Here is a recap of all the NCCA Tournament Games (played) today. Let the Madness begin!
(12) Harvard 70 vs (5) Vanderbilt 79: Except for a late, desperate rally, the Ivy League’s best had trouble hanging with the only private school in the Southeastern Conference.
John Jenkins made all six of his late free throws and scored 27 points Thursday to help Vanderbilt hold off Harvard 79-70 in an East Regional game, otherwise known as “The Brain Bowl.”
(12) Long Beach State 86 vs (5) New Mexico State 75: The first priority for Kendall Williams was defense. He spent all afternoon bumping, hounding, hand-checking and harassing Casper Ware wherever the Long Beach State star went. Williams scored 14 of his 16 points in the second half and bottled up Ware defensively as fifth-seeded New Mexico held off the 49ers for a 75-68 win in the West Regional.
(16) UNC-Asheville 65 vs (1) Syracuse 72: Syracuse was missing its starting center. UNC Asheville thought the Orange got help from three men in striped shirts. Syracuse made it 109-0 for No. 1 seeds against No. 16s since the NCAA went to a field of 64 in 1985.
With Syracuse facing the kind of NCAA tournament history no team wants to make, the top-seeded Orange rallied for a 72-65 victory Thursday in the second round of the East Regional. Two calls by the officials had the sellout crowd of 18,927 at Concol Energy Center — except for those wearing orange — booing throughout the final minute but it didn’t matter.
(14) BYU 68 vs (3) Marquette 88: Darius Johnson-Odom and Jae Crowder came up with big shots every time the Cougars threatened, and the Golden Eagles withstood another furious second-half rally by BYU for an 88-68 victory in the NCAA tournament Thursday. Crowder finished with 25 points and 16 rebounds, while Johnson-Odom scored 12 of his 20 points in the second half.
Video: College GameDay breaks down Marquette’s win over BYU.
(13) Montana 49 vs (4) Wisconsin 73: All-America point guard Jordan Taylor deliberately diminished his offensive output during his senior season, knowing he had to nurture three new starting forwards if Wisconsin was to have any chance of another NCAA tournament run in March.
On Thursday, Taylor scored 17 points, pulled down eight rebounds, dished out six assists and committed no turnovers in masterfully directing the fourth-seeded Badgers’ 73-49 rout of Montana in the East Regional.
(13) Davidson 62 vs (4) Louisville 69: Louisville point guard Peyton Siva did his best Steve Nash impersonation against Davidson. Siva had 17 points and six assists, many times driving inside and then pulling back out to the perimeter ala the two-time NBA MVP, and the fourth-seeded Cardinals moved on in the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2009 with a 69-62 victory over Davidson on Thursday.
(9) Southern Mississippi 64 vs (8) Kansas State 70: Freshman PG Angel Rodriguez overcame his early jitters to score seven of his 13 points in the final 2 minutes, 10 seconds as the eighth-seeded Wildcats surged past the ninth-seeded Golden Eagles 70-64 at the NCAA tournament.
(11) Colorado 41 vs (6) Murray State 58: Donte Poole likely has a broken nose and still called it the best experience in the world. Isaiah Canaan kept smiling so wide that he never even heard a question directed his way.
The mid-major darlings are making the most of their do-over. Two years after Canaan fumbled away Murray State’s chance at a long run in the NCAA tournament, he scored 15 points and Poole added 13 to make sure the Racers will stick at least another day following a 58-41 victory over Colorado State on Thursday.
(12) VCU 62 vs (5) Wichita State 59: Bradford Burgess hit a key 3-pointer with 1:33 left and Shaka Smart coached VCU to another tournament surprise, holding off Wichita State 62-59 in the South Regional on Thursday.
Toure Murry made a 3 that gave Wichita State the lead, