DAYTON, Ohio -- The first game of the NCAA Tournament was a perfect segue from the regular season -- on the screwball side.

After a winter of odd twists and turns, no ordinary opener would do. Albany’s 71-64 win against Mount St. Mary’s wasn’t ordinary.

MARCH MADNESS
Galleries from each of the games
Lopresti: UConn takes Napier's lead to national title
Kroll: Deficit too much for Kentucky against UConn
Bauernfeind: Kentucky players credit UConn guards
Collins: Toughness leads to another title for Huskies
Kroll: Calipari has run up against Connecticut before
Lopresti: UConn's run to title game reflection of its coach
Lopresti: Championship game numbers and words
Kroll: Kentucky lives by the freshmen -- again
Lopresti: UConn drawing comparisions to 2011 champs
Lopresti: Notes: UConn, UK is a match with many angles
Bauernfeind: Kentucky's inside game the difference
Collins: Ollie's leadership keeps UConn run alive
Lopresti: Napier's and Wilbekin's stories meet in Final Four
Lopresti: Notes: Times have changed since 1986
Kroll: Kaminsky grows into bigger role for Wisconsin
Kroll: AT&T Stadium is an un-really big deal
Lopresti: Even for Kentucky, it's no easy street
Lopresti: Notes: UConn's Ollie eyes title in first Final Four
Lopresti: Kentucky's Randle has private cheering section
Lopresti: Top tourney day in history of Final Four teams
Lopresti: Meet the battle-tested final foursome
2014 DI Men's Basketball Tournament Stats
Brackets: Interactive Printable
Selections: East  Midwest  South  West
• Analyze Final Four: UPS Team Performance Index
• Vote Now: Degree Clash of the Underdogs
• Vote Now: 2014 Naismith Trophy presented by AT&T
Inside Look: NCAA Courtside presented by AT&T
Strangeness by the numbers:

  • Albany opened the game with a 21-2 run. Then Mount St. Mary’s answered with  a 21-2 run. So they started over again at a 23-23 tie.
  • Albany, the winning team, had 14 turnovers.
  • Mount St. Mary’s, the losing team, had four.
  • Mount St. Mary’s, the losing team, had 21 points off the bench.
  • Albany, the winning team, had none.
  • The shooting percentage gap was staggering -- Albany at 57.4 percent Mount St. Mary’s at 36.7 percent. Yet the game was in doubt until the final minute.
  • Mount St. Mary’s shot 37 3-pointers, or two more than it had 2-point attempts and free throws combined.
  • Albany’s Sam Rowley flirted with a triple double – eight points, 13 rebounds and seven turnovers.
  • Mount St. Mary’s leading scorer, Will Miller, scored 21 points off the bench. He took 12 3-pointers and no 2-pointers.


The message seemed clear. Now that the party had begun, don’t expect much routine.