Last Updated 11:39 AM, April 03, 2022

We're tracking every upset in the NCAA men's tournament

Purdue Boilermakers vs. Saint Peter's Peacocks - Condensed Game
3:34 pm, April 3, 2022

(8) North Carolina takes down (2) Duke to advance to national championship game

No. 8 North Carolina 81, No. 2 Duke 77 

How it happened: As often happens in true classics, it was not so much that anyone blinked, but one team just made more plays than the other. Duke nursed a 68-67 lead toward the three-minute mark, and from that point there were five lead changes in the next 120 frantic seconds. The last – the 18th lead change of the night – happened with two RJ Davis free throws that put North Carolina ahead 75-74 with 1:01. The Tar Heel dagger came with 25 seconds left on Caleb Love’s fearless pullup 3-pointer that made it 78-74. Love’s 28 points carried North Carolina, as did Armando Bacot’s 21 rebounds, and the team’s 50 percent shooting in the second half. Duke had only four turnovers and outscored North Carolina 48-26 in the paint, but two areas cost the Blue Devils – 5-for-22 shooting from behind the 3-point arc and 12-for-20 at the free throw line. But to the end, these two ancient rivals were so close in so many ways. Duke led for 17:09, North Carolina for 16:22.

What it means: Where to begin? The victory put North Carolina in its 12th national championship game, and made Hubert Davis the first coach to get that far in his first season since Michigan’s Steve Fisher, 33 years ago. The Tar Heels’ No. 8 seed matched the lowest ever for a championship game, joining Kentucky of 2014, Butler of 2011, Villanova of 1985 and UCLA of 1980. Combined with the season-ending win at Duke, the victory gave the North Carolina fan base enormous bragging rights on Tobacco Road. For Duke and Mike Krzyzewski, it simply meant goodbye after 42 years. An era ended with the game’s final second.

What they said: 

Davis, on the two big wins against Duke: ”It doesn't help us for Monday. It just doesn't. And so when I talk about the noise and things that aren't beneficial to help us prepare, to help us practice and help us play, I think dwelling on the two wins against Duke doesn't help us against Kansas. So we put that in a box to think about over the summer."

Davis on the crucial Love basket with 25 seconds left: “One of the things I love about all of our guys they're always willing to step up. He wants that shot. He's actually looking for that shot. And very few guys in that situation are looking for that type of shot. Caleb is one of them. He has the confidence to be able to knock it down.”

Krzyzewski on his last Duke team: “For these guys, they've been a joy. When we made our announcement it would be our last year, I told my wife, Mickie, look, we're going for it. And I'm going to put everything into it. And I got a group, they're young, but I think they've got a chance. And I was right about that. We had a few bumps in the road, but they won 32 games. And they turned it around in March where they've been beautiful young men to coach. I could not ask for more.”

2:10 am, March 26, 2022

(15) Saint Peter's upsets (3) Purdue to become first No. 15 seed in Elite Eight

No. 15 Saint Peter’s 67, No. 3 Purdue 64

How it happened: By now it’s a familiar script. Play defense, play hard, hit crucial late shots, and the other team will eventually blink, no matter what name is on the front of the jersey. The Peacocks forced Purdue into 42.6-percent shooting and made life particularly miserable on the Boilermaker stars. Jaden Ivey and Zach Edey combined for nine field goals and 11 turnovers. A late switch to a zone defense bothered Purdue, and nobody saved the day from the outside. The Boilermakers missed 11 of 12 3-pointers in the second half. In a tense struggle with 10 ties and 15 lead changes — the biggest lead Saint Peter’s had all night was four points — the Peacocks got the lead for good with 2:17 left on a driving layup by Daryl Banks III. Then it was a matter of making free throws to stay in front. Saint Peter’s went 8-for-8 the final 1:43. The most historic win in school history was a true team effort. No one had more than 14 points or three rebounds, but nine Peacocks scored and 10 had at least one rebound.

What it means: History. Plain, simple and incredible. The Peacocks have now gone where no No. 15 seed has gone before (or No. 13 or No. 14 seed for that matter) — to the Elite Eight. Along the way they have taken out royalty in Kentucky, the nation’s best record in Murray State and a former AP No. 1 this season in Purdue. If they aren’t the greatest Cinderella story of all time yet, they’re getting close. Purdue’s hopes for easing its 42-year Final Four drought ended in desolation. And the Big Ten, for all its regular-season might, did not put a single team in the Elite Eight.

