GAME OF THE DAY: No. 12 Little Rock 85, No. 5 Purdue 83 2OT
The Boilermakers blew a 13 point lead in the final three minutes and got sent to overtime — and double-overtime — by Josh Hagins, who scored 31 points, a career-high, on his birthday. Hagins is going to have a tough time topping Thursday when it comes to the best day of his life. (You can see the ridiculous shot he hit to force OT here.)
THIS WAS GOOD, TOO: Providence 70, USC 69
In a game with one of the weirdest finishes I can remember, USC missed three straight free throws in the final minute — two of them front ends of 1-and-1s — and Providence missed a pair of potential game-winning shots before they were able to draw up this beautiful baseline out-of-bounds play to get Rodney Bullock a layup for the win. Kris Dunn had 16 points but he hit a number of big threes down the stretch. Bullock finished with 16 points and 10 boards while Ben Bentil added 19 points.
AND THE UPSETS WERE
- Makai Mason was the star of the afternoon session, popping off for 31 points as No. 12 Yale overcame No. 5 Baylor’s size advantage in a 79-75 win over the Bears. The Elis will now get another shot at an undermanned No. 4 Duke team for a trip to the Sweet 16. It was Yale’s first-ever tournament win.
- No. 11 Wichita State totally manhandled No. 6 Arizona. The final score (65-55) didn’t do the beatdown justice. The Shockers were up 53-29 at one point, and the 31-19 deficit that the Wildcats faced at the half felt like a gift. The question we need to ask: Were the Shockers really that underseeded?
BUT THE FAVORITES ROLLED, TOO
- No. 1 Kansas rolled over No. 16 Austin Peay on the strength of 23 points from Svi Mykhailiuk. The Jayhawks will get No. 9 UConn in the next round.
- No. 16 FGCU put up more of a fight than I expected, trailing by just a point at half time, but Brice Johnson (18 points, eight blocks, seven boards, three assists) took over in the second half. The Tar Heels get Providence next.
- No. 13 UNC Wilmington gave it everything they had, but No. 4 Duke’s talent was just too much for them to overtime as the Blue Devils knocked off the Seahawks, 93-85.
- Georges Niang had 28 points and Monte’ Morris added 20 points and eight assists as No. 4 Iowa State beat No. 13 Iona in relatively easy fashion.
FRIDAY’S UPDATED BRACKET
- Yogi Ferrell’s 20 points and 10 assists helped spark No. 5 Indiana to a 99-74 win over No. 12 Chattanooga. The Hoosiers will get No. 4 Kentucky in the second round after the Wildcats beat up on No. 13 Stony Brook.
- ‘Good Angel’ Rodriguez showed up as No. 3 Miami advanced past a scrappy No. 14 Buffalo team. They’ll get No. 11 Wichita State in the next round.
- Jakob Poeltl helped steady no. 3 Utah when No. 14 Fresno State made their run, as he finished with 16 points, 18 boards (nine offensive) and four assists in an 80-69 win.
- Domas Sabonis beat down Seton Hall’s front court to the tune of 21 points, 16 boards, four assists and two blocks.
- Kellen Dunham had 23 points as No. 9 Butler picked off No. 8 Texas Tech, 71-61.
- Rodney Purvis and Daniel Hamilton combined for 36 points and 15 boards as No. 9 UConn came back from a double-digit deficit to knock off No. 8 Colorado.
BUT THEY STRUGGLED
- Isaiah Whitehead was 4-for-24 from the floor as No. 6 Seton Hall looked totally gassed from the get-go in a 68-52 loss to No. 11 Gonzaga. It was not pretty for the Pirates.
- Jameel Warney had 23 points and 15 boards against No. 4 Kentucky on Thursday. The rest of his team shot 17.4 percent from the floor.
- No. 1 Virginia head coach Tony Bennett had a little bout with dehydration and collapsed on the sideline, but his ego probably took the biggest hit of all; wins make everyone feel healthy. He’ll be ready to coach against Butler. Tony Bennett, the singer, is fine, too, if you were wondering.
- Everyone on Arizona. Ouch.