Thursday NCAA Tournament Recap: What a wild, wild day of basketball

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PLAYER OF THE DAY

It’s pretty obvious, isn’t it?

Rob Gray.

The Houston star scored a career-high 39 points, including a game-winning bucket with just 1.1 seconds left on the clock, as the Cougars advanced past San Diego State to take on Michigan in the second round of the tournament. Gray’s performance — and the shot that he hit to cap it — will go down as one of the great individual games of the NCAA tournament this decade.

 

THE REST OF SATURDAY’S STARS

  • KEENAN EVANS, Texas Tech: Evans scored 19 of his 23 points in the second half, hitting all six of his field goals and his free throws as the No. 3 seed Red Raiders survived Stephen F. Austin.
  • DEVONTE’ GRAHAM, Kansas: No. 16 seed Penn looked like they were going to give Kansas a fight … until Graham took over. He finished with 29 points, six boards and six assists in the 76-60 win.
  • KEVIN KNOX and SHAI GILGEOUS-ALEXANDER, Kentucky: The Wildcats needed them to go off, and they did. Knox went for 25 points and SGA added 19 points, eight boards, seven assists and five steals.
  • TREVON DUVAL, Duke: A lot of Dukies played well against No. 15 seed Iona, but Duval’s performance might matter the most. He had 19 points and eight assists and hit four threes.
  • LAMONTE TURNER, Tennessee: The No. 3 seed Vols weren’t really tested by No. 14 Wright State, and that had a lot to do with Turner’s 19 points and nine assists.

TEAM OF THE DAY

The No. 13 seed Buffalo Bulls beat the breaks off of No. 4 seed Arizona. They won 89-68. They put in their walk-ons at the end of the game. They embarrassed the preseason No. 2 team in the country. And all this was the first NCAA tournament win the program’s ever had.

Not a bad day for Nate Oats.

GAME OF THE DAY

The first game of the day was an absolute thriller, as Rhode Island knocked off Oklahoma and Trae Young in overtime in a game that very nearly featured a game-winning, buzzer-beating tip-in.

SHOT OF THE DAY

Shoutout to Donte Ingram, because he made this shot to kick off what turned into an incredible, exciting day of basketball:

 

WTF???? OF THE DAY

Radford head coach Mike Jones channelled his inner-Marshawn Lynch after losing to Villanova:

 

WHAT ELSE DO YOU NEED TO KNOW?

Three Ohio State players went for 20 points as the No. 5 Buckeyes knocked off No. 12 seed South Dakota State in a fun game that saw 71 threes.

Khadeen Carrington went for 26 points as No. 8 Seton Hall advanced past No. 9 N.C. State.

Zach Norvell hit a three with less than a minute left to break a tie as No. 4 Gonzaga knocked off No. 13 UNC Greensboro.

No. 1 seed Villanova advanced to the second round of the NCAA tournament with a dominant win over No. 16 Radford.

Collin Sexton had 25 points and six assists in a win over No. 9 Alabama and No. 8 Virginia Tech.

Good Florida showed up on Thursday night. The No. 6-seed Gators smoked No. 11 St. Bonaventure.

There was nothing good about No. 3 Michigan‘s win over No. 14 Montanaexcept for the fact that Michigan won.