What they said:

Saint Peter’s coach Shaheen Holloway: “That's what we've been the whole year. That's who we are. We're not a team that's going to blow teams out. That's not our DNA. We try to keep it close and try to make them make mistakes down the stretch. When you're playing against teams like that who's supposed to win, when you keep it tight, certain things can happen. I told my guys, 'Just keep battling, keep battling, let's see what happens.' We kept battling, I knew the ball was going to bounce our way, and it did.”

Saint Peter’s guard Doug Edert: “We're happy, but don't mistake, we're not satisfied. We're not satisfied at all. The job is not finished. We feel like we belong, and the more games we win, the more confidence we build.”

Purdue forward Trevion Williams: “I'm honestly still in shock. It just doesn't feel real. I just wish we could have played a little bit better. Man, you've got to give them their respect. That's a real team. If you don't respect them, you'll be outplayed kind of like we did today.”

Purdue coach Matt Painter: “It eats at you. Like you work hard to do things and to work and represent your school and to put yourself in a position to do well. It's so hard to get in position to do well — like these guys won 29 games and then you feel awful. We put ourselves in a position to win a Big Ten championship and we didn't. You get to this point right here and you don't move forward. We have a good program. Our guys graduate, we're successful, we have the most Big Ten championships of any school in the Big Ten. We just haven't gotten over that hurdle. We just haven't gotten that push to where we haven't been to a Final Four in 42 years. So yeah, I think about it all the time, but it's not going to stop me from driving to get here and get back in this position again and try to get over that hurdle. That's what our players deserve and our fans deserve. It's part of competition. It's a very, very competitive world.”

5:09 am, March 25, 2022

(5) Houston sends (1) Arizona home, pulls within one win of Final Four

No. 5 Houston 72, No. 1 Arizona 60

How it happened: Arizona’s high-octane offense ran into the Houston defense and went splat, scoring 24 points under its average with 33-percent shooting. The Wildcats might have been the No. 1 seed, but the Cougars took the lead 46 seconds into the game and were never caught. They also outscored Arizona 24-6 in points off turnovers. Houston guard Jamal Shead continued to be one of the developing stars of the tournament with 21 points, four rebounds, six assists and two steals. That after 18 points, three assists and three steals against Illinois.

What it means: Down went another No. 1 seed, leaving Kansas the only one standing at the end of Thursday of the Sweet 16. It’s the first time in nine years there would be at most one No. 1 seed in the Elite Eight. Arizona’s demise also left UCLA the last West Coast team alive. Just four years ago, Houston had not won an NCAA tournament game in 33 seasons, but this was the 10th victory for the Cougars and Kelvin Sampson in the past four tournaments. It put them on the brink of a return to the Final Four. It was also the second power-conference regular-season champion they had beaten in a week, with Big Ten co-winner Illinois a victim in the second round.

What they said:

Houston coach Kelvin Sampson: “Good, bad, or indifferent, every team is known for something. All our teams eventually get there. It's not always smooth sailing, we're not going to win a lot of beauty contests, but victories don't come with asterisks. I watched Arizona play. I watched them play UCLA. I watched them play Colorado. I watched the way those teams guarded them, and I knew we weren't going to guard them like those teams did. Those teams just switched them. They let them be comfortable. I knew we were going to make them uncomfortable. That's what we do.”

Houston’s Jamal Shead: “Once we come out of the locker room, we feel like we're supposed to be here at all times. We always feel like the toughest team out there and always try to play like it. We always have each other's back, and I think that's the most important thing there. We can't be scared of anybody if we all are together and just trying to go at it all the time.”

Arizona’s Christian Koloko: “We started the season, and nobody believed in us. We made them believe in us. We won the Pac-12 regular season, we won the Pac-12 tournament, and we get to the Sweet 16. We knew we could have done better. That's why our team is sad right now. We knew how good of a team we (were), but right now we can't do anything.”

