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Joe Boozell | | March 19, 2016

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Get March Madness scores, highlights, memes, and trending moments all day and night long in our live blog during Day 2 of the NCAA Division I men's basketball tournament.

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Stephen F. Austin forward Thomas Walkup helped upset West Virginia in the first round.
Robert Deutsch | USA TODAY Sports Images
Stephen F. Austin forward Thomas Walkup helped upset West Virginia in the first round.

March Madness: 6 most memorable moments from the NCAA tournament first round


Brian Mull |
Last Updated - Mar 19, 2016 00:43 EDT
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After a ridiculously unpredictable regular season, it was only natural to expect a bevy of unexpected outcomes in the NCAA tournament. Without question, the first round of 32 games fulfilled that desire - and at times exceeded our imaginations.




How much more? Compiling this list meant excluding remarkable performances like Makai Mason’s 31-point outburst to lead No. 12 Yale past No. 5 Baylor for the first NCAA tournament victory in school history. Or overlooking the sweet inbounds play Providence ran with 1.5 seconds remaining that led to a Rodney Bullock lay-in off the glass. Nevertheless, here are the six most memorable moments March Madness delivered in the opening round.


Northern Iowa's amazing buzzer beater

You had to stay up past midnight on the East Coast, but the most amazing single moment had to be Paul Jesperson's half court shot at the buzzer immediately following a shot by Texas which tied the game in the waning seconds.


Middle Tennessee State stuns Michigan State



First Round: Middle Tennessee Stuns Michigan State


Let the experts discuss whether No. 15 Middle Tennessee State’s 90-81 upset over No. 2 Michigan State was the best in NCAA tournament history. The Blue Raiders created an indelible March moment all the same. Reggie Upshaw Jr. led MTSU, the Conference USA champions, with 21 points, but Giddy Potts forged the unforgettable images. The nation’s best 3-point shooter buried a jumper and blocked a shot down the stretch to lift the Blue Raiders to a the first ever opening round upset of a team ranked No. 1 during the regular season. And just like that, the Spartans, who were picked to win the national championship by 21 percent of Capital One March Madness Bracket Challenge entrants, were eliminated from the tournament in the opening round. MTSU became just the eighth 15 seed in tournament history to win a first round game.

Hagins lifts Little Rock

The possession was going nowhere, time was running out and Little Rock trailed Purdue by three points. Then, Little Rock senior guard Josh Hagins stepped back and buried a 24-foot jump shot to send the game into overtime. He delivered another clutch basket to make a second overtime necessary and scored 10 of his career-high 31 points after regulation to lift the 12th seeded Trojans to an 85-83 win over No. 5 Purdue on Thursday in the Pepsi Center in Denver.  The shot capped an amazing turnaround for a program with a first-year coach and 10 new players.

Iowa wins at the buzzer

What makes the opening days of the NCAA tournament special? Buzzer beaters, of course. Iowa, No. 7 in the South entered March Madness heading in the wrong direction. The Hawkeyes had lost five of six and about one-third of brackets pegged the Temple Owls to knock Fran McCaffery’s team from its perch. After a back-and-forth battle ended in overtime, Adam Woodbury emerged from a crowded lane and pushed through a putback at the buzzer to lift Iowa to a thrilling 72-70 first-round victory.

The Rainbows make history 

Hawaii, the No. 13 seed in the South, entered Friday afternoon’s battle with No. 4 California as a decided underdog, 3,000 miles removed from the nearest home game and seeking the first NCAA tournament victory in program history. The Rainbows dominated throughout and left the session opener in Spokane, Washington with a thorough 77-66 dismantling of the Golden Bears. Roderick Bobbitt led a solid team effort for Hawaii, which held the lead for the final 32 minutes of the game, and won in coach Eran Ganot’s rookie season on the sidelines and in its fifth trip to March Madness.

Thomas Walkup

Such a great hairstyle and even better game for the Stephen F. Austin star. The Lumberjacks’ senior forward was the centerpiece of his team’s 14-over-3 upset of West Virginia in a battle of two teams who force turnovers better than anyone else in the nation. Walkup hit 19 of 20 free throws as Stephen F. Austin never let the Mountaineers threaten in the second half. He scored 12 points in a row at one point for coach Brad Underwood and produced 27 of his game-high 33 points in the second half. The Lumberjacks shot 31 percent from the field but fed off 22 West Virginia turnovers, while committing only six.

