A crazier first-round Friday has never, ever existed. This is neither hyperbole or supposition; it's simple truth. Yesterday, for the first time in the history of the 64-team NCAA Tournament, a 13, 14, and 15 seed all advanced in the same day. Six upsets (based on seed line, anyway) occurred Friday. As a result, 2016 ties the record set in 2001 with 13 total upsets in the first round.
In 2001, the breakdown had also been seven on Thursday, six on Friday. The big difference: in 2001, that total of 13 was largely a result of all four nines winning; this year, only three did -- meaning a whopping ten double-digit seeds survive to round two. Prior experience tells us that we're probably going to see at least three of them next weekend. (We'll definitely see at least one.)
Yesterday's chaos is best summarized with a hit list.
- Middle Tennessee State, a 15-seed, just flat outplayed Michigan State; the Spartans never led the game, not once. It's the first time in the NCAA tournament that a 2-seed which spent time ranked #1 in the nation took a powder in the first round (although 538 suggests it's only the third biggest upset in the tournament's history -- Mizzou's loss to Norfolk State being #1 on the list).
- Likewise, OUR LUMBERJACKS came out of the 14 slot by simply outsmarting West Virginia throughout the first half, then outplaying them in the second. This, of course, is terrible news for anyone wanting Brad Underwood at K-State; we all know John Currie's not making a move now, and everyone with a vacancy is going after Underwood next month.
- Hawai'i, the 13, was the beneficiary of some luck. Chaos and injuries probably doomed California more than anything the Rainbow Warriors did, but that shouldn't take too much away from a solid effort by a team with its own problems.
- The only 12 seed playing yesterday lost. But whereas your usual come-up-short upset bid involves the underdog getting a big lead early then wilting, South Dakota State staged a furious second-half comeback. It's quite possible that only a tragic miscue in the final 30 seconds prevented it from coming to fruition.
- Notre Dame battled back to erase a 12-point Michigan lead at halftime, but Texas wasn't so lucky. The Longhorns did draw even with 11th-seeded Northern Iowa, but for the second time this month the ghost of Ali Farokhmanesh appeared. Paul Jesperson heaved the ball from half-court at the buzzer to prevent overtime and send the Panthers on to Sunday.
- Tens? We had two of those last night, with the Atlantic 10 being on both sides of the ledger. Syracuse upended the A-10 regular season champs, Dayton... but VCU sent Oregon State home.
The secondary narratives of the first round, though, are the struggles of the Big 12 and Pac-12. The Big 12 only went 3-4, while the Pac-12 stumbled to a 2-5 round. In the latter case, it's just a disappointment. In the former, it's more ammunition for a long-term narrative, one bolstered by one inescapable and damning fact: since 2010, only five Big 12 teams have even made the Elite Eight. Kansas and Baylor twice, and K-State once.
If you care about conference pride, better hope the Jayhawks, Sooners, and Cyclones stand firm. Strong runs by all three (or at least two) will erase any bad taste from the first round.
Every single men's game yesterday got recap treatment from our colleagues around the SB Nation network:
Today's Men's Schedule
The second round of the CIT begins, and there's one NIT game tonight. But obviously, it's the eight other games we're really concerned with. The staggered schedule for today is strange; both games in Providence should conclude before the late afternoon contests commence. By that time, maybe we'll already have Wichita State and Yale in the Sweet Sixteen. The dinner hour features Indiana-Kentucky, and another potential upset as UALR faces Iowa State in a game where one can reasonably expect 3sus himself to appear at center court. In the evening, we'll see if Gonzaga can advance... and whether Kansas is destined for a Jayhawking.
|NCAA DIVISION I MEN'S BASKETBALL TOURNAMENT|
|SOUTH QF||11:10am||(11) Wichita State||(3) Miami (FL)||Providence RI||CBS|
|WEST QF||1:40pm||(12) Yale||(4) Duke|
|EAST QF||4:15pm||(5) Indiana||(4) Kentucky||Des Moines IA|
|WEST QF||5:10pm||(12) Arkansas-Little Rock||(4) Iowa State||Denver CO||TNT|
|WEST QF||6:10pm||(9) Butler||(1) Virginia||Raleigh NC||TBS|
|SOUTH QF||6:45pm||(9) Connecticut||(1) Kansas||Des Moines IA||CBS|
|WEST QF||7:40pm||(11) Gonzaga||(3) Utah||Denver CO||TNT|
|EAST QF||8:40pm||(9) Providence||(1) North Carolina||Raleigh NC||TBS|
|NATIONAL INVITATION TOURNAMENT|
|SBU SF||11:00am||(8) Wagner||(4) Creighton||Omaha NE||ESPN|
|R2||1:00pm||Louisiana-Lafayette||at||Furman||Greenville SC||College Insider|
|R2||1:00pm||New Hampshire||at||Coastal Carolina||Conway SC|
Yesterday's Women's Results
Wildcats win! There were four by-seed upsets in the first day of the NCAA women's tournament, including our very own as K-State knocked off George Washington in a 9-8. Auburn did the same to Saint Joseph's, while tenth-seed Saint Bonaventure knocked off Oklahoma State. But the big one was in Syracuse, where Florida was the victim of a 12-5 at the hands of Albany. Imani Tate popped for 28 for the Great Danes, leading all women's scorers on the day much less the game.
The Big 12 was 3-0 on the day, with West Virginia and Baylor also moving on.
