NCAA Tournament 2016: B/R Expert Predictions, Updated Results for 1st Round

Bleacher Report College Basketball StaffFeatured ColumnistMarch 17, 2016

NCAA Tournament 2016: B/R Expert Predictions, Updated Results for 1st Round

0 of 32

    Were you not entertained?!

    One of the wildest first rounds of NCAA tournament play ever is now in the books, but not before 13 teams seeded ninth or worse pulled off upsets on Thursday or Friday. Seven lower-seeded teams won on Thursday and six more came out on top on Friday, including the biggest shocker of them all with 15th-seeded Middle Tennessee taking out No. 2 seed Michigan State.

    Michigan State was considered one of the top contenders for a national championship with only Kansas getting picked in more pools on ESPN and Yahoo. However, the Spartans were another victim to the madness, with Middle Tennessee leading from start to finish in a shocking upset.

    MTSU was part of a historic run of upsets on Friday, along with ones by No. 13 Hawaii (over No. 4 California) and No. 14 Stephen F. Austin (over No. 3 West Virginia). It marked the first time in NCAA history that teams seeded 13th, 14th and 15th all won on the same day.

    Thursday's upsets included ones by No. 12 seeds Arkansas-Little Rock and Yale.

    Upsets weren't the only thing that made the last two days special, as we also had some wild finishes. That included a pair of buzzer-beaters on Friday, including one on a halfcourt shot that banked in.

    Scroll through for our recaps of all 32 first-round games, then take a breath before getting ready for 16 more contests in the second round on Saturday and Sunday.

    Preview analysis on the following slides written by Kerry Miller. Advanced statistics courtesy of

    Check out Bleacher Report's live updating bracket to track your picks along the road to the Final Four.

No. 10 Syracuse 70, No. 7 Dayton 51

1 of 32

    A dominant second half helped Syracuse pull away from Dayton and avenge its loss in the round of 32 from the 2014 NCAA tournament. 

    The Orange held just a two-point lead at halftime, but a 26-5 run to start the second half became the knockout punch the Flyers couldn't recover from.

    Dayton couldn't figure out the 2-3 zone, and when it did, it failed to convert numerous dunk and layup attempts near the basket. A 45-27 rebounding deficit also contributed to the wide margin on the scoreboard.

    Although many doubted Syracuse's inclusion in the Big Dance, this team showed it can still be a difficult matchup in a single-elimination tournament.


    Top Performers

    Malachi Richardson got hot early and kept it going with 21 points, four rebounds and three assists in one of the best games of the year for the freshman. Dayton couldn't get a whole lot going offensively, but Scoochie Smith did end up with 12 points, five assists and five rebounds in a losing effort.



    Jim Boeheim challenged Tyler Roberson earlier in the year, and the junior forward certainly responded in this one with 18 rebounds, including eight on the offensive end. His ability to give the Orange second chances on offense was a big difference in this game.


    Next Round

    Syracuse will take on the winner of Michigan State and Middle Tennessee State, although the Spartans are the more likely opponent as one of the favorites to win the entire tournament. 


    —Update by Rob Goldberg

No. 2 Villanova 86, No. 15 UNC Asheville 56

2 of 32

    Villanova appears determined to make a deeper run this March after flaming out in the first weekend the past two seasons. UNC Asheville kept it close early, but the Wildcats were simply too much for the No. 15 seed as they pulled away in the second half.

    Villanova showed off its defensive ability in this one, holding the Bulldogs to 56 points and just 36.8 percent shooting, including just 5-of-17 from three-point range. UNC Asheville also had just 11 assists and 14 turnovers.

    Meanwhile, Villanova utilized a balanced effort with six players scoring at least nine points in the win.


    Top Performers

    Daniel Ochefu pounded the ball inside against the undersized opponent, totaling 17 points, 10 rebounds, four assists and three blocks in an impressive showing for the big man. Dylan Smith was the leading scorer for the Bulldogs with 14 points on 4-of-10 shooting.



    Ryan Arcidiacono doesn't always make an impact with his scoring, but he did on Friday with four big three-pointers and 14 total points. He is the leader of this team whether it shows up in the box score or not, but he came through on the scoreboard in this one.


    Next Round

    Villanova will now try to reach the Sweet 16 for the first time since 2009 with a matchup against the winner of No. 7 Iowa and No. 10 Temple.


    -Update by Rob Goldberg

No. 10 Virginia Commonwealth 75, No. 7 Oregon State 67

3 of 32

    VCU outworked Oregon State for 40 minutes to pull away and continue the trend of lower seeds winning in the NCAA tournament.

    The Rams finished with a 40-28 advantage on the boards and consistently got to the free-throw line, finishing 17-of-21 from the charity stripe.

    Oregon State came back from a 10-point deficit early in the second half to tie things up at 52-52, but VCU bounced right back with a 13-4 run that ended up being the difference. The Rams continued to crash the boards hard and never looked back as they sealed an eight-point win.


    Top Performers

    Gary Payton II ends his career with a strong performance, totaling 19 points, six rebounds, four assists and four steals. However, he wasn't able to match VCU's JeQuan Lewis, who finished with 21 points, eight assists and seven rebounds in a winning effort.



    Mo Alie-Cox was a force down low with 20 points, eight rebounds and three blocks, completely manhandling the Beavers in the paint.


    Next Round

    After the win, VCU will advance to the second round to take on the winner of No. 2 Oklahoma and No. 15 Cal State Bakersfield.


    -Update by Rob Goldberg

No. 13 Hawaii 77, No. 4 California 66

4 of 32

    California couldn't overcome the loss of key players, resulting in a first-round exit at the hands of Hawaii.

    The Bears were without leading scorer Tyrone Wallace as well as guard Jabari Bird, and the offense suffered accordingly. They shot just 41.1 percent from the field, and only three players finished in double figures.

    Meanwhile, Hawaii deserves a lot of credit for its play against a usually solid defense. The Rainbow Warriors went inside and hit 51.9 percent of their shots from the field, not shying away from attacking the rim despite a size disadvantage in the lane.