With Stephen F. Austin's win over West Virginia on Friday night, the last remaining perfect NCAA tournament bracket has busted.

DatDudeCP, or Cole Parzych, had picked the first 25 games of the NCAA tournament correct in the NCAA March Madness Capital One Bracket Challenge, the official bracket game of the NCAA. Parzych was perfect through the Wisconsin win over Pittsburgh.

See his full bracket here.

Prior to the Maryland-South Dakota State game, there were also two perfect brackets at the ESPN game, but both picked the Jackrabbits. There were also no perfect brackets at the CBS, Yahoo and Bleacher Report games after the 15-2 MTSU upset over Michigan State.

"I am in shock right now," Parzych, a college freshman, told Friday afternoon when his bracket was still perfect.

READ MORE: Longest a verified bracket has remained perfect

Parzych, who said he doesn’t consider himself an avid college basketball watcher, said he wasn’t even following the tournament that closely on Thursday. But he was glued into the action after he checked his bracket on Friday morning and realized he was still perfect. 

Parzych's riskiest pick that panned out -- and the one that helped separate himself from the field -- was his prediction that Middle Tennessee State University would take down Michigan State. More than 20 percent of brackets had Michigan State winning it all.

His rationale behind his pick had little to do with the teams involved in the game.

"I'm a Syracuse fan, and I picked them to move on to the Sweet 16 and thought the only way they could do that was if Michigan State lost in the first round," he said.

Parzych, a Syracuse, New York native, doesn't just have the Orange going to the Sweet 16, he is predicting Jim Boeheim’s 10th-seeded squad to win its first championships since they took down Kansas in the 2003 finals.

"I'm not feeling so good about that prediction," he said. "But maybe we can recreate some (2003) magic again since I have them beating Kansas in the title game."

Despite Parzych’s pessimism, it’d be hard to fully count Syracuse out right now, given how accurate he’s been so far with his picks.

Parzych was just short of correctly pick the entire first round correctly. In a look at the history of perfection with NCAA tournament brackets earlier this year, we found very few verified brackets ever remain perfect through 32 games.

In fact, 34 was the longest we could find on record, though online records and data hasn't existed in detail since the bracket expanded to at least 64 teams in 1985.

Looks like that mark is safe another year.

First Round Games

Friday Afternoon, March 18 (Noon-6 p.m. ET)


Tip (ET)





12:15 p.m.


St. Louis  I

Dayton vs. Syracuse

Brian Anderson/Steve Smith//Dana Jacobson






12:40 p.m.


Brooklyn  I

Villanova vs. UNC Asheville

Verne Lundquist/Jim Spanarkel//Allie LaForce






1:30 p.m.


Oklahoma City  I

Oregon St. vs. VCU

Carter Blackburn/Mike Gminski//Jaime Maggio






2:00 p.m.


Spokane  I

California vs. Hawaii

Spero Dedes/Doug Gottlieb//Ros Gold-Onwude






After conc. I


St. Louis  II

Michigan St. vs. Middle Tennessee St







After conc. I


Brooklyn  II

Iowa vs. Temple








After conc. I


Oklahoma City  II

Oklahoma vs. CSU Bakersfield







After conc. I


Spokane II

Maryland vs. South Dakota St.








First Round Games

Friday Evening, March 18 (6:30 p.m. ET-Midnight)

(Announce Teams Same as Day Games)


Tip (ET)





6:50 p.m.


St. Louis III

Wisconsin vs. Pittsburgh







7:10 p.m.


Brooklyn III

West Virginia vs. Stephen F. Austin







7:20 p.m.


Oklahoma City III

Texas A&M vs. UW-Green Bay







7:27 p.m.


Spokane III

Oregon vs. Holy Cross







After conc. III


St. Louis IV

Xavier vs. Weber St.







After conc. III


Brooklyn IV

Notre Dame vs. Michigan







After conc. III


Oklahoma City IV

Texas vs. Northern Iowa







After conc. III


Spokane IV

St. Joseph’s vs. Cincinnati







Second Round Games

Saturday Afternoon, March 19 (Noon-Midnight ET)


Tip (ET)





12:10 p.m.


Providence  I

Miami vs. Wichita State

Ian Eagle/Chris Webber/Len Elmore//Evan Washburn






After Conc. I


Providence  II

Duke vs. Yale







5:15 p.m.


