March Madness Rewind Day 1: Four double-digit seeds advance
We’re down to 48 teams remaining in the 2015 NCAA Tournament.
The first full day of competition saw the usual: blowouts, upsets and buzzer beaters.
After each day of the tournament, we’ll take a look back here on ArizonaSports.com.
Arizona’s stay in the tourney was a short one, as the Wildcats got dominated by 11th-seeded Wichita State in a first-round South Region game. The Shockers led by as many as 24 points and held a scoreboard advantage for 35:55 of the contest. WSU’s senior backcourt of Ron Baker and Fred VanVleet combined for 29 points, nine rebounds and seven assists in the win.
The Wildcats were careless with the basketball, committing 19 in the game — including seven from guard Kadeem Allen.
It’s Arizona’s first first-round exit since 2008, when they were bounced by West Virginia 75-65 in Washington, D.C.
UA fans are focusing on the loss, but everyone else is buzzing about Sean Miller’s prodigious sweating. Arizona’s head coach can make a shirt see-through with the best of them, as evidenced on the sideline in Providence Thursday night.
— Phil Hecken (@PhilHecken) March 18, 2016
After a year where there weren’t any 12-5 upsets in the tournament, there were two on Thursday.
Arkansas-Little Rock pulled off the job in double overtime in the Midwest Region, knocking off 5-seed Purdue, 85-83. Josh Hagins hit a three-pointer from what is now being called “Curry range” late in the second half to send the game to overtime. He then made a layup with :18 left in overtime to tie the game at 75-75. For good measure, Hagins scored five of his game-high 31 points in double overtime to seal the win for the Trojans.
The senior was simply one of the heroes of Day 1.
NCAA Tourney can help change careers. Josh Hagins was leading a 30-4 mid major team, a great year, but Purdue game puts him on prospect map.
— Sam Meyerkopf (@HoopLikeDrazen) March 18, 2016
— IndyStar Sports (@IndyStarSports) March 18, 2016
The other 12-seed to advance was Yale.
Yes, you read that correctly. The Ivy Leaguers got their first NCAA Tournament victory EVER with a 79-75 win over 5-seed Baylor in the West Region. They hadn’t even been to the tournament since 1962!
Makai Mason had 31 points for the Bulldogs, who advance to the second round to face defending champion Duke, who survived a scare from UNC-Wilmington. Needless to say, folks are having some fun with the Yale-Duke matchup becoming a reality.
Should Duke-Yale end in a tie, following will decide winner
1. BMW sprint to nearest J Crew
2. Windsor knot race
3. Sudden death chess match
— Will Brinson (@WillBrinson) March 17, 2016
Yale will meet Duke in Providence, which is the whitest thing I've ever typed.
— Michael Jenkins (@JenksCSN) March 17, 2016
USA Today called the pairing the “most insufferable college basketball game imaginable.” Fox Sports’ headline read “Duke vs. Yale is the worst; who do you possibly root for?”
Quote of the Day
The Baylor-Yale game also gave us the most memorable answer to a reporter’s question. A frustrated Taurean Prince of Baylor was asked how the Bears could possibly have been outrebounded by Yale.
Top Seeds Breeze
Three number-one seeds played Thursday. Kansas, North Carolina and Virginia won by an average margin of 26 points.
Although Florida Gulf Coast, who made a run to the Sweet 16 in 2013, gave the Tar Heels all they could handle in the first half. UNC led 41-40 at the break, and then outscored the Eagles 42-27 in the second half to win going away. North Carolina stud Brice Johnson had 18 points, seven rebounds and eight blocked shots in the win.
In the South region, Kansas destroyed Austin Peay 105-79. Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk came off the bench to score a season-high 23 points, while Perry Ellis chipped in with 21 for the Jayhawks.
Virginia put the clamps on Hampton in the Midwest Region, holding the Pirates to 30 percent shooting in an 81-45 win. Forward Anthony Gill led the Cavaliers with 19 points.
Not a Great Day in the Pac-12
(In Bill Walton’s voice) The Conference of Champions had a rough day Thursday, going 1-3. Only Utah, the 3-seed in the Midwest, tasted victory, beating Fresno State 80-69. Jakob Poeltl was a beast down low for the Utes with 16 points and 18 rebounds, including nine on the offensive glass.
We’ve covered Arizona’s performance.
Colorado lost to UCONN 74-67 in a South Region game. The Buffs led by nine at halftime, but outscored 47-31 in the second half. CU has now lost four straight March Madness games.
If you think Colorado had it bad, USC had their collective hearts ripped out and stomped on by Providence. Rodney Bullock took an inbound pass and converted a layup with 1.5 seconds left, helping the Friars to a 70-69 win. USC’s defense simply fell asleep on the biggest play of the game.
“We just looked very immature at the end,” USC guard Julian Jacobs said. “We had the game in our hands, and we just let it fall right through.”
The Pac-12 will have a chance to rebound Friday, with top-seed in the West Oregon facing Holy Cross, Cal taking on Hawaii in the South Region and Oregon State taking on VCU in the West.