Tourney Snacks: Recapping Day 1 of the NCAA Tournament

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source: Getty Images
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TOP PERFORMERS:

  • D’Angelo Russell, Ohio State:¬†Russell scored 28 points on Thursday as the No. 10 Buckeyes came back from a double-digit deficit to knock off No. 7 VCU in overtime.
  • Matt Stainbrook, Xavier:¬†Stainbrook went for 20 points, nine boards, five assists, two steals and one blocks, scoring 14 of those points in the first half, as the No. 6 Musketeers jumped all over No. 11 Ole Miss and rolled into the Round of 32, 76-57.
  • Jakob Poeltl, Utah: Poeltl looks like the favorite to end up being the breakout star of the 2015 NCAA tournament after going for 18 points, eight boards and five blocks in the win over No. 12 Stephen F. Austin.
  • Bryce Alford, UCLA: Alford had 27 points in a win over No. 6 SMU, including the game-winning … goaltend?
  • R.J. Hunter, Georgia State: Hunter finished with just 16 points, but 12 of them came in the final three minutes, including the game-winning shot. More on that below.

GAMES OF THE DAY: No. 14 UAB 60, No. 3 Iowa State 59

UAB knocked off the favored Cyclones in thrilling fashion on Thursday afternoon. The teams traded three straight go-ahead baskets in the final minute, with William Lee’s 15 foot jumper eventually being the game-winner.

source: Getty Images
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SHOTS OF THE DAY: R.J. Hunter’s game-winner

In a moment that will go down in NCAA tournament lore, No. 14 Georgia State’s R.J. Hunter capped a 13-0 run in the final three minutes with a three-pointer with three seconds left to beat No. 3 seed Baylor. Hunter’s father, head coach Ron, fell out of his chair as the shot went in, a chair he was relegated to after tearing his achilles tendon while celebrating a win in the Sun Belt tournament. What. A. Moment.

CALL OF THE DAY: The Goaltend Heard ‘Round The World

Bryce Alford his nine threes on the afternoon, but the last one was quite controversial. With No. 11 UCLA down 59-57 to No. 6 SMU, Alford took a three with 12 seconds left that looked like it was going to bounce off the side of the rim. But SMU’s Yannick Moreira jumped up to try and grab what he thought was an airball, and a goaltend was called. UCLA won.

The Rest: