16) Buffalo 89, Arizona 68— Complete ass-kicking; Bulls outhustled Arizona, they made 15-30 on the arc and they looked like the better team. Arizona kids quit in the last 10:00.
This is first time since 2012 a MAC team won an NCAA tournament game; it is only the second time in last eight years Arizona didn’t make the Sweet 16. With all their legal issues, could be a long time before they get there again.
15) Houston 67, San Diego State 65— Rob Gray scored 39 of Houston’s 67 points, including the game-winner with 0:01 left; I don’t want to say he’s a ballhog, but he took 25 shots, 15 more foul shots and he had zero assists. It is amazing how much he dominates the ball, but he made 12-25 from the floor and the Cougars advance.
14) Alabama 86, Virginia Tech 81— Pet Peeve of the Day; calling a flagrant foul when a defender intrudes the space of the guy with the ball, and the offensive player swings the ball to create space and plugs the defender in the face with the ball or his elbow. Whats he supposed to do?
20 years ago, we used to teach this about rebounding: “Catch-Tuck-Swing” the ball, and if the guy on the other team didn’t want to get drilled in the face, he’d move his face. Now in our soft society, that would be a foul on the guy with the ball, maybe a flagrant foul. It shouldn’t be.
13) Kentucky 78, Davidson 73— Davidson hit a 3-ball with 0:00.6 to cover the spread, but now Kentucky plays Buffalo Saturday for a spot in the Sweet 16.
Kentucky went 0-for-6 outside the arc against Davidson, which ended a 1,047-game streak in which Kentucky made at least one 3-pointer. It was the longest active streak in the country, dating back to November 26, 1988.
12) Texas Tech 70, Stephen F Austin 60— Lumberjacks led by 3 at the half; but Keenan Evans scored 23 points for the Red Raiders and Tech gets their first NCAA tournament win since 2005.
11) Michigan 61, Montana 47— Griz led this game 10-0 early, but Big Sky teams haven’t won a tournament game since 2006- they’re just not good enough to beat a top 20 opponent.
10) Florida 77, St Bonaventure 62— Bonnies made tournament for first time since 2012, beat UCLA Tuesday, but ran out of gas here and got drilled by the Gators, who now play Texas Tech.
I’m still amazed one of the genius AD’s at the big money schools hasn’t scooped up Bonnies’ coach Mark Schmidt— he is a very good coach. Ain’t easy to recruit players to Olean, NY.
9) Villanova 87, Radford 61— Worst game of the day, a total mismatch; now the Wildcats face their bugaboo, the second round of the tournament.
Since 2010, Villanova is 1-4 in the second round of the NCAA’s, losing two of last three years in 2nd round as a #1-seed; the one time they won was two years ago, when they went on to win the national title. Villanova plays Virginia Tech Saturday.
1) Rhode Island 83, Oklahoma 78 OT— First game of the tournament was terrific; Sooners led by 8 late in first half, then trailed by 6 with 4:10 left in regulation, before URI missed a point-blank putback at the buzzer to force OT, where the Rams prevailed.
Oklahoma winds up losing 12 of its last 16 games. URI moves on to play Duke.
2) Loyola Chi 64, Miami FL 62— Donte Ingram stuck a 3-ball with 0:00.3 left to send Ramblers on to the next round in their first NCAA appearance since 1985. Loyola outscored Miami 8-2 over the last 2:47; they were +6 in turnovers (16-10) for the game.
This is the 14th consecutive year that a #11 seed beat a #6 seed
3) Gonzaga 68, NC-Greensboro 64— Games like this are what make the NCAA tournament great. Condescending jerks like Jay Bilas think the NCAA’s should be the best 68 teams in country, rather than the champs from all 32 D-I leagues, but if that were the case, the Spartans wouldn’t have been invited— we’d get the 13th place team in the ACC.
Zags led by 12 with 16:00 left, but UNCG took a 64-62 lead with 1:46 to play- Gonzaga scored the last six points of the game. Exciting game, for sure.
4) Ohio State 81, South Dakota State 73— This game was 70-70 with 1:53 left, but then SD State fouled the 3-point shooter on the next two trips and that was that. Jackrabbits dared Ohio State to shoot 3-pointers; OSU was 12-40 outside the arc, 15-32 inside arc.
South Dakota State’s Mike Daum is an NBA player; he is a sturdy 6-8 guy with 3-point range; he had 27 in this game, and star freshman Jenkins had 16. If those two guys are back in school next year, the Jackrabbits should go dancing again.
5) Duke 89, Iona 67— Gaels shot 38.3% on arc for season; they were 5-24 in this game, as Duke ran out to a 53-39 halftime lead and coasted home from there.
6) Seton Hall 94, NC State 83— Pirates are #55 experience team in country, NC State is #179, which explains this result. Seton Hall led 51-41 at the half and held the Wolfpack off in a game with lot of fouls. Solid first season for Kevin Keatts with NC State, finishing at 21-12. ACC lost two teams already; Wolfpack and Miami.
7) Kansas 76, Penn 60— Quakers led 21-11 early, then reality set in. Penn had a senior named Caleb Wood, only senior in their rotation. He was 4-12 behind the arc in this game, only 12 shots he took all day. He shot 38% behind arc for the year; thats a good gig, just shooting 3’s.
Penn was first Ivy League team to be a 16-seed since Princeton in 1989.
8) Tennessee 73, Wright State 47— Total mismatch, other than first 2:00, when Raiders led 2-0. Vols are just so much more athletic than Wright State. Tennessee has all five of its starters back next year, so they should be even better. Wright State’s only senior starter was Grant Benzinger, son of former major leaguer Todd Benzinger— he was 2-16 from floor in this game.