBCSN | STREAM | SKATE ORDER
Thursday4-5 p.m.Pairs ShortOlympic Channel | STREAM | SKATE ORDER
5-6:30 p.m.Pairs ShortNBCSN | STREAM
8:30 p.m.-12Men’s ShortNBCSN | STREAM | SKATE ORDER
Friday4-6 p.m.Short DanceNBCSN | STREAM | SKATE ORDER
8-11 p.m.Women’s FreeNBC | STREAM | SKATE ORDER
Saturday4-6 p.m.Pairs FreeNBC | STREAM | SKATE ORDER
8-11 p.m.Men’s FreeNBCSN | STREAM | SKATE ORDER
Sunday3-6 p.m.Free DanceNBC | STREAM | SKATE ORDER
Jan. 134 p.m.Exhibition GalaNBC | STREAM