2:16 am, March 25, 2022

(4) Arkansas knocks out (1) Gonzaga to advance to second consecutive Elite Eight

How it happened: Turns out that Arkansas holding New Mexico State to 48 points in the second round was just a warning shot. This defensive performance by the Razorbacks’ defense will go into the tournament archives. A Zags’ attack leading the nation by scoring 87 points a game could not get to 70. The surest shooting team in the land could not hit 38 percent. The fifth best offense in assist-turnover ratio had only nine assists, and 15 turnovers – one more than in Gonzaga’s first two games combined. Chet Holmgren played only 23 foul-plagued minutes before picking up his fifth. Andrew Nembhard, assigned to Razorback defensive ace Au’Diese Toney,  was 2-for-11 with five turnovers. While the Hogs were at it, they beat Gonzaga to nearly every 50-50 ball. With all that going on – and JD Notae leading the way with 21 points, even though it took him 29 shots to do it – Arkansas grabbed the lead for good early in the second half and never gave it back.

What it means: Gone, the Drew Timme-Holmgren-Nembhard machine that seemed the team everyone was chasing in November. Gone, the No. 1 ranked name in the Associated Poll. That means for the 19th time in the past 20 tournaments, the top-ranked team will not be the national champion. Only 2012 Kentucky is the exception. This is the earliest Gonzaga has left the tournament since 2018. It was the first time Arkansas had ever beaten a No. 1 seed, after going 0-10. Lost in the SEC glare of Kentucky, Auburn and Tennessee all season, the Razorbacks and the scrappy heat they bring on defense suddenly were some of the loudest noises of the month.

Musselman now has had Arkansas in the Elite Eight in two consecutive years, with a chance to get to the program’s first Final Four since 1995.

What they said:

Arkansas coach Eric Musselman: “Inside we just wanted to be physical, plain and simple. We wanted them to feel bodies. I played in that league. I know what some of the teams are like in that league, and the physicality and the speed that we can play with is just different, and, obviously, they played a really tough schedule early in the season, but it's been a long time in conference play since they faced a team like us. We weren't going to back down, I can tell you that, inside. We took away their 3’s. I thought it was as good as we could play against a really, really great team that's extremely well-coached.”

Arkansas’ Jaylin Williams: “I think we're being disrespected the whole year, so it's just another thing for us. They gave them an 86% chance to win. We saw that and everything they were saying. We felt like they were dancing before the game. That was disrespect to us. We came into the game playing hard and had a chip on our shoulder. Every game we do, and we played hard for 40 minutes, so that's just what we do now.”

Gonzaga coach Mark Few: “I think sometimes the outside people that aren't in our program always label it with, national championship or bust. Obviously, we wanted to take this thing all the way to the end and win it, but we understand just how hard that is and just how hard it is to make the tournament, how hard it is to win a good league as good as the WCC was this year, and advance even to the Sweet 16.

"We started this season No. 1 and ended the regular season No. 1. There wasn't anybody in college basketball that could hold onto it. We were the only ones that could, and they deserve a lot of credit for that. Took everybody's best shot, and we just couldn't get it done against Arkansas' shot tonight.”

3:37 am, March 21, 2022

(10) Miami trounces (2) Auburn, becoming third ACC team to reach Sweet 16

Kevin C. Cox | Getty Images Miami (FL) beats Auburn

How it happened: Where, oh where, did Auburn’s future NBAers go? Walker Kessler: Two points, 0-for-6 shooting, two rebounds. Jabari Smith: 10 points, 3-for-16 shooting. Devoid of their usual star power, the Tigers were blown away in the second half 46-29. Miami took on the No. 2 seed in the region and SEC season champion and led for more than 39 minutes, committing only four turnovers. The Hurricanes’ so-called scramble defense of pressuring and trapping and being overall pests gave Auburn a very long night. Also, the considerably less heralded duo of Isaiah Wong and Kameron McGusty had 21 and 20 points, outscoring Auburn’s marquee pair 41-12.

What it means: So much for the ACC having a down year. Miami was the third league to crash through to the Sweet 16. This is in contrast to the rapidly vanishing SEC. Auburn, Kentucky, Tennessee – gone in the first four days. Also, so much for the Hurricanes getting picked to finish 12th in the ACC. They’re now in their third Sweet 16 in 10 years, which is pretty good for a program that went to one in the first 74 NCAA tournaments. This also adds more glitter to the considerable coaching resume of Jim Larranaga, who is 72. But since Duke won with Mike Krzyzewski, Larranaga is not the oldest coach still in the tournament.

What they said:

Larranaga: “I was tuned in to the games before us, and I listened to Charles Barkley tell the CBS crew that if Auburn won, he would take off his shirt, and I thought to myself, man, no one wants to see that, Chuck. So we did everything possible to make it possible that he wouldn't have to do that.”

McGusty on the defense: “That's what we've been doing all season as a team. Our rotations are on point. As a group, we're all one. We did a good job of trapping them, rotating, not letting them get comfortable. That's just our identity. That's what we do.”

Auburn coach Bruce Pearl: “We were disrupted. We were getting outplayed. We haven't been outplayed like that all year, as I stop and think about our losses. This is the first time that we got it handed to us because we just didn't know how to respond.”

Jabari Smith: “They're just very physical in every catch. They sent somebody any time I tried to attack or make a move. They just kept bodies on me. They switched every ball screen. So just made it kind of tough for me.”

12:52 am, March 21, 2022

(11) Iowa State overtakes (3) Wisconsin with stellar defense

USA TODAY Sports Iowa State beats Wisconsin in March Madness

How it happened: A lot of Iowa State defense. Or bad Wisconsin offense. Either way, the Badgers’ outside shooting collapsed, and never mind how Wisconsin-friendly the Milwaukee crowd was. These were the numbers of an upset: A 29.8 Badgers’ shooting percentage, including a subarctic 2-for-22 in 3-pointers. All-American Johnny Davis struggled all day to 17 points, missing 12 of 16 shots and all seven 3-pointers. Then there were the turnovers. The Badgers committed 17. They came into Sunday No. 1 in the nation in fewest turnovers, averaging 8.4 a game.  They also lost point guard Chucky Hepburn to injury in the first half. With so many Wisconsin offensive woes, the Cyclones could get away with shooting 34.5 percent themselves. They scored only four points the final 4:16 of the game  – and didn’t lose a point off their lead.

What it means: Numerically, the Iowa State journey is the most astonishing in the nation, and unprecedented – from a 2-22 record to the Sweet 16 in one season. Maybe this is what all the new faces in the program – including coach T.J. Otzelberger -- dreamed about when they signed up, but it seemed a fantasy in November. And still appeared unlikely when the Cyclones struggled to a 7-11 Big 12 season. With losses to Wisconsin and Illinois on the same day, neither Big Ten co-champion survived the first week.

What they said:

Iowa State’s Gabe Kalscheur: “That's what our identity is, our defense. We knew coming into the game that we just had to be who we are, who we've been this whole season and just ramp up our defense and ball pressure and they gave it to us, so that really just led our offense.”

Coach T.J. Otzelberger: “We didn't set out for a certain win total or to do anything based on what transpired in the past. What we did set out to do is restore pride to a program that I love so much, our players do and has a rich history.”

Johnny Davis: “They put a really good pressure defense, they did a really good job of taking away passing lanes. I just think that we just straight up missed shots and didn't share the ball the way we were supposed to.”

9:05 pm, March 20, 2022

(15) Saint Peter's makes history with victory over (7) Murray State

Saint Peter's win over Murray State

How it happened: The Peacocks didn’t pull a magic trick out of their bag. This was done with the gritty, serious work of defense, shutting down the Murray State offense on 35 percent shooting, outrebounding the Racers and making them pay for their turnovers, things no opponent had done during Murray State’s 21-game winning streak. The Peacocks stunned the Racers by turning a five-point halftime lead into a 13-point margin and then held Murray State at bay with clutch shooting, hitting 23 of 31 free throws and keeping the turnover total to a reasonable 10. Not much room in any of that for a Racers’ rally. The team with the best record in the nation at 31-2 never led a single second.

What it means: Move over, Florida Gulf Coast and Oral Roberts, another No. 15 seed has joined your Sweet 16 club. Nobody did it the first 28 years of the 64-team bracket, but now it’s happened three times in eight tournaments. In many ways –-- low profile, path that had to be taken --- the Peacocks are the most unlikeliest of them all. In three days, Shaheen Holloway became a very hot name on the coaching circuit, very possibly headed for his alma mater, Seton Hall.  The minute Kentucky lost, Murray State had to believe its path to the Sweet 16 had eased. A reasonable assumption, but wrong.