Des Moines I

Kentucky vs. Indiana

Jim Nantz/Grant Hill/Bill Raftery//Tracy Wolfson






6:10 p.m.


Denver  I

Iowa State vs. Arkansas-Little Rock

Andrew Catalon/Steve Lappas//Jamie Erdahl






7:10 p.m.


Raleigh  I

Virginia vs. Butler

Kevin Harlan/Reggie Miller/Dan Bonner//Lewis Johnson






After Conc. I


Des Moines II

Kansas vs. Connecticut

Nantz/ Hill/ Raftery//Wolfson






After Conc. I


Denver II

Utah vs. Seton Hall/Gonzaga







After Conc. I


Raleigh  II

North Carolina vs. Providence



RELATED: The 2016 Pomeroy College Basketball Ratings

There are some great games Saturday. Here's a look at each contest, courtesy basketball writer Mike Lopresti.

Kentucky (4) vs. Indiana (5)

Jackpot. A second round showdown between hallowed programs who won’t pass each other on the street during the regular season? We seldom get heavyweight bouts of this stature on the first weekend.

The Hoosiers’ dismantlement of Chattanooga Thursday, from the 64.9 percent shooting that shredded the Mocs to Ferrell’s 10 assists, was the latest evidence of how far they have come from the uncertain team of December. Kentucky was every bit as impressive with five players in double figures in the thrashing of Stony Brook.

So now they meet by NCAA bracket order, when they haven’t been able to work out the details of a regular season series on their own. Tom Crean wants home-and-home, John Calipari wants something else. And there it sits. But not Saturday.

"It's kinda unfortunate that this game is being played this early," Calipari said. "This should be another round or two later. But it is what it is, so both of us are going to have to play."

The last time they met was the 2012 Sweet 16, when Kentucky beat Indiana 102-90, as repayment for the 73-72 buzzer-beater loss the Hoosiers handed them earlier in the season. The Wildcats lead the series 32-24, but can even do better than that. They have met four times in the NCAA Tournament, and Kentucky has won the last three, including the one that hurt the worst – 92-90 over previously unbeaten Indiana in 1975.
Kansas (1) vs. Connecticut (9)

As if the Jayhawks didn’t have enough weapons, a guy who had scored eight points in the past five games put 23 on poor Austin Peay. Add hard-to-guard, harder-to-spell Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk to the Kansas arsenal, as the Jayhawks went for 105 for their 15th consecutive victory. Svi, to his fans. But now they’re up against Mr. March.

Kevin Ollie has coached seven NCAA Tournament games at Connecticut and hasn’t had to deliver a losing speech yet to his Huskies. His team is showing the toughness of the 2014 champions, storming through the American conference tournament and erasing an 11-point deficit against Colorado.

Kansas and UConn have met only twice, the last time in 1997. Des Moines is not far from Kansas, so the ambiance will be mostly Jayhawks. "Kinda playing in their backyard," Ollie said. "But we’ve been in these brawls before and we'll be ready to fight."

Duke (4) vs. Yale (12)

Was it the visit they got from members of the 1962 Yale team that did it? The pep talk from Yale alum and governor of Rhode Island Gina Raimondo? "We’ve had everyone and their mother come out to say kind words to us," Justin Sears said after the Bulldogs won their first NCAA Tournament game in history, holding off Baylor. Yale has been around more than 300 years, so it took awhile.

But maybe Makai Mason, hitting all 11 of his free throws, had more to do with it. "We’re not on national TV every night, so guys haven’t heard of Makai Mason before, and he just dropped 31,’" Sears said. "He should be a scholarship player at any high major program."

They’ll be on national television Saturday all right, in their rematch with Duke. The two met in November – in Cameron Indoor Stadium, of course – and the Blue Devils rolled 80-61. But it was 38-36 at halftime. Good chance Duke's Marshall Plumlee will go without his mask, since he scored 19 in the second half without it Thursday.

Sleep on the Ivy League at your peril. The conference that went 0-10 in the NCAA Tournament last decade just won for the fifth time this decade. "Yale is an amazing place," Sears said. "The history is there, the prestige is there."

Wait till he sees the prestige if the Bulldogs win Saturday.

