NCAA Tournament First Four 2014: Complete Predictions and Full Results

Bleacher Report College Basketball StaffFeatured ColumnistMarch 17, 2014

NCAA Tournament First Four 2014: Complete Predictions and Full Results

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    The First Four in Dayton produced plenty of fireworks and a Cinderella story worth keeping an eye on. 

    No. 16 Albany got the party started on Tuesday night with a win over Mount St. Mary's before NC State defeated Xavier in a battle of No. 12 seeds in the nightcap.

    Underdog Cal Poly won the showdown of No. 16 seeds on Wednesday night at UD Arena as it outdueled Texas Southern. 

    The final game of the four clashes went to overtime, but didn't produce much drama as Tennessee bested fellow No. 11 seed Iowa. 

    Continue reading for recaps of each First Four game played in Dayton over the last two days. 

No. 11 Tennessee 78, No. 11 Iowa 65 (OT)

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    For the first 36 minutes and 48 seconds of Wednesday night's game, the No. 11 Iowa Hawkeyes led the No. 11 Tennessee Volunteers. 

    From that point on, the Hawkeyes were on the backfoot, and despite forcing overtime on a Roy Devyn Marble jumper, they fell short of advancing out of the First Four. 

    Tennessee's Antonio Barton drilled a triple with 3:12 left in the second half to hand the Volunteers their first lead of the game and they never looked back. 

    The Vols closed the game on a 19-8 run after taking the lead and outscored the Hawkeyes 14-1 in overtime. 

    Iowa, who has lost nine games in which it has led at the half this season, ran out of gas in a game where its starting five shot 12-of-37 from the field.


    Top Performer: Jordan McRae, G, Tennessee

    McRae scored a game-high 20 points for the Vols, but he only shot 6-of-15 from the field. 

    The guard made up for his average shooting day by sinking six of his seven free throws. 


    X-Factor: Antonio Barton, G, Tennesee

    Barton made all four of his free throws and drilled the crucial three-pointer to hand the Vols their first lead of the game with three minutes left in regulation.


    Next Round: Tennessee will face UMass at approximately 2:45 p.m. ET at the PNC Arena in Raleigh on Friday. The winner of that game will face No. 3 Duke or No. 14 Mercer in the Midwest region.


    Updated by Joe Tansey

No. 16 Cal Poly 81, No. 16 Texas Southern 69

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    The miraculous Cinderella run of No. 16 Cal Poly wrote its latest chapter on Wednesday night as the Mustangs took down fellow No. 16 seed Texas Southern in Dayton.

    The Mustangs led by 12 at the half and never let their lead get lower than seven points as they moved on to face No. 1 Wichita State on Friday.

    Cal Poly, who won the Big West tournament in stunning fashion, continued to defy all the odds as it received 19 points from Chris Eversley and 17 from Dave Nwaba. 

    Texas Southern, who is coached by former Indiana head coach Mike Davis, turned the ball over 13 times and looked like a one-man team led by Aaric Murray, who had a game-high 38 points. 

    The Mustangs converted those 13 turnovers into 23 points in Dayton. 


    Top Performer: Aaric Murray, F, Texas Southern

    The former La Salle and West Virginia player went out in a blaze of glory with 38 points for the Tigers. 

    Murray was 14-of-23 from the field and he made all seven of his free throws in his final collegiate game.


    X-Factor: Brian Bennett, F, Cal Poly

    Bennett attempted to guard Murray on numerous occasions, but his main contribution came with nine minutes left in the second half.

    After hitting a jumper on the offensive end to extend the lead to 10 points, Bennett drew a charge on Jose Rodriguez. He then turned around to hit another jumper just seconds later to demoralize a Tigers team in search of a comeback.


    Next Round: Cal Poly will now face No. 1 Wichita State in Midwest region play on Friday night in St. Louis. The game will tip at 7:10 p.m. ET.


    Updated by Joe Tansey 

No. 16 Albany 71, No. 16 Mount St. Mary's 64

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    The tremendous comeback bid put together by Mount St. Mary's came up inches short as Albany squeezed out a 71-64 victory at University of Dayton Arena in Dayton, Ohio.

    Mountaineers guard Rashad Whack, who was 4-of-17 from the field, saw his three-pointer roll off the front of the rim and out with 33 seconds left.

    Instead of Whack's triple tying the game, the Mountaineers were forced to foul and the Great Danes hit a few free throws to earn their first-ever NCAA tournament win. 

    The first half saw a pair of 21-2 runs put together by each team as Albany got off to a hot start before the Mountaineers climbed back through some terrific shooting by Will Miller. 

    Miller made seven of his 12 attempted threes on his way to 21 points, but it was not enough for The Mount to advance. 


    Top Performer: DJ Evans, G, Albany

    Evans, who was a reserve just a year ago, led all scorers with 22 points and made all five of his free throws. 

    Evans also contributed nine rebounds, not allowing his 5'9" height to affect him on the boards. 


    X-Factor: Sam Rowley, F, Albany

    Rowley was a force on the glass as he snagged 13 boards, 12 of which came on the defensive end. 

    The rebounding performance made up for the seven turnovers that Rowley committed throughout his 37 minutes on the court.


    Next Round: The Great Danes, and their terrible purple-and-yellow jerseys, will make the trip down to Orlando for a Thursday game against the No. 1 Florida Gators in the South Region.


    Updated by Joe Tansey

No. 12 NC State 74, No. 12 Xavier 59

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    The NC State Wolfpack exorcised their Dayton demons from 2013 and took down fellow No. 12 seed Xavier in the First Four on Tuesday. 

    Mark Gottfried's team, which lost to Temple in the second round at UD Arena last season, had the edge from the start as it kept the Musketeers just out of reach for most of the game. 

    Wolfpack star T.J. Warren scored at least 20 points in his 18th consecutive game as he ended up with 25 in the victory. 

    Xavier tried to stay in the game toward the end of the second half, but it could not put the finishing touches on a potential comeback. 

    Matt Stainbrook (19) and Semaj Christon (14) reached double digits in defeat.


    Top Performer: T.J. Warren, F, NC State

    Warren faced some foul trouble in the first half, but he recovered from his two personal fouls and took over in the second half. 

    He shot 10-of-18 from the field and gave second-round opponent No. 5 Saint Louis a reason to be scared on Thursday.


    X-Factor: Tyler Lewis, G, NC State

    The box score may show that Lewis had just seven points and eight assists, but he contributed so much more than that for the Wolfpack.

    Lewis did all the little things right and only committed one turnover as he helped run the Wolfpack offense. 


    Next Round: The Wolfpack will join Albany in making the trek from Dayton to Orlando and they will get a chance to upset Saint Louis in a 5-12 game that you might want to circle in your brackets. 


    Updated by Joe Tansey