Hawaii Wins 1st-Ever NCAA Tournament Game: Celebration Highlights, Reaction

Scott PolacekFeatured ColumnistMarch 18, 2016

SPOKANE, WA - MARCH 18: Stefan Jovanovic #15 of the Hawaii Warriors and Roderick Bobbitt #5 celebrate following their 77-66 win over the California Golden Bears during the first round of the 2016 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena on March 18, 2016 in Spokane, Washington.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Cinderella hails from Honolulu in 2016. 

The No. 13-seeded Hawaii Rainbow Warriors added some chaos to the South Region on Friday with a 77-66 victory over the No. 4-seeded California Golden Bears. 

The Golden Bears may have been the better seed from the Pac-12, but they were significantly shorthanded Friday. Guard Jabari Bird was out with back spasms, per Jeff Faraudo of the San Jose Mercury News. What's more, Shams Charania of The Vertical noted guard Tyrone Wallace fractured a bone in his hand and was also out. 

Wallace led California with 15.3 points per game this season.

No matter the circumstances, the Rainbow Warriors made sure to revel in their victory celebration. Hawaii basketball shared the overjoyed victors in the locker room:

ESPN Stats & Info pointed out it was probably an early breakfast celebration back home:

It was Hawaii's first NCAA tournament win in program history:

Jonah Keri of CBS Sports and Sports Illustrated reacted:

NCAA March Madness guessed there would be many people upset with their brackets:

ESPN's Jay Williams realized California wasn't the only team from the Pac-12 struggling in the tournament:

Trey Wingo of ESPN rubbed it in even more for those supporting the Golden Bears:

Quincy Smith led the way for Hawaii with 19 points, while Roderick Bobbitt added 17 points and seven rebounds. Next up for Hawaii is a showdown with the winner of the game between No. 5 seed Maryland and No. 12 seed South Dakota State.

It would be understandable to assume Hawaii will face the Terrapins from the Big Ten in the next round, but the Rainbow Warriors proved nothing can be taken for granted in the Big Dance. If they do face Maryland, they will need another strong effort from Smith and Bobbitt to advance to the Sweet 16. 

One thing is for sure—Hawaii will not be intimidated after beating California on Friday.


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