Northern Iowa guard Paul Jesperson gestures to fans after hitting the game-winning shot against Texas in a first-round men's college basketball game in the NCAA Tournament, Friday, March 18, 2016, in Oklahoma City. Texas guard Isaiah Taylor is at right. Northern Iowa won 75-72.(AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)
(AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)

Tournament Snacks: Recapping all of Friday’s buzzer beaters and upsets


The first round of the NCAA Tournament has come to a close, and it was a wild one. A record 10 double-digit seeds won their first round game, including a No. 15 seed, a No. 14 seed, a No. 13 seed, two No. 12 seeds, three No. 11 seeds and two No. 10 seeds. 

We’ve also have five buzzer-beaters, a pair of overtime games, the national title favorite lose in their opener and the wildest three-minute stretch in the history of the event. Let’s recap it shall we?

(You can get caught up on Day 1 here.)

GAME OF THE DAY: No. 15 Middle Tennessee State 90, No. 2 Michigan State 81

The Blue Raiders landed what may be the biggest upset in the history of the NCAA tournament on Friday afternoon, as they put a thorough whooping on the Spartans, who just couldn’t seem to get a big stop and a big bucket on back-to-back possessions. So Denzel Valentine’s career comes to an end.

As far as the biggest upset talk is concerned, I explain here how this was the first time that one of the National Title favorites lost in the first round.

BUZZER-BEATER OF THE DAY: Paul Jesperson, Northern Iowa

So I’m not quite sure that this is the best buzzer-beater in the history of the NCAA tournament — as far as I’m concerned, nothing will ever top Christian Laettner’s shot to beat Kentucky — but can you ever think of a kid hitting a shot from beyond half-court to win or force overtime in a game in the Big Dance? Because that’s precisely what Jesperson did here.

THIS ONE WAS GOOD, TOO: Cincinnati almost beats the buzzer

The dust hadn’t even settled after UNI’s win when these shenanigans went down. Within three minutes of real time after Jesperson hit that half-court game-winner, Isaiah Miles had hit a three with 10 seconds left to give No. 8 Saint Joseph’s a 78-76 lead on No. 9 Cincinnati, the Bearcats had gone the length of the court for a dunk that tied the game and the officials waived the dunk off because it came a split-second after the final horn.

It was WILD.


2016 NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Bracket - 3.18.16

BUT WAS THIS ONE A FOUL?: Adam Woodbury got away with one

Iowa very nearly Iowa’d all over themselves in the Barclays Center, fouling a three-point shooter with 2.1 seconds left while up by three points. But they made it to overtime, where Woodbury may or may not have committed a foul while battling for position for an offensive rebound. You make the call.





Expired passport purported to be Maker’s surfaces

Thon Maker
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Guessing Thon Maker’s exact age very well may be a parlour game for years to come, but someone from the newest member Milwaukee Bucks’ camp offered up some evidence that would suggest there’s no mystery at all.

Sky Smith, Maker’s high school coach, tweeted a picture of what he claimed was Maker’s expired Australian passport, which was issued in 2009 and lists Maker’s date of birth as Feb. 25, 1997, which would make him currently 19 years old, exactly as he has stated.

Now yes, it’s going to be hard – if not impossible – to verify whether the passport is an authentic or a forgery based on a photo posted to social media by someone who presumably would have a incentive for either proving or maintaining that Maker is indeed 19, but it’s worth noting nonetheless, especially given the level of scrutiny Maker’s birthdate has received.

Either way, Maker is now in the NBA as a top-10 pick and set to make millions of dollars, whether he’s in his mid-20s or still a teenager.

Western Kentucky gets five-star commitment

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Rick Stansbury’s long been known for his ability to recruit talent of the highest level. On Wednesday, he showed he doesn’t need to be at the sport’s highest level to do it.

Mitchell Robinson, a consensus top-20 recruit in the 2017 class, committed to Stansbury and Western Kentucky, giving the Hilltoppers a monster recruit for Conference USA, according to multiple reports.

The 7-footer from Louisiana was previously committed to Texas A&M, where Stansbury worked as an assistant under Billy Kennedy, but de-committed a month after Stansbury left for Bowling Green, Ky.

It’s hard to overstate the immensity of this recruiting coup for Stansbury as he begins his second stint as a head coach after spending 14 years at the helm of Mississippi State. A prospect of Robinson’s caliber attending a non-traditional power or a program outside the Power 5 just almost never happens. Emmanuel Mudiay signed with SMU in 2014, but eventually wound up overseas after eligibility issues. The Mustangs also got Keith Frazier, but he played only a semester for them and was at the center of an NCAA investigation that ultimately ended with significant sanctions. Danuel House (Houston), Winston Shephard (San Diego State) and Adjehi Baru (Charleston) are the only other top-30 recruits in the past five years to sign and play for a school of that ilk. It’s quite the accomplishment for Stansbury and Co.