What they said:

Holloway on team's performance over the first weekend: “I'm just proud that these guys get to play on a different type of stage. NCAA Tournament is every kid's dream. We play on ESPN+. We don't get a lot of big TV games. So these guys get a chance to show their talent on the big stage. These guys worked so hard for this moment.”

Saint Peter's Hassan Drame: “The job is not finished. We have a lot more to prove.”

Murray State coach Matt McMahon on Saint Peter’s: “They want to force you to take tough, contested shots at the basket. They've done a tremendous job. I can't say enough about them. We always talk, you want to be playing your best basketball in March, and that's what they've done. They were the best team on the floor on Thursday, and they were the best team on the floor tonight.”

1:31 am, March 20, 2022

(11) Michigan stuns (3) Tennessee en route to fifth straight Sweet 16

Andy Lyons | Getty Images Michigan beats Tennessee in March Madness

How it happened: Tennessee’s vaunted defense allowed Texas A&M only 50 points in the SEC title game. Michigan’s Hunter Dickinson and Eli Brooks matched that by themselves with 27 and 23 points to keep the pressure on the Vols. Brooks scored the game’s biggest basket on a hook from the baseline as the shot clock ran out in the final minute and the Wolverines clinging to a two-point lead. There were also two critical follow-up baskets by Terrance Williams II, who usually averages under five points a game. Tennessee hit 14 3-pointers in its first-round romp over Longwood, and the Michigan mission on defense was to guard the arc. Mission accomplished. The Vols were 2-for-18 in 3-pointers, missing all nine in the second half.

What it means: All those late losses in the Big Ten, the Juwan Howard suspension, the 17-point blown lead to Indiana in the conference tournament . . . the No. 11 seed . . . they don’t matter anymore. This is the Michigan team everyone expected in the beginning. The win continued one streak and snapped another. This is the program’s fifth Sweet 16 trip in a row. It also broke a Wolverines’ rut of following every win with a loss that had been going on for a month. They hadn’t won two games in a row since Feb. 10. Meanwhile, Tennessee’s long, long, long wait to get to the program’s first Final Four goes on.

What they said:

Dickinson on Michigan’s month-long streak of following every win with a loss: “We were well aware of it for a while now, and it's definitely been wearing on us. But there is no better time to break the streak than now, I guess.

Brooks on Michigan overcoming a turbulent season: “There wasn't really any doubt that this team is special. That starts with our coach believing in us and just the group of guys that are in the locker room. We have a good group of guys that have the same drive, the same passion. There wasn't a second that anybody shied away, and they bought into the system, and we're in the Sweet 16. So it's good to see.”

Tennessee’s Josiah-Jordan James:  “We shot the shots that we practiced. Today just for 40 minutes they didn't go in. Credit to Michigan, they played pretty good defense. But I feel like today just wasn't our day shooting the ball.”

Tennessee coach Rick Barnes on the Vols falling short of expectations in the tournament: “I can tell you from experience whether you lose on the first day, the second day, like we did today, or you lose in the semifinals, it's the same feeling. People can say whatever they want -- you don't ever take getting here for granted. I mean, it is so hard to get here . . . But is it frustrating? Yeah. I've been frustrated a lot in my career, but I'm also very thankful that I've been able to be here."

10:32 pm, March 19, 2022

No. 9 North Carolina edges No. 1 Baylor despite comeback

Kevin Jairaj | USA TODAY Sports Images North Carolina basketball beats Baylor in March Madness

How it happened: Drama, intrigue, tension. And all that was after North Carolina built a 25-point lead with just under 11 minutes left. What looked like a Tar Heel pleasure cruise did a U-turn when Brady Manek – who had scored 26 points in 28 minutes – was ejected for a flagrant foul. North Carolina shockingly melted against the Baylor pressure, and so did the lead, vanishing completely with 16 seconds left in regulation to create an unfathomable overtime. The Tar Heels had 16 turnovers after halftime. But while Baylor had the will, the Bears did not have the shooting, missing 10 of 11 field goal attempts in overtime and 28 of their 37 3-point attempts for the game.