    The underdogs also held potential NBA lottery pick Jaylen Brown to just four points on 1-of-6 shooting to go with seven turnovers. With the Bears' lack of alternatives, they were never able to get going offensively and continued a losing trend for the Pac-12.


    Top Performers

    Roderick Bobbitt was the go-to option for Hawaii, controlling the action while scoring 17 points and tallying four assists and seven rebounds. As for Cal, Jordan Mathews was one of the few active players offensively and finished with 23 points on 9-of-15 shooting.



    Quincy Smith was Hawaii's leading scorer with 19 points on just eight shots, excelling at getting to the free-throw line and converting from there.


    Next Round

    Hawaii will have a chance to get to the Sweet 16 if it can defeat the winner of No. 5 Maryland and No. 12 South Dakota State.


    —Update by Rob Goldberg

No. 15 Middle Tennessee 90, No. 2 Michigan State 81

5 of 32

    You can officially rip up your brackets, America. Middle Tennessee pulled off one of the biggest upsets in the history of the NCAA tournament, knocking off No. 2 seed and top national title contender Michigan State.

    All-American Denzel Valentine had 12 assists but finished with six turnovers and just 13 points in the loss. On the other end of the court, the Blue Raiders couldn't miss, making 11-of-19 from beyond the arc and 55.9 percent of shots overall.

    This contributed to the loss of a team projected to go all the way in 27.3 percent of Yahoo brackets, second behind only Kansas.

    Middle Tennessee shocked everyone right away by jumping out to a 15-2 lead, although most expected Tom Izzo's team to eventually turn things around and take over. However, the underdogs kept control throughout the first half and went into intermission with a six-point advantage.

    Although Michigan State had its runs in the second half, it was never able to take the lead as the Blue Raiders kept hitting their shots. The Spartans missed their few chances to tie the game late.


    Top Performer

    Matt Costello did his part for Michigan State, finishing with 22 points and nine rebounds in the loss. However, Middle Tennessee did more with Reggie Upshaw totaling 21, four rebounds, four assists and three blocks in the upset.



    Giddy Potts was the nation's top three-point shooter during the season but did a lot of good both inside and outside the arc in this one. He finished with 19 points on 6-of-10 shooting, including a lot of clutch shots late.


    Next Round

    Middle Tennessee will try to become the second No. 15 seed ever to reach the Sweet 16 with a matchup against No. 10 Syracuse, which defeated No. 7 Dayton in dominant fashion earlier in the day.


    -Update by Rob Goldberg

No. 7 Iowa 72, No. 10 Temple 70 (OT)

6 of 32

    An Adam Woodbury putback as time expired in overtime gave Iowa a dramatic two-point victory over Temple.

    With the score tied at 70-70, Mike Gesell took an off-balance shot and air-balled it long, but Woodbury was there for the follow to score the game-winning shot with no time left on the clock.

    Iowa had a chance to close out the win in regulation with a 61-53 advantage with about four minutes remaining. However, Temple fought back to cut it to three with a shot to tie it in the final seconds. Quenton DeCosey ended up being fouled on his attempt from deep, but he nailed all three free throws to tie the game.

    Despite losing the lead, the Hawkeyes were able to regroup and come through with the narrow win in overtime. They only shot 34.8 percent from the field, but just three turnovers and 13 offensive rebounds helped the Big Ten squad come out on top.


    Top Performer

    Jarrod Uthoff didn't have the best shooting day (7-of-21 from the field, 2-of-10 from three), but he had a team-high 23 points for Iowa in the win. Temple had a few impressive showings, including DeCosey and his 26 points and eight rebounds, plus the game-tying free throws at the end of regulation. Jaylen Bond also had a strong day with 14 points and 15 rebounds.



    Woodbury finished with only 10 points and five rebounds, but four of those boards came on the offensive end, including the game-winner in overtime. His ability to give Iowa second chances was all the team needed in this close battle.


    Next Round

    Iowa will try to be the latest team to knock off Villanova in the second round. The No. 2 seed hasn't reached the Sweet 16 since 2009.


    -Update by Rob Goldberg

No. 2 Oklahoma 82, No. 15 Cal St. Bakersfield 68

7 of 32

    Buddy Hield was too much for Cal St. Bakersfield, which kept the score close for much of the game but couldn't hang on at the end.

    The No. 15 seed was trying to pull off a surprising upset and held a 46-45 second-half lead. However, Hield took over from there and scored 27 points in an eventual win for the Sooners.

    While Oklahoma's outside shooting has been a bit quiet in recent weeks compared to earlier in the year, the squad went 11-of-20 from beyond the arc, including three made three-pointers each from Hield, Isaiah Cousins and Jordan Woodard.

    Bakersfield held the shooters in check throughout the first half, but they were just too much to contain down the stretch as Oklahoma pulled away.


    Top Performers

    Hield lived up to expectations as one of the top players in college basketball, scoring 27 points while adding five rebounds, two assists, two steals and two blocks. When Hield is making his shots, Oklahoma is a tough team to beat.

    Aly Ahmed had some success inside for the Roadrunners with 16 points, eight rebounds and two blocks in the losing effort.



    Cousins did his job as both a scorer and passer, tallying five assists while scoring 16 points, including 3-of-3 shooting from three-point range.


    Next Round

    Oklahoma will have to figure out a different style with a second-round matchup against No. 10 seed VCU on Sunday.


    —Update by Rob Goldberg

No. 5 Maryland 79, No. 12 South Dakota State 74

8 of 32

    It was much closer at the end than Maryland would have liked, but the Terrapins held on to avoid an upset bid from South Dakota State.

    After Maryland went up as many as 18 points in the second half, the Jackrabbits clawed their way back into contention. A foul-heavy final few minutes allowed the underdog to get within two points, and it actually had the ball down three with a chance to tie. A Keaton Moffitt turnover in the final seconds effectively ended the game.

    Maryland shot lights out early and finished 9-of-22 from three-point range, but the squad still had 13 turnovers and gave up 12 offensive rebounds to keep South Dakota State in the game. The Jackrabbits also helped out their cause by shooting 16-of-17 from the free-throw line, although Maryland was also good, making 24-of-27.

    South Dakota State gave everything it had but seemed to simply run out of time down the stretch.


