Rob Dauster

Stony Brook coach Steve Pikiell  congratulates guard Roland Nyama (24) after a play during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Vanderbilt on Thursday, Nov. 19, 2015, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)
(AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

Rutgers hires Stony Brook head coach Steve Pikiell

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Rutgers has hired Stony Brook head coach Steve Pikiell.

Pikiell, a former guard for Jim Calhoun at UConn, has spent his 11 seasons as a head coach at Stony Brook. He took over a team that won four games in his first season and built it into an America East powerhouse. They’ve won at least 20 games in six of the last seven seasons, including the last five in a row.

The news was first reported by NJ.com.

Pikiell has won four America East regular season titles in that stretch, but Pikiell didn’t make the NCAA tournament until this season, losing in the America East title game four times in a five year stretch. Rutgers is not a great job, but with Pikiell losing two of the program’s three all-time leading scorers this season — including three-time America East Player of the Year Jameel Warney — it was now or never for Pikiell if he wanted to get his shot at the high major level.

He’ll replace Eddie Jordan at Rutgers, who was never able to get that program up and running in the Big Ten. He went 3-33 in the Big Ten the last two seasons.

 

2016 NCAA Tournament: Saturday’s Tip Times, Announcer Pairings

North Carolina players react to play against Virginia during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game in the championship of the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament, Saturday, March 12, 2016, in Washington. North Carolina won 61-57. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
(AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
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Second Round Games
Saturday

12:10 p.m., CBS, Providence
No. 3 Miami vs. No. 11 Wichita State (Ian Eagle, Chris Webber, Len Elmore, Evan Washburn)

2:40 p.m., CBS, Providence
No. 4 Duke vs. No. 12 Yale (Ian Eagle, Chris Webber, Len Elmore, Evan Washburn)

5:15 p.m., CBS, Des Moines
No. 4 Kentucky vs. No. 5 Indiana (Jim Nantz, Grant Hill, Bill Raftery, Tracy Wolfson)

6:10 p.m., TNT, Denver
No. 4 Iowa State vs. No. 12 Arkansas-Little Rock (Andrew Catalon, Steve Lappas, Jamie Erdahl)

7:10 p.m., TBS, Raleigh
No. 1 Virginia vs. No. 9 Butler (Kevin Harlan, Reggie Miller, Dan Bonner, Lewis Johnson)

7:45 p.m., CBS, Des Moines
No. 1 Kansas vs. No. 9 Connecticut (Jim Nantz, Grant Hill, Bill Raftery, Tracy Wolfson)

8:40 p.m., TNT, Denver
No. 3 Utah vs. No. 6 Seton Hall/No. 11 Gonzaga (Andrew Catalon, Steve Lappas, Jamie Erdahl)

9:40 p.m., TBS, Raleigh
No. 1 North Carolina vs. No. 9 Providence (Kevin Harlan, Reggie Miller, Dan Bonner, Lewis Johnson)

VIDEO: Saint Joseph’s coach Phil Martelli asks reporter about weed?

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No. 8 Saint Joseph’s just won a thrilling game over No. 9 Cincinnati, and afterwards head coach Phil Martelli was happy.

Happy enough to ask about buying legal weed in Washington? Yes. That happy.

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

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)
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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.

UPDATED 2016 NCAA TOURNAMENT BRACKET

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.

THEY WERE UPSET

BUT SOME FAVORITES WON, TOO

STARRED

STRUGGLED

VIDEO: Wild finish in Cincinnati-Saint Joseph’s ends in waived off dunk

Cincinnati players, including forward Jacob Evans left, console forward Octavius Ellis, seated, after a first-round men's college basketball game against Saint Joseph's in the NCAA Tournament in Spokane, Wash., Friday, March 18, 2016. Saint Joseph's won 78-76. (AP Photo/Young Kwak)
(AP Photo/Young Kwak)
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And you thought Northern Iowa’s win was a wild finish?

No. 9 Cincinnati erased a 12-point second half deficit against No. 8 Saint Joseph’s, taking a 76-75 lead with less than a minute left before Isaiah Miles buried a three to put the Hawks back up 78-76.

On the ensuing possession, Cincinnati when the length of the court, where Troy Caupain found Octavius Ellis in front of the rim for what looked like a game-tying, overtime-forcing dunk:

Not so fast.

Ellis did not get the ball out of his hands in time. If you don’t believe me, take a look at this screen shot from the truTV broadcast. The redlight behind the basket it on and the ball is still clearly in his hands:

Screen Shot 2016-03-19 at 12.34.09 AM

That’s a devastating way for Cincinnati to have their season end.

And that may not even be the most unlikely loss for Cincinnati this month. Remember, they were knocked out of the AAC tournament by UConn in a quadruple-overtime game when Jalen Adams forced the fourth overtime with a 65-footer at the buzzer.

Saint Joseph’s, on the other hand, will advance to take on No. 1 Oregon in the second round on Sunday.

James Farr, No. 2 Xavier outlasts scrappy No. 15 Weber State

Xavier's James Farr, center, dunks as Weber State's Zach Braxton, left, and Joel Bolomboy defend during the second half in a first-round men's college basketball game in the NCAA tournament, Friday, March 18, 2016, in St. Louis. Xavier won 71-53. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)
(AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)
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James Farr led four players in double-figures with 18 points and 15 boards as No. 2 Xavier took care of No. 15 Weber State, 71-53.

Weber State put up a fight. They were within single digits for the majority of the second half, but a late push from the Musketeers eventually put Damian Lillard’s alma mater away.

The Musketeers are now sitting in a great position to make a run through the bracket. They matchup up really well with No. 7 Wisconsin, who picked off No. 10 Pitt earlier on Friday night, and if they do happened to get out of the first weekend of the tournament, they are ensured of avoiding No. 3 West Virginia.

The Mountaineers spent much of the season in and around the top ten. They finished the season in sole possession of second place in the Big 12 and reached the Big 12 final. They’re good, and their pressure — and the turnovers that it forces — would have been an awful matchup for point guard deficient Xavier.

That doesn’t mean that Chris Mack’s club is going to have a cake-walk to the Elite 8. Wisconsin was one of the hottest teams in the Big Ten in the last six weeks of the season. That’s very much a losable game, as would a date with No. 6 Notre Dame or No. 11 Michigan, who have the shooters and the spread offense to give Xavier. And that’s ignoring No. 14 Stephen F. Austin, who just beat West Virginia at their own game on Friday night.

But regardless of where you end up getting seeded, you’re going to play at least five games that you can lose if you’re going to win a national title. As the saying goes, styles make fights. It’s all about how you matchup with the teams standing between you and the Final Four, and now that West Virginia is out of the way, Xavier is guaranteed to match up better with anyone that they end up play.