What it means: Down goes the defending champion, so Florida will remain the last repeat winner, from 15 years ago. It also meant the top two teams in the East – Kentucky and Baylor – were gone, leaving No. 3 Purdue suddenly the highest seed standing. Had North Carolina not escaped with a win, it would have been the worst blown lead in NCAA tournament history. BYU came back from a 25-point deficit to beat Iona in the First Four, but that gap was in the first half, making this even worse. That’s not something first-year coach Hubert Davis would have wanted on his resume.

What they said:

Davis on the intensely physical nature of the game, which saw four technicals, one ejection, four players foul out and three more finish with four fouls:  “You just had two teams that were fighting and scratching and kicking and clawing on every pass, every rebound, every cut, every shot, every free-throw. And when that happens, at times, physicality happens.”

North Carolina’s Leaky Black: “Pretty much when overtime started, we were just trying to get our guys to realize that it was zero-zero, it was a new game, just got to relax and we just got to step up regardless.”

Baylor coach Scott Drew: “Never underestimate the heart of a champion. I thought our guys really displayed that. You get down 25, it’s easy to fold. These guys don’t.”

Drew on Baylor’s shooting woes in overtime: “We had some good looks in overtime. I think that's one of the tough things, when you spend all that energy, sometimes you run out of gas. And you can say we did that a little bit, but you also got to give them credit.”

2:38 am, March 19, 2022

No. 11 Iowa State breaks the last perfect bracket, defeats No. 6 LSU

NCAA Photos Iowa State beats LSU in March Madness

No more perfect men's brackets remain after Iowa State's upset win. 

How it happened: Tyrese Hunter: LSU dagger. When a 12-point Iowa State lead shrank to one inside of two minutes, the freshman hit a rainbow 3-pointer from the outback. When it was down to two and the shot clock was running out, he did it again with 19 seconds left. That finished the job that the Cyclones had been working on all night, trailing for only 56 seconds. The Tigers would never go away, but Hunter’s 23 points were too many to handle. So was the Iowa State defense that helped cause LSU’s 21-percent 3-point shooting and 19 turnovers.

What it means: Iowa State’s renaissance year continues, and it has not always been in a straight line. The program that was 2-22 last year started this season 12-0 with new coach T.J. Otzelberger and several transfers from hither and yon. The arrival of freshman Hunter didn’t hurt, either. Then the Cyclones skidded to a 7-11 Big 12 mark. But this victory will help punctuate the rebirth. LSU had a tough challenge, enduring a sudden coaching change to arrive in Milwaukee with interim Kevin Nickelberry in charge. But that wasn’t the problem Friday; too many turnovers and too much Hunter were.

What they said:

Hunter, on making the last big shot as a freshman: “Just started with the confidence I had throughout the game. I made a few, so just knowing that the guys around me trusted me too. Clock running down to get into the shot that I'd normally take, so the rest is history for it. It's March Madness. Everybody got one goal and you've got to go out there and play hard. That's just me playing myself. Like people say, freshman this, freshman that, but at the end of the day I'm a basketball player that's out there with other basketball players that's going out there to compete and win.”

Coach T. J. Otzelberger on Iowa State’s up-and-down season: For our guys, we've had stretches where you could see the adversity, you can see the confidence waiver where it's tested us. We've bent at times, but we've never broke. So I think that really prepares you.”

LSU interim coach Kevin Nickelberry on the Tigers having to handle turbulent recent days with head coach Will Wade fired: “I said all week it's just basketball, but the distractions were a lot and these guys still fought through those distractions, went out and gave LSU a chance to win tonight     

10:55 pm, March 18, 2022

No. 11 Notre Dame continues storied run, downing No. 6 Alabama

Ronald Martinez | Getty Images Notre Dame basketball in March Madness

How it happened: It was a close game and then it wasn’t. After 11 lead changes in the first half, the Irish steadily took command in the second half with their usual way of doing things – finding the basket. Notre Dame shot 54 percent overall, 62.5 percent from the 3-point arc and made 10 of 11 free throws. Cormac Ryan, who arrived at the arena with an 8.6 scoring average, doomed the Tide with 29 points. The normally sure-handed Irish got away with committing 18 turnovers. Alabama’s cause was badly damaged by the early loss of second leading scorer Jahvon Quinerly to a knee injury.