    Top Performers

    Jake Layman had one of his best games of the season, totaling 27 points on just 11 shots while going 5-of-8 from beyond the arc. Melo Trimble also got himself going with 19 points before fouling out.

    Deondre Parks led the Jackrabbits with 22 points, although George Marshall was a big factor in the comeback while scoring all 15 of his points after halftime.



    Jared Nickens has been hot and cold off the bench this year, but he was hitting his shots this time around. The sophomore went 4-of-7 from three-point range and finished with 14 points in the win.


    Next Round

    Maryland will take on No. 13 Hawaii in the second round after the Rainbow Warriors upset No. 4 California on Friday.


    -Update by Rob Goldberg

No. 7 Wisconsin 47, No. 10 Pittsburgh 43

9 of 32

    In a game that at times seemed destined to set back offensive progress by decades, Wisconsin made just enough shots down the stretch to outlast Pittsburgh in the lowest-scoring game of the NCAA tournament so far.

    The Badgers (21-12) overcame an abysmal first half to nearly double their scoring tally over the final 20 minutes, with Vitto Brown's third three-pointer of the game giving them the lead for good at 42-40 with 2:34 left. Before that, Wisconsin had led twice for less than a minute.

    Pittsburgh (21-12) pulled within 44-43 on a three-pointer from Jamel Artis with 40.6 seconds left and had a chance to take the lead in the final seconds, but James Robinson's pull-up with five seconds left clanged off.

    Wisconsin shot 32.1 percent for the game after making just six of 25 shots in the first half, when it trailed 22-16. Pitt only made eight field goals in the second half.


    Top Performers

    Ethan Happ had 15 points on 6-of-8 shooting for Wisconsin, helping to pick up the slack for a 3-of-17 shooting night by Nigel Hayes. Happ added nine rebounds, three assists, two steals and a block.



    Robinson, who had seven points, 11 rebounds and four assists for Pitt, started 3-of-5 from the field but missed his final 10 attempts.


    Next Round

    Wisconsin moves on to face No. 2 Xavier in Sunday's second round in St. Louis.


    —Update by Brian J. Pedersen

No. 3 Texas A&M 92, No. 14 Green Bay 65

10 of 32

    Texas A&M weathered Green Bay's pressure defense through a tight first half, but once it got things figured out, the Aggies cruised to their first NCAA tournament victory in six years.

    An 11-2 run to end the first half gave A&M (27-8) a 41-33 halftime lead, having trailed for much of the first 20 minutes due to 12 turnovers including seven steals by Green Bay (23-13). The Aggies finished with 20 turnovers, 14 off steals, but kept the Phoenix from being able to convert many of those takeaways into field goals.

    A 43-21 run spanning both halves saw Green Bay make just four shots, getting most of its points from the foul line. The Phoenix only attempted 22 field goals in the second half after taking 34 in the first half, making 37.5 percent for the game.

    A&M shot 56.1 percent overall, going 18-of-31 from the field after halftime to post its largest margin of victory in NCAA tournament history.


    Top Performers

    Danuel House had 20 points on 8-of-12 shooting for A&M, while Tonny Trocha-Morelos added 15 points, six rebounds and four assists. Green Bay got 22 from Khalil Small in a losing effort.



    A&M forced 18 turnovers of its own, and it also used a sizable rebounding edge to pace the win. The Aggies were plus-18 on the boards, with 11 offensive rebounds to three for Green Bay.


    Next Round

    A&M will take on either No. 11 Northern Iowa in Sunday's second round in Oklahoma City.


    —Update by Brian J. Pedersen

No. 14 Stephen F. Austin 70, No. 3 West Virginia 56

11 of 32

    Stephen F. Austin gave West Virginia a piece of its own medicine, using pressure defense to force 22 turnovers en route to its second NCAA tournament upset in the last three seasons.

    The Lumberjacks (28-5) won their 21st straight game by converting those takeaways into 30 points, while only turning it over six times against a West Virginia team known for pressing opponents into mistakes. The Mountaineers (26-9) came in averaging 18.1 forced turnovers per game, with this just the fourth time in 2015-16 they didn't force at least 10.

    Despite only shooting 30.9 percent and being outrebounded 45-32, SFA's ability to take care of the ball, disrupt West Virginia's possessions and convert at the foul line pushed it through. It led 31-28 at the half and then scored the first seven points in the second half, never leading by fewer than four points again.

    A pair of three-pointers from Jared Johnson helped push the lead up to 56-47. West Virginia coach Bob Huggins was hit with a technical foul soon after, and the Lumberjacks cruised from there.


    Top Performers

    Thomas Walkup struggled with his shooting but made up for it at the foul line, making 19 of 20 free throws to finish with 33 points for the highest single-game output of the NCAA tourney. Walkup also had nine rebounds, five assists, four steals and a block.

    Though it came in a losing effort, West Virginia's Devin Williams had 12 points and 17 rebounds, eight on the offensive end.



    SFA held West Virginia to 30.8 percent shooting, including just 36.1 (13-of-36) on two-pointers. Hardly any baskets in the paint went uncontested.


    Next Round

    The Lumberjacks will take on either No. 6 Notre Dame in Sunday's second round in Brooklyn, New York.


    —Update by Brian J. Pedersen

No. 1 Oregon 91, No. 16 Holy Cross 52

12 of 32

    Oregon had little problem with sub-.500 Holy Cross, leading from wire to wire while consistently extending its margin en route to a 39-point victory.

    The Ducks (29-6) led 43-25 at halftime and then put away any thought of a comeback by the Crusaders (15-20) by opening the second half with a 21-4 run. The 52 points they allowed were their fewest in an NCAA tournament game since holding Ohio State to 33 points in the 1939 national title game.

    Oregon shot 62.5 percent in the second half and 55.7 percent overall, outrebounding Holy Cross by 20 and holding it to 35.1 percent shooting. Eight players had at least seven points for the Ducks, playing as a No. 1 seed for the first time in program history.


    Top Performers

    Chris Boucher was dominant on both ends of the court for Oregon, finishing with 20 points on 8-of-12 shooting. In one stretch he had a three-pointer and then ran down the court to help block a Holy Cross shot. Elgin Cook added 11 points and 13 rebounds for the Ducks.

    Robert Champion had 22 points for Holy Cross, including 15 in the first half.



    Oregon's 20-rebound advantage was its second-largest of the season and biggest against a Division I opponent since January 2013.


    Next Round

    The Ducks will match up against eighth-seeded in Sunday's second round in Spokane, Washington.


    —Update by Brian J. Pedersen

No. 2 Xavier 71, No. 15 Weber State 53

13 of 32

    Xavier moved into the round of 32 for the third time in the last five years after a hard-fought win over the Big Sky champions in St. Louis.

    The Musketeers (28-5) led 34-23 at the half and held at least a seven-point advantage throughout the final 20 minutes. Weber State (26-9) got as close as 54-47 with 9:21 left before Jalen Reynolds' monster dunk started a 10-2 run.

    Xavier dominated on the boards while holding Weber State to just 38.6 percent shooting, including 4-of-21 on three-pointers. Jeremy Senglin, who came in with 106 three-pointers and 44.4 percent accuracy, was 0-for-5 from outside for Weber.

    Four Xavier players scored in double figures as the Musketeers shot 48.4 percent overall and were 7-of-14 from three-point range.


    Top Performers

    James Farr had 18 points and 14 rebounds off the bench for Xavier, which got 30 points from its reserves. Reynolds had 12 points on 6-of-9 shooting, while Myles Davis had six points, eight rebounds and six assists.

    Joel Bolomboy had 14 points and 10 rebounds for Weber State, earning his 26th double-double of the season.



    Xavier posted a 41-25 edge in rebounds, with four different players pulling down at least five boards. Weber came in as the top defensive rebounding team in the nation.


    Next Round

    The Musketeers will take on seventh-seeded Wisconsin, a winner earlier Friday against Pittsburgh, in Sunday's second round.


    —Update by Brian J. Pedersen

No. 6 Notre Dame 70, No. 11 Michigan 63

14 of 32

    Notre Dame rallied from a 12-point halftime deficit to stave off an upset from Michigan, outscoring the Wolverines by 18 points over the final 20 minutes.

    The Fighting Irish (22-11) had lost 13 consecutive NCAA tournament games when trailing at the half, but a 19-7 run over the first 7:43 of the second half knotted the game at 48. From there it was back and forth until V.J. Beachem hit a three-pointer and a jumper on consecutive possessions for a 64-59 lead with 3:07 left.

    Michigan (23-13) pulled within 66-63 and held Notre Dame without a basket in the final 1:38, but Zak Irvin's long three-pointer with 12 seconds left hit the front rim and was pulled down by the Irish.

    Notre Dame shot 58.1 percent and was 8-of-15 from three-point range, but 15 turnovers caused the big early hole.


    Top Performers

    Beachem had 18 points and was a perfect 7-of-7 from the field, hitting four three-pointers while adding six rebounds. Zach Auguste had 10 points and 12 rebounds.

    Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman led Michigan with 15 points.



    Notre Dame committed only nine fouls in the game, resulting in just five free throws for Michigan. The Wolverines were 3-of-5 from the line, compared to 12-of-15 for the Irish.


    Next Round

    The Irish will take on 14th-seeded Stephen F. Austin, which upset No. 3 West Virginia, in Sunday's second round in Brooklyn, New York.


    —Update by Brian J. Pedersen

No. 11 Northern Iowa 75, No. 6 Texas 72

15 of 32

    Paul Jesperson banked in a three-pointer from halfcourt as time expired to give Northern Iowa a wild win over Texas in Oklahoma City in a game that saw the lead change three times in the final minute.

    Isaiah Taylor's floater with 2.7 seconds left tied the game for Texas, but one pass got Jesperson close enough to give the Panthers (23-12) its second consecutive buzzer-beating win. They earned the Missouri Valley Conference's automatic bid on Wes Washpun's jumper to beat Evansville on March 6.

    Texas (20-13) trailed by as much as 16 points in the first half, down 44-36 at the half, before a 15-3 run gave the Longhorns a 51-47 edge with 13:16 left. Northern Iowa used a 14-5 run to get back ahead, with the teams trading leads the rest of the way.

    Prince Ibeh made one of two foul shots with 45.1 seconds left to put Texas up 70-69, then Klint Carlson scored for UNI to go up 71-70 with 27.1 seconds left. Washpun made 1-of-2 foul shots with 11 seconds left before Taylor tied it up.


    Top Performers

    Jesperson's game-winner was his fourth three-pointer of the night, giving him 14 points overall. Five UNI players scored in double figures, led by Washpun's 17.

    Texas got 22 points, four rebounds and six assists from Taylor, who was 9-of-11 from the line.



    Northern Iowa had a considerable edge at the foul line, making 25 of 32 free throws to 13-of-18 for Texas.


    Next Round

    The Panthers take on No. 3 Texas A&M on Sunday in the second round.


    —Update by Brian J. Pedersen

No. 8 Saint Joseph's 78, No. 9 Cincinnati 76

16 of 32

    A dunk by Cincinnati's Octavius Ellis that would have forced overtime was ruled no good after review, giving Saint Joseph's its first NCAA tournament victory in 12 years.

    Replays showed Ellis' fingers were still on the ball as it hung over the cylinder when time expired, making a three-pointer by Isaiah Miles with 7.3 seconds left the game-winning shot. Miles had 14 of his 19 points in the second half for the Hawks (28-7), whose last NCAA tourney win came during their run to the Elite Eight in 2004.

    Cincinnati (22-11) went up 76-75 with 17 seconds left thanks to Jacob Evans, moments after Ellis blocked a three-pointer on the other end. The Bearcats trailed by eight with 10:07 left before a 10-2 run tied the game at 66 on Evans' three with 6:12 to go.

    The Bearcats shot 50.9 percent from the field, making 10 threes, while Saint Joseph's shot 48.3 percent and canned nine triples.


    Top Performers

    DeAndre' Bembry had a team-high 25 points for St. Joe's, 20 coming in the first half, to go with six rebounds, five assists, three steals and two blocks. Evans had 26 for Cincinnati, going 5-of-9 from the three-point line, while Coreontae DeBerry had 13 of his career-high 18 in the first half.