The key, of course, will be for Stansbury will be to keep Robinson in the fold and then surround him with solid – if not necessarily blue chip – players. And the knock against Stansbury in Starkville was his lack of big-time success with big-time talent. With Robinson, he’ll have the opportunity to change that perception.

Donnie Tyndall to appeal 10-year show-cause

DENVER, CO - MARCH 17:  Head coach Donnie Tyndall of the Morehead State Eagles shouts from the sidelines during the second round of the 2011 NCAA men's basketball tournament at Pepsi Center on March 17, 2011 in Denver, Colorado.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
(Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
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Donnie Tyndall has requested that the NCAA’s Infractions Appeals Committee overturn the penalties that were levied against him by the Committee on Infractions.

Tyndall’s reasoning, according to, is that the Committee on Infractions “relied near exclusively on the testimony of Adam Howard” when they hit him with a 10-year show-cause penalty earlier this year. According to Tyndall, more than 40 witnesses were interviewed by the committee and Howard, a former Tyndall assistant coach at Morehead State, Southern Miss and Tennessee, was the only one that said Tyndall was involved. Howard also cut a deal with the NCAA.

Tyndall’s punishment stems from a scandal that emerged from his two seasons at Southern Miss. Among the things that Tyndall was accused of: Having staff members do coursework to help get potential student-athletes eligible, paying out of pocket for kids that did not qualify academically to remain in school and lying to the NCAA while covering his tracks. Here’s how deep the scandal allegedly went: Tyndall hired two staffers specifically to help with the academic fraud, going as far as to send those staffers to the towns that the players lived in to make sure IP addresses added up, while using burner phones and an old Morehead State address he had access to in order to hide communications.

And he lied about all of it to the NCAA, which, as we’ve learned, is the quickest way to get the harshest punishment possible.

Tyndall does have a point in his appeal. If the NCAA’s evidence is all coming from a guilty party that’s singing to lessen his own sentence, that’s not exactly the most reliable witness. But the Committee on Infractions isn’t a court of law, meaning I have a hard time seeing the NCAA overturn anything when the point of Tyndall’s punishment was to make an example out of him.

Incoming UCLA freshman withdraws from school

TUCSON, AZ - FEBRUARY 12: Head coach Steve Alford of the UCLA Bruins reacts during the second half of the college basketball game at McKale Center on February 12, 2016 in Tucson, Arizona. The Arizona Wildcats beat the UCLA Bruins 81-75. (Photo by Chris Coduto/Getty Images)
(Photo by Chris Coduto/Getty Images)
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Incoming UCLA freshman Kobe Paras has withdrawn from the university, the school announced.

According to the release sent out by the university, Paras was admitted to UCLA upon condition and withdrew after the “academic conditions of his admission were not met.”

Paras is a 6-foot-6 wing that attended high school in southern California. Rivals rated him as the 126th prospect in the Class of 2016. Kobe was born in the Philippines. His father, Benjie Paras, is a two-time MVP of the PBA.

Four teams to play in event in Hawai’i on 75th anniversary of Pearl Harbor

PEARL HARBOR, HI - DECEMBER 7: US Army Lieutenant General Anthony G. Crutchfield Deputy Commander of the US Pacific Command greets members of the Villanova coaching staff at Bloch Arena on December 7, 2015 in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. (Photo by Darryl Oumi/Getty Images)
(Photo by Darryl Oumi/Getty Images)
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Four college basketball teams will take part in the 75 anniversary commemoration of the attack on Pearl Harbor with a two-day, four-game event that will take place at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam in Pearl Harbor, Hawai’i.

The games will be played in Bloch Arena, which survived the attacks on Dec. 7th, 1941, and which hosted a top ten battle between Oklahoma and Villanova last season.

This season’s iteration of the Pearl Harbor Basketball Invitational will feature Cal, Seton Hall, Princeton and Hawai’i and will be played on Dec. 6th and 7th.

“The 75th Commemoration is about acknowledging all the men and women who have answered our nation’s call to duty including our ‘greatest generation’ World War II veterans and Pearl Harbor survivors,” said Committee Chairman Adm. (ret) Tom Fargo. “We’re excited to have FOX Sports return here to raise awareness about our veterans, as well as our active duty service members and civilians, and their tremendous contributions to our nation and to the world.”