What it means: Yet again, the First Four roared in the next round. This is the 10th time in 11 years that a First Four survivor has won its next game, including Final Four-bound UCLA last March. The Irish proved they were good travelers. Both Indiana and Notre Dame had tiring trips west from Dayton after the First Four, the Hoosiers to Portland, the Irish to San Diego. Indiana’s play suffered badly. Notre Dame’s didn’t. The Irish over Rutgers and Alabama, Miami over USC, North Carolina big over Marquette. Who said the ACC was down this season?

What they said:

Ryan: “To be able to win the game like that, to be able to grit it out -- people were saying double overtime, long flight, legs are going to be tired. We were gunning and we were ready to go. I was just letting it fly. And when you have it rolling, you have it rolling. So picked a good night for it, I guess.”

Notre Dame coach Mike Brey: “I think we play the right way. We share it. And we play with a free mind. And it's a group that has complete ownership of itself. As a coach, don't screw it up. Don't overcoach them. Cormac Ryan grabbed me in Brooklyn (at the ACC tournament), we were walking into a press conference after Virginia Tech beat us, came up put his arm around me, he said, `Coach, be all over our ass tomorrow in practice.’ I said, message taken, thank you.”

Alabama coach Nate Oats: “I feel for Jahvon. At voluntary shooting deal last night, he was the only guy that went. Shot it really well. I thought he was ready to play, and three minutes into the game he gets the knee injury, can't play the rest of the game. Life happens. Adversity hits and you've got to face it.”

2:40 am, March 18, 2022

No. 15 Saint Peter's knocks off No. 2 Kentucky in overtime

How it happened: Someone had to keep the dream of an upset alive, and that was guard Daryl Banks III, who put 27 points on the Wildcats’ defense. Also Doug Edert, with two critical 3-pointers when Saint Peter’s prospects were beginning to flicker. The assumption was that sooner or later, Kentucky would take command, but the Wildcats never could get a lead bigger than six points. While Oscar Tshiebwe was putting together massive numbers – 30 points and 16 rebounds – the rest of the Kentucky lineup shot 33 percent. When Edert’s driving layup with 23 seconds left in regulation tied the game and forced overtime, Kentucky was clearly in peril. Then the Wildcats missed five of six free throws in overtime to seal their fate. The Peacocks hit nine of 11.

What it means: Busted brackets coast to coast. And another dose of harsh March reality for Big Blue Nation, which gets very restless without a Final Four. Now it’s been seven years. For Saint Peter’s, it was the first NCAA Tournament victory in school history. And instant coronation as the Cinderella story of this month.

What they said:

Daryll Banks III: “It was an amazing feeling. You know, playing basketball, you grow up watching college basketball and the March Madness tournament, so letting that sink in, knowing that the game is over, we got it, just felt really good.”

Oscar Tshiebwe: “It is sad because I've been wanting this moment for a long time. I'm a junior and this is three years in college and this is my first March Madness. I even told my teammates, this is not going to be easy for us. If we are not willing to fight, any team in March Madness, they make it for a reason.”

John Calipari: “I was worried going into the game. I wasn't showing anybody. I was whistling and skipping and dancing and we can't wait.”

KC Ndefo on Saint Peter’s hitting 18 of 21 free throws, including 9 of 11 in overtime: “We work on free throws probably more than anybody in the country. That's one thing that we do in practice over and over again.”

11:17 pm, March 17, 2022

No. 12 Richmond takes out No. 5 Iowa

Richmond upset Iowa on Thursday.

How it happened: One of the hottest teams coming into the NCAA tournament chose an awful time to go cold. The Hawkeyes shot only 36 percent, and had a particularly tough time from the 3-point line, missing 23 of 29 attempts. All-American Keegan Murray had a manageable 21 points and Jordan Bohannon only six. Richmond’s defense — especially guarding Murray with multiple Spiders – might have had something to do with that. Richmond, in the field after winning the Atlantic 10 tournament to get a bid, was led by graduate student Jacob Gilyard, starting his 153rd game. The nation’s steals leader didn’t have a single steal, but he did have 24 points, six rebounds, six assists, and hit four free throws in the last 15 seconds to kill any chance of an Iowa comeback. In a back-and-forth game, Richmond edged into the lead with 14:32 left and never gave it up.