    St. Joe's, one of the best teams in the country at taking care of the ball, turned it over only six times. It was the Hawks' 18th game this season with fewer than 10 giveaways.


    Next Round

    The Hawks will meet top-seeded Oregon in Sunday's second round in Spokane, Washington.


    —Update by Brian J. Pedersen

No. 4 Duke 93, No. 13 UNC Wilmington 85

17 of 32

    UNC Wilmington gave everything it could, but it just could not get over the hump to pull off the upset over Duke.

    The Seahawks used a frenetic pace and lots of pressure to earn a 43-40 halftime lead. This pressure also led to 33 fouls and 43 free-throw attempts for Duke. Three UNC Wilmington players fouled out.

    Meanwhile, Duke took care of the basketball and avoided mistakes while making its shots at the free-throw line. Add this to a size advantage almost across the board, and the Blue Devils were able to pull away in the second half and then hold on late.

    Although UNC Wilmington continued to fight hard to cut the lead down to five points in the final minutes, it simply wasn't able to keep up on the scoreboard in a high-scoring battle.


    Top Performers

    Grayson Allen was just 4-of-12 from the floor, but he found ways to contribute with 23 points, 10 rebounds and five assists, all of which were highs for the game. His ball-handling ability was huge against the Seahawks' pressure. Craig Ponder had 22 points for UNC Wilmington in a losing effort.



    Marshall Plumlee was a monster in the post, finishing with 23 points, eight rebounds and three blocks. Although he doesn't create a lot of offense for himself, he is always in the right spot and brings a much-needed toughness to this lineup.


    Next Round

    Duke will face No. 12 Yale on Saturday, although the fast pace of this game could leave the Blue Devils tired.


    —Update by Rob Goldberg

No. 9 Butler 71, No. 8 Texas Tech 61

18 of 32

    It was a close game throughout, but Butler's offense finally picked up in the final minutes to pull away in a win over Texas Tech.

    With just over nine minutes remaining in the game, Butler guards Roosevelt Jones and Kelan Martin had been held without a field goal in a 46-46 tie. However, Martin stepped up down the stretch with a few key shots, leading the way in a 25-12 run that helped decide the game.

    The Bulldogs finished 9-of-17 from three-point range and 12-of-16 from the free-throw line, both of which ending up being a major advantage over Texas Tech. The Red Raiders only got four points from the charity stripe all game.

    Although Texas Tech finished just seventh in the Big 12, the loss isn't a good sign for a conference that struggled early in the NCAA tournament last year.


    Top Performers

    Kellen Dunham was the offensive star from beginning to end, finishing with 23 points on 8-of-15 shooting, including 5-of-9 from beyond the arc. Texas Tech got a similar shooting performance from Devaugntah Williams, who almost doubled his season average with 18 off the bench, but no one else was able to score more than 10 points in the loss.



    Martin has been one of Butler's best players all year long, and the team needed him in this game. Although he didn't get his first basket until 8:27 remained in the game, he finished with a respectable 11 points and seven rebounds in the win.


    Next Round

    The competition will likely jump quite a bit for Butler with a matchup against Virginia in the second round. The Bulldogs will need to start preparing for Malcolm Brogdon and company right away.


    —Update by Rob Goldberg

No. 9 Connecticut 74, No. 8 Colorado 67

19 of 32

    It was a wild game with both teams looking dominant for stretches, but Connecticut was able to pull out a seven-point win over Colorado.

    Colorado was the better team early, gaining a double-digit lead in the first half and going into intermission with a 36-27 advantage. However, UConn's offense improved in the second half as Rodney Purvis and Daniel Hamilton helped the Huskies outscore the Buffaloes 47-31 in the final 20 minutes.

    A tough press in the closing minutes helped Colorado cut a 13-point deficit to three, but some missed opportunities allowed the Huskies to escape with a win.

    UConn has struggled in close games this year, but going 22-of-23 from the free-throw line helped put it over the top. The team that has made so many shocking runs in the NCAA tournament is once again a dangerous opponent.


    Top Performers

    Josh Scott was the best player on the floor, finishing with 23 points and 11 rebounds on the losing end for Colorado. Connecticut's only chance was to foul him, which led to 18 free-throw attempts for the big man.

    The Huskies got another big performance from Hamilton, who totaled 17 points and 10 rebounds in the win.



    Purvis has had an up-and-down year, but he played well in the AAC tournament and was even better Thursday, totaling 19 points on 7-of-13 shooting. His scoring could be extremely valuable for UConn if it plans to make a run.


    Next Round

    Connecticut moves on to the second round, where it will face top overall seed Kansas.


    —Update by Rob Goldberg

No. 4 Iowa State 94, No. 13 Iona 81

20 of 32

    In a battle of high-powered offenses, Iowa State simply made more shots and pulled away from Iona, avoiding a similar fate to last year's first-round exit.

    The Cyclones were the better team for much of the game, going up by double figures early and controlling most of the action. All five starters finished with double-digit points while the team hit 10 of 22 attempts from three-point range and 50 percent from the field.

    A.J. English keyed a comeback attempt late to get Iona within seven points in the final minutes, but the star point guard was called for a technical foul that helped swing the momentum back toward the favorite.

    English and Jordan Washington combined for 54 points on the day, but Iona as a whole shot just 7-of-24 from three-point range and had assists on just 12 of 31 made field goals. The shot selection was poor, and Iona just couldn't do enough to keep up on the scoreboard against hot-shooting Iowa State.


    Top Performers

    There were a bunch of impressive showings on both ends of the court. English helped carry Iona with 28 points, six rebounds, six assists and three steals, while Washington added 26 points and 12 rebounds. Georges Niang was the top scorer for Iowa State, finishing with 28 points, while Monte Morris was as good as ever with 20 points, eight assists and just one turnover.



    Despite all the scorers on Iowa State, the real difference-maker was Jameel McKay. The big man had just 11 points but played a big role on the defensive end with nine rebounds and three blocks. The Cyclones need this type of effort going forward.