North Carolina (1) vs. Providence (9)

The Tar Heels took a first half Mulligan against Florida Gulf Coast, then Brice Johnson turned Dunk City into Swat Shotville, blocking eight of them in an 83-67 win. They’ll need more good minutes against Providence – a team they beat 79-77 in the 2014 tournament. The Friars have the glow of just winning their first NCAA Tournament game in 19 years, and did it with a layup on an inbounds play with 1.5 seconds left against USC.

Unlike many Carolina opponents, Providence has two players who can stand as near equals to any Tar Heels. So long as the Friars have Kris Dunn and Ben Bentil on the floor, they have to be taken seriously, even with the game played in Raleigh, where they’ll be an awful lot of sky blue in the stands.

For Providence’s peace of mind, should we not mention North Carolina is 32-1 in NCAA Tournament games in its own state? Keep that to yourself.
Virginia (1) vs. Butler (9)

First item on the Virginia game plan: Tony Bennett should drink more water. No more collapses from dehydration before halftime. Aside from that, this game – the first meeting every between the two -- will feature a lot of defense and a little bit of underdog mystique. The world is full of victims who were supposed to have beaten Butler in the NCAA Tournament.

It’ll also be a collision of long, long, long careers. Malcolm Brogdon has seemingly been around forever at Virginia, Roosevelt Jones and Kellen Dunham even longer than that at Butler.

By the way, what does Butler have that Virginia doesn’t? An appearance in the national championship game. Two, in fact. The Cavaliers have never been there.

Miami (3) vs. Wichita State (11)

Everyone does remember Miami finished tied for second in the ACC and beat five ranked opponents this season, right? The Hurricanes have not always been an imposing blip on the radar screen, but they’re dangerous enough, even if they had to struggle to get past Buffalo. And it’d only be fitting if they did something memorable on the 10th anniversary of coach Jim Larranaga’s magic carpet ride with George Mason.

But here’s Miami’s problem, against a team it has only met once, 27 years ago. In Fred VanVleet and Ron Baker, Wichita State has senior leaders who have faced about everything, including the Final Four and an unbeaten regular season. Now they’re leading a terrific defense that took apart Arizona Thursday with 19 turnovers. The Shockers are probably underseeded, due to early struggles when the absolutely indispensable VanVleet was injured. But they’re at full steam now.

Utah (3) vs. Gonzaga (11)

They’re baaaack. The Zags were on the brink of missing the tournament for the first time this century, but look at the past and they’ve often done their best work when seeded lower, when they could surprise people. Gonzaga built its brand as an underdog. So it went Thursday night when the Zags thumped Seton Hall. That’s 13 wins in the last 15 games.

Domantas Sabonis led the way for Gonzaga with 21 points and 16 rebounds, just as Jakob Poeltl did for Utah over Fresno State with 16 and 18. The Utes had to save the Pac-12’s day after Colorado, USC and Arizona all went down. So it’ll be Lithuania vs. Austria in the paint Saturday in Denver, when these two teams meet for the first time since 2008. To the winner goes the Sweet 16.

Iowa State (4) vs. Little Rock (12)

To review, Little Rock trailed Purdue by 13 points with 3:33 left and hardly blinked. The Trojans have now won seven games in which they’ve trailed by double digits. In one year, they have gone from 13-18 to 30-4. And they believe that anything is possible. ``This team doesn’t lose,’’ coach Chris Beard said. Especially Josh Hagins, one of the tournament’s first folk heroes after 31 points and an overtime-forcing 3-pointer from the next zip code.

The Trojans come from the Sun Belt, who last spring gave the world Georgia State and coach Ron Hunter falling off his stool after his son won a game. If the Iowa State Cyclones are not on red alert from all that, they ought to be.

The Cyclones were suitably offensive against Iona, scoring 94 points, with 28 of them from Georges Niang, and shooting 50 percent. They have the 14th most prolific scoring attack in the nation. But they’re about to go against the No. 2 scoring defense, and a team they’ve never played before.

"I’m a senior,’’ Hagins said. "I’ve waited 22 years, to be honest, to get to this point.’’

Said Beard, "We’re not done yet.’’

Doesn’t sound as if they intend to leave soon.

But eight more teams will have to on Saturday.

Butler men's basketball upsets No. 13 Xavier

Butler defeated No. 13 Xavier, 69-67 to even its record at .500 in front of a sold-out Hinkle Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.

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