What it means: If history meant anything, the combination of Richmond as a No. 12 seed should have been a loud alarm going off for Iowa. This is the 52nd time a No. 12 seed has taken out a No. 5 since the tournament expanded to 64 teams in 1985. And Richmond — a veteran bunch with nine seniors or graduate students — can now put the Hawkeyes on their wall to go with all the other giants whose first rounds they’ve ruined: No. 5 Auburn in 1984, No. 4 Indiana in 1988, No. 2 Syracuse in 1991, No. 3 South Carolina in 1998 and No. 5 Vanderbilt in 2011. Now Iowa. That makes six first-round upsets by a combined 16 points. The Hawkeyes must wonder if their exhilarating but demanding four-day march to the Big Ten tournament championship took something away they never got back. But then, Richmond had to win four A-10 games in four days, too.

What they said:

Jacob Gilyard: “I don't think we were too scared to play at their pace. At the end of the day, we had to guard and make it tough. We knew we're a tough team to scout, the way we run our offense and how many older guys we have. It's tough to try and guard us. You got to go out there and make your own luck, and we did that today.”

Richmond coach Chris Mooney: “Once you get past the conference or the size of the school or whatever it is, you're just playing, and then you're starting to focus on the Xs and Os.”

Iowa’s Connor McCaffery: “I couldn't be feeling worse. There's only one team that's going to end on a win, but leaving this game is probably the worst game we played all year. And I don't think it's close, so it's definitely not a good feeling in our stomachs right now.”

7:21 pm, March 17, 2022

No. 11 Michigan nets the first upset of 2022


Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images Michigan's Frankie Collins dunks against Colorado State. Michigan's Frankie Collins dunks against Colorado State.

Upsets. March ain’t March without ‘em.

To chronicle the carnage — the more, the better — here is the Upset Chronicle for 2022. There are two ways to make the list: Beat a team seeded at least five spots higher, or knock off a No. 1.

No. 11 Michigan 75, No. 6 Colorado State 63.

How it happened: Well, that didn’t take long. The first game of the first round was the first upset, as the Wolverines rallied from a 15-point deficit. Early on, the Rams threatened to seize the day from the arc, hitting eight 3-pointers in the first half while Michigan went 0-for-7 and committed nine turnovers. That didn’t last. Three 3-pointers from Caleb Houstan drove the Wolverines into the lead for good midway through the second half, and they were shooting too well overall — 60 percent after halftime —  for Colorado State to keep pace. The Michigan defense also had the game under control. From their quick-start 28-13 lead, the Rams were outscored 62-35 in the last 25 minutes. Another key was the play of freshman guard Frankie Collins, getting his first career start in place of the injured DeVante’ Jones and suppling 14 points and six rebounds. It was Michigan’s turn to win, anyway. The Wolverines had alternated victory and defeat for 10 games in a row going back to early February, and were coming off a loss in the Big Ten tournament.

What it means: Michigan was hoping for a fresh start from its late-season wobbles, and this was just the way to do it, with a stirring rally from a lineup that included three freshmen. Back in November, this would never have sounded like an upset, with Michigan having the talent to be ranked No. 4. If the Wolverines find their A game, they could go from a double-digit seed to a little scary. Between Indiana’s First Four win over Wyoming and this, the Big Ten has been a little hard on the Mountain West.

What they said:

Michigan’s Caleb Houstan: “Basketball is runs. They went on their run mostly in the first half and I think we stayed in it, got another gear, and kind of made our run in the second half and didn't really look back.”
Michigan coach Juwan Howard: “Being down 15, we could have easily just said you know what, it's time to pack it in. But we are not built that way. That's not what the Michigan culture is all about.”
Colorado State coach Niko Medved: “Sometimes it's a great thing when shots go down but we had so many shots go down early. Sometimes that can be a curse where we maybe were settling a little bit too much. We have been good in the paint all year, and we obviously were not able to do that. I don't think we responded great when Michigan really turned up their pressure in the second half."
5:15 pm, March 15, 2022

Welcome to the March Madness upset tracker

Welcome to March Madness and welcome to the upset tracker. This is the spot where hall-of-fame sportswriter Mike Lopresti will catalog every upset that happens during the 2022 DI men's basketball tournament

We're using the official NCAA record book definition of an upset: "Upsets are defined as when the winner of the game was seeded five or more places lower than the team it defeated."

Here's every upset that happened in 2021, headlined by No. 15 Oral Roberts' 75-72 win over No. 2 Ohio State 72