    Next Round

    Iowa State will take on No. 12 Arkansas-Little Rock after the Trojans pulled off a major upset against the fifth-seeded Purdue Boilermakers.


    —Update by Rob Goldberg

No. 1 Virginia 81, No. 16 Hampton 45

21 of 32

    Virginia had no problem disposing of No. 16 Hampton in a dominant first-round win.

    The Cavaliers went up 19 points at halftime and didn't slow down from there, coasting throughout the second half while giving plenty of bench players some time on the floor. 

    The most notable moment of the game came in the first half when Virginia coach Tony Bennett appeared to collapse on the sidelines. He fortunately returned in the second half, noting it was just a case of dehydration. 

    Other than that, it was business as usual for Virginia, which flexed its muscle on the defensive end while holding Hampton to just 45 points on 30.4 percent shooting. The Cavaliers hit 55.2 percent of their shots from the field.

    Hampton was simply overmatched on both ends of the court, and it led to a quick exit for the MEAC winners.


    Top Performers

    Anthony Gill is one of the most efficient players in college basketball, and he showed it Thursday, finishing with 19 points, seven rebounds, four assists and two steals on 8-of-13 shooting. Hampton got a strong performance from Quinton Chievous, who had 17, but it was clearly not enough to remain competitive.



    London Perrantes did exactly what he needed to do as point guard. He effectively ran the offense with four assists and no turnovers while making his shots when he got a chance, shooting 4-of-8 from three-point range. 


    Next Round

    Virginia's defense will get a much tougher test in the second round with a matchup against Butler. The Bulldogs have three quality guards who can create good looks against the Cavaliers.


    -Update by Rob Goldberg

No. 12 Yale 79, No. 5 Baylor 75

22 of 32

    Yale notched the first major upset of the 2016 NCAA tournament, knocking off No. 5 Baylor in the school's first NCAA tournament appearance since 1962.

    The Bulldogs were never overmatched in this game. They headed into the locker room with a five-point lead at halftime and went up by as many as many as 12 points in the second half, which led to some frustration from key Baylor players down the stretch. 

    Baylor did eventually work its way back into the contest, cutting Yale's lead to one in the final minute and getting a chance to tie or take the lead in the closing seconds. Unfortunately, Lester Medford turned the ball over, giving Yale a chance to clinch the game with free throws.

    The Bears—usually a dominant rebounding team this season—lost the battle on the glass, 36-32. They also allowed Yale to shoot 53.1 percent from the floor in the loss.

    Baylor has now lost in the round of 64 for the second season in a row.


    Top Performers

    Yale's Makai Mason was the obvious star of the game, totaling a season high of 31 points. The sophomore guard went 9-of-18 from the field and a perfect 11-of-11 from the line in what was not only his best game of the year, but also the best individual performance in Yale postseason history.

    Taurean Prince had a big showing for Baylor with 28 points, including 4-of-7 from three-point range, but it was clearly not enough to avoid the upset.



    Yale came into the game undersized but Justin Sears helped the Bulldogs match up in the low post. He finished with 18 points and four rebounds to go with solid defense in the paint.


    Next Round

    Yale will now take on Duke a team it lost to, 80-61, during the regular season in Cameron Indoor Stadium. The Bulldogs were close in the second half in that matchup but fell apart late.


    -Update by Rob Goldberg

No. 1 Kansas 105, No. 16 Austin Peay 79

23 of 32

    Austin Peay fought hard but learned just how deadly Kansas' offense can be, especially when the Jayhawks get production from unexpected sources.

    The usual standouts, Perry Ellis (21 points) and Wayne Selden Jr. (14 points), were productive, but the bigger surprise was the performance of role players Svi Mykhailiuk, Landen Lucas and Cheick Diallo. Mykhailiuk was the real star with 23 points on 9-of-11 shooting, including 4-of-5 from three-point range.

    Kansas simply outmuscled the Governors while building a 20-point lead in the first half and never letting the score get closer than 15 in the second.

    It was an ugly game with 64 total free-throw attempts, but the Jayhawks had little problem cruising to victory.


    Top Performers

    There has been plenty of discussion about Mykhailiuk's upside over the past two years, but it is rarely seen, with the guard averaging just 5.2 points per game. He reached double digits just six times all season coming into the NCAA tournament. However, he couldn't miss against Austin Peay, marking a new career high and giving Bill Self another option off the bench.

    Josh Robinson had 24 points for Austin Peay in the loss.



    Lucas is usually just on the floor for his rebounding and defense, but he came through on the offensive end with 16 points on 6-of-7 shooting. This didn't stop him from also doing his regular dirty work, totaling eight rebounds and two blocks in the win.


    Next Round

    Kansas will have a scary second-round matchup against Connecticut, which beat Colorado 74-67 earlier in the day. The ability to get a few of the key players some rest against Austin Peay could be vital.


    -Update by Rob Goldberg

No. 12 Arkansas-Little Rock 85, No. 5 Purdue 83 (2 OT)

24 of 32

    In one of the best games you might see all tournament, Arkansas-Little Rock came from behind to upset Purdue in double overtime.

    Purdue appeared to be in complete control of the game late in regulation, holding a 13-point lead with just over three minutes remaining. The Trojans had other ideas, though, with an 18-5 run to tie the game. The furious comeback was capped by deep three-pointer by Josh Hagins in the final seconds.

    And the end of the first overtime, it was Hagins again who came through with a game-tying layup with 11 seconds remaining. Overall, the guard had 31 in an incredible individual effort against a great opponent.

    Little Rock finally built up a bit of a lead in the second overtime on Kemy Osse's three-pointer, and Purdue was never able to answer offensively. 

    UALR made just 39 percent of its shots and 33 percent from beyond the arc, but it came through when it mattered late and in overtime to pull off the shocking win.


    Top Performer

    Hagins was a menace for Purdue on both ends of the court. He led the way for Little Rock with 31 points and six assists while also adding seven rebounds and five steals. Just for good measure, he hit two game-tying shots that will likely be remembered for a long time.

    Vince Edwards became more aggressive when the Boilermakers couldn't get it inside to A.J. Hammons, and he finished with an impressive 24 points and 13 rebounds. Hammons didn't do much offensively but was a force on defense with 15 rebounds and six blocks.