In the WNIT, Sigi Kozair scored 23 points for Maine, but her teammates only combined for 21 more as the Black Bears were blown out 90-44 by Quinnipiac. Ouch.
|NCAA DIVISION I WOMEN'S BASKETBALL TOURNAMENT|
|R1||(6) DePaul 97, (11) James Madison 67||Ashley Perez (JMU), 20|
|R1||(12) Albany 61, (5) Florida 59||Imani Tate (ALB), 28|
|R1||(6) West Virginia 74, (11) Princeton 65||Bria Holmes (WVU), 26|
|R1||(4) Michigan State 74, (13) Belmont 60||Aerial Powers (MSU), 27|
|R1||(3) Louisville 87, (14) Central Arkansas 60||Myisha Hines-Allen (LOU), 25|
|R1||(4) Syracuse 73, (13) Army 56||Alexis Peterson (SYR), 24|
|R1||(3) Ohio State 88, (14) Buffalo 69||Kelsey Mitchell (OSU), 27|
|R1||(5) Mississippi State 60, (12) Tennessee-Chattanooga 50||Victoria Vivins (MSU), 19|
|R1||(1) Baylor 89, (16) Idaho 59||Alexis Jones (BAY), 23|
|R1||(2) Oregon State 73, (15) Troy 31||Ruth Hamblin (OSU), 18|
|R1||(9) Kansas State 56, (8) George Washington 51||Jonquel Jones (GWU), 20|
|R1||(7) Tennessee 59, (10) Wisconsin-Green Bay 53||Te'a Cooper (TENN), 15|
|R1||(9) Auburn 68, (8) Saint John's (NY) 57||Danaejah Grant (SJU), 25|
|R1||(10) Saint Bonaventure 65, (7) Oklahoma State 54||Katie Healy (SBU), 23
Brittney Martin (OSU), 23
|R1||(1) South Carolina 77, (16) Jacksonville 41||Alaina Coates (SCAR), 22|
|R1||(2) Arizona State 74, (15) New Mexico State 52||Katie Hempen (ASU), 20|
|WOMEN'S NATIONAL INVITATION TOURNAMENT|
|R1||Quinnipiac 90, Maine 44||Sigi Kozair (UME), 23|
|R1||Temple 74, Drexel 66||Alliyah Butts (TEM), 24
Sarah Curran (DREX), 24
|R1||Florida Gulf Coast 78, Bethune-Cookman 51||Whitney Knight (FGCU), 21|
|R1||Utah 95, Montana State 61||Paige Crozon (UTAH), 20|
|R1||Fresno State 59, Santa Clara 53||Bego Faz Davalos (FSU), 21|
Today's Women's Schedule
For those rare few who don't want to watch Angel Rodriguez play against Wichita State, you could always watch Connecticut commit murder against Robert Morris. That's the lone women's game today which gets its own time slot; the remaining 15 games will follow yesterday's plot, with whiparound coverage on ESPN2 and spotty availability on ESPN3. The second round of the WNIT begins, as does the quarterfinal round of the WBI. You'll note the question mark on the final game; ESPN3 usually carries games involving Atlantic Sun home teams, but the USC-Upstate game isn't yet listed on the schedule. If it's not there, it's not anywhere.
|NCAA DIVISION I WOMEN'S BASKETBALL TOURNAMENT|
|BRP QF||10:00am||(16) Robert Morris (PA)||(1) Connecticut||Storrs CT||ESPN2|
|BRP QF||12:30pm||(9) Duquesne||(8) Seton Hall||Storrs CT||all games on
|DAL QF||12:30pm||(12) Middle Tennessee State||(5) Florida State||College Station TX|
|LEX QF||12:30pm||(11) Purdue||(6) Oklahoma||Lexington KY|
|LEX QF||12:30pm||(15) Iona||(2) Maryland||College Park MD|
|DAL QF||3:00pm||(13) Missouri State||(4) Texas A&M|
|LEX QF||3:00pm||(14) North Carolina-Asheville||(3) Kentucky|
|LEX QF||3:00pm||(10) Pennsylvania||(7) Washington|
|BRP QF||5:30pm||(14) Hawai'i||(3) UCLA||Los Angeles CA|
|BRP QF||5:30pm||(10) Missouri||(7) Brigham Young||Austin TX|
|LEX QF||5:30pm||(16) North Carolina A&T||(1) Notre Dame||South Bend IN|
|LEX QF||5:30pm||(12) South Dakota State||(5) Miami (FL)||Palo Alto CA|
|BRP QF||8:00pm||(11) Colorado State||(6) South Florida||Los Angeles CA|
|BRP QF||8:00pm||(15) Alabama State||(2) Texas||Austin TX|
|LEX QF||8:00pm||(9) Indiana||(8) Georgia||South Bend IN|
|LEX QF||8:00pm||(13) San Francisco||(4) Stanford||Palo Alto CA|
|WOMEN'S NATIONAL INVITATION TOURNAMENT|
|R2||1:00pm||Bucknell||Michigan||Ann Arbor MI||MGoBlue|
|R2||6:00pm||San Diego||IUPU-Indianapolis||Indianapolis IN||IUPUI (audio only)|
|R2||7:00pm||Drake||Northern Iowa||Cedar Falls IA||UNI (audio only)|
|R2||7:00pm||Eastern Michigan||Texas Christian||Fort Worth TX||GoFrogs|
|WOMEN'S BASKETBALL INVITATIONAL|
|QF||1:00pm||(3) Maryland-Balt. Co.||(2) Youngstown State||Youngstown OH||Horizon|
|QF||7:00pm||(4) Stetson||(1) Louisiana-Lafayette||Lafayette LA||ULL|
|QF||7:00pm||(4) Western Illinois||(8) South Carolina-Upstate||Spartanburg SC||ESPN3?|