    Little Rock coach Chris Beard was a major factor in this game as his strategy to double-team Hammons and pack the post completely shut down Purdue offensively down the stretch. The elite center only had three points in the two overtimes.


    Next Round

    The Trojans will try to keep the momentum going against a high-powered offense in Iowa State in the second round. The Cyclones defeated Iona 94-81 earlier in the day.


    -Update by Rob Goldberg

No. 3 Miami 79, No. 14 Buffalo 72

25 of 32

    Miami used balanced offense and late foul shooting to hold off Buffalo's upset bid, winning its opening-round game for the third consecutive time.

    The Hurricanes, making their first NCAA appearance since 2013, made 26 of 34 free throw, including 20 of 26 in the second half, to build on a two-point halftime lead. Miami (26-7) used a 14-5 run to lead 49-38 with 13:33 left, maintaining at least a four-point edge the rest of the way.

    Five players scored in double figures for Miami, with Kamari Murphy and Davon Reed logging double-doubles. The 'Canes held a 43-25 rebounding advantage on Buffalo (20-15) and held the Bulls to 39 percent shooting.

    The win gives Miami its second-most victories in program history, behind only the 29 wins from the 2013 team that reached the Sweet 16.


    Top Performers

    Miami's Angel Rodriguez had a season-high 24 points to go with seven rebounds, four assists, three steals and a block. The senior guard was 9-of-11 from the line, making all six of his foul shots in the final 75 seconds. Sheldon McClellan added 20 points for the Hurricanes, while Buffalo got a career-high 20 points from Nick Perkins.



    The Hurricanes' size advantage paid off with a huge edge on the boards, aided by 13 rebounds from Murphy and 12 from Reed. They matched Buffalo's rebounding tally, and Murphy had four of Miami's six blocked shots.


    Next Round

    Miami moves on to face 11th-seeded Wichita State in Saturday's second round.


    —Update by Brian J. Pedersen

No. 5 Indiana 99, No. 12 Chattanooga 74

26 of 32

    Indiana cruised to a blowout win in Des Moines, Iowa, shooting better than 60 percent in both halves for the easy victory in a battle of regular-season conference champions.

    The Hoosiers (26-7) were 37-of-57 from the field, their 64.9 percent shooting marking the fourth time this season they've shot at least 60 percent. It was their sixth with at least 99 points (the first since mid-January), and five players scored in double figures.

    Indiana, which led 46-37 at halftime, made its first five shots in the second half to build a 60-43 lead. Southern champ Chattanooga (29-6) got as close as 74-61 with 7:40 left before the Hoosiers put it away with a 15-4 run.

    The Hoosiers forced 15 turnovers, notching 10 steals, while making 10 of 17 three-pointers.


    Top Performers

    Yogi Ferrell had his first career 20-10 game, scoring a game-high 20 (including 4-of-7 from three-point range) along with 10 assists. It was the senior guard's 10th 20-point game this season, with the 10 assists his most since dishing out 11 against Minnesota in February 2015.



    OG Anunoby filled the stat sheet for Indiana. The freshman forward had a career-high 14 points on 6-of-7 shooting, making both of his three-pointers, along with two rebounds, an assists and two steals.


    Next Round

    Indiana will play fourth-seeded Kentucky in Saturday's second round. The Hoosiers are looking to make their first Sweet 16 since 2013.


    —Update by Brian J. Pedersen

No. 1 North Carolina 83, No. 16 Florida Gulf Coast 67

27 of 32

    The East Region's top seed went into the locker room wondering if it might be in danger of being the first-ever No. 1 seed to lose to a No. 16. Then the second half happened, and the Tar Heels showed Florida Gulf Coast who was boss.

    UNC (29-6) went on a 30-10 run to start the second half, turning a one-point halftime lead into a runaway victory by clamping down on the defensive end and getting out into transition on offense. After allowing a combined 104 points in wins over Notre Dame and Virginia en route to last week's ACC tournament title, the Heels conceded 40 points on 60 percent shooting to the Eagles (21-14) in the first half.

    The 41-40 lead was UNC's narrowest halftime margin as a No. 1 seed since the NCAA tournament expanded to 64 teams in 1985.

    Florida Gulf Coast was just 10-of-33 from the field in the second half, including 36 percent (9-of-25) on two-point field goals. UNC shot only 42.5 percent, but it blocked 10 shots, turned it over just seven times and went from minus-seven in rebounding at the half to plus-one overall.


    Top Performers

    Brice Johnson had 18 points, seven rebounds and a career-high eight blocks along with three assists for North Carolina, which had five players score in double figures. Marcus Paige had 10 points, four rebounds and five assists, making three of his seven three-pointers.



    North Carolina used the transition game to blow open this matchup, scoring 20 fast-break points and keeping Florida Gulf Coast from breaking out once for a basket.


    Next Round

    North Carolina will take on ninth-seeded Providence on Saturday in the second round in Raleigh, North Carolina. The teams met in the second round in 2014, with UNC coming out on top.


    —Update by Brian J. Pedersen

No. 3 Utah 80, No. 14 Fresno State 69

28 of 32

    Utah used a late 19-2 run to outlast pesky Fresno State in a first-round game in Denver.

    The Utes (27-8) led by 11 points at halftime and upped that edge to 13 before Fresno State (25-10) went on a 15-3 run to go up 48-47 with 10:33 remaining. Julien Lewis scored the last seven points in that run for the Bulldogs.

    Utah responded by scoring seven straight and 19 of the next 21 to build up a 66-50 with 4:16 left, fueled by a pair of three-pointers from Jordan Loveridge.

    Fresno got as close as 72-64 with 57 seconds left, but Utah went 8-of-8 from the line down the stretch to keep the Bulldogs at bay.

    Utah won despite 19 turnovers, following the 20 it committed in the Pac-12 title game loss to Oregon, thanks to a whopping 35-14 edge in rebounding.


    Top Performers

    Jakob Poeltl personally outrebounded Fresno State, pulling down a career-best 18 boards (nine offensive) to go with 16 points, four assists and a steal. Poeltl's three-point play with 1:34 left gave Utah a 70-59 lead.

    Three other Utah players had at least 16 points, while Fresno got 24 points from Marvelle Harris.



    Utah assisted on 16 of 27 made field goals, moving it to 17-0 this season when recording at least 15 assists.


    Next Round

    Utah will take on No. 11 Gonzaga in Saturday's second round.


    —Update by Brian J. Pedersen

No. 11 Wichita State 65, No. 6 Arizona 55

29 of 32

    Wichita State won its second game in three days, building off its First Four win over Vanderbilt to upset Arizona in Providence, Rhode Island. In doing so, the Shockers (26-8) handed the Wildcats (25-9) their first opening-round NCAA tournament loss since 2008.

    The Shockers held Arizona to 19 first-half points, then built a 24-point lead midway through the second half before the Wildcats tried to come back. An 11-0 run pulled them within 53-40 with 7:55 left, but too many turnovers kept Arizona from completing the rally.

    Arizona turned it over 19 times, negating a 34-28 rebounding advantage, and ended a streak of 40 consecutive NCAA tourney games with at least 60 points. That was tied with Arkansas for the longest streak in Division I history, and it was also the first time since February 2013 that Arizona lost a game by double-digits.

    Wichita, which has won eight NCAA games in the past three-plus tournaments, won despite making just 3-of-20 three-pointers.


    Top Performers

    Fred VanVleet had 10 of his 16 points in the first half, adding four rebounds and five of Wichita's nine steals, while Ron Baker had 13 points, five rebounds and six assists.



    Wichita had just five turnovers to 19 for Arizona, with the Wildcats' guards responsible for 14 of those giveaways. The Shockers converted those turnovers into 22 points.


    Next Round

    Wichita State will take on third-seeded Miami, which beat No. 14 Buffalo earlier Thursday, in Saturday's second round.


    —Update by Brian J. Pedersen

No. 9 Providence 70, No. 8 USC 69

30 of 32

    Rodney Bullock's layup with 1.5 seconds left gave Providence its first NCAA tournament win in 19 years and put an end to USC's first postseason appearance since 2011.

    Drew Edwards found Bullock alone under the basket on an inbounds play, with the shot going in after the Friars (24-10) missed four other field goals in the final minute. USC (21-13) didn't help itself by missing three of four free throws in the last 59 seconds, twice on the front end of a one-and-one, including a miss by Julian Jacobs with 12 seconds left.

    Bennie Boatwright gave the Trojans a 69-68 lead with a free throw with 59 seconds remaining, after Providence's Kris Dunn hit a game-tying three-pointer.

    Providence had lost five straight NCAA tourney games dating back to 1997, when it fell to Arizona in the Elite Eight in overtime.


    Top Performers

    Providence's Ben Bentil led all scorers with 19 points and nine rebounds. Bullock had 16 points and 10 rebounds, and Dunn added 16 points, four rebounds and four assists. USC had four players in double figures, getting 15 points, five rebounds, five assists and four steals from Jordan McLaughlin.



    USC was 7-of-13 from the foul line, missing on the front end of three one-and-ones in the second half. Providence matched its season low with just six turnovers.


    Next Round

    Providence will take on top-seeded North Carolina, a winner over Florida Gulf Coast earlier Thursday, in a second-round game Saturday in Raleigh, North Carolina. The Friars lost to UNC in the second round in 2014.


    —Update by Brian J. Pedersen

No. 4 Kentucky 85, No. 13 Stony Brook 57

31 of 32

    Kentucky shook off a sloppy offensive first half to breeze to a first-round win over NCAA tournament newcomer Stony Brook in Des Moines, Iowa.

    The Wildcats (27-8) shot only 32.4 percent in the first half, missing all seven three-point attempts, but still led 33-19 because they limited the Seawolves (26-7) to 7-of-37 shooting in the opening 20 minutes. Stony Brook, which came in shooting 47.7 percent, finished at a season-low 26.3 percent from the field.

    Kentucky made 22 of 29 shots in the second half, with Jamal Murray recovering from a horrible first half to end with 19 points. He was 1-of-9 in the first half and 6-of-7 in the second, and he finished as one of five Kentucky players in double figures.


    Top Performers

    Stony Brook's Jameel Warney finished with 23 points and 15 rebounds, including seven of his team's 20 offensive boards. Kentucky's Tyler Ulis had 10 points and seven assists, giving him 243 assists to break John Wall's single-season school record.



    Kentucky logged an NCAA tournament-record 15 blocked shots, breaking its own mark set. Freshman Skal Labissiere had six swats, while Murray, Alex Poythress and Derek Willis were each credited with two.


    Next Round

    Kentucky moves on to face fifth-seeded Indiana, which beat Chattanooga earlier Thursday, in Saturday's second round. It will be their first meeting since Kentucky beat the Hoosiers in the 2012 Sweet 16.


    —Update by Brian J. Pedersen

No. 11 Gonzaga 68, No. 6 Seton Hall 52

32 of 32

    Gonzaga advanced to the Round of 32 for the eighth consecutive season, using punishing defense to stifle Seton Hall in the final game of Thursday's action in Denver.

    The Bulldogs (27-7) limited the Pirates (25-9) to 32.3 percent shooting, holding them to a season low in points while neutralizing Seton Hall star Isaiah Whitehead. Whitehead had 10 points and eight assists but was 4-of-24 from the field, missing all 10 of his three-point attempts.

    Gonzaga shot 42.9 percent and turned it over 19 times, but it had a 46-32 rebounding advantage. It led 35-25 at the half and extended that margin to 15 before Seton Hall started to make a push. That ended after Pirates coach Kevin Willard was issued a technical with 7:44 left, with Gonzaga outscoring them 15-7 after that.


    Top Performers

    Gonzaga's Domantas Sabonis had 21 points and 16 rebounds, adding four assists and two blocks, while Kyle Wiltjer had 13 points and seven boards.



    Whitehead tied the NCAA tournament record for worst three-point performance, matching the 0-of-10 shooting by Siena's Marc Brown in 1989.


    Next Round

    Gonzaga will take on third-seeded Utah, which won earlier Thursday, in a second-round game on Saturday.


    —Update by Brian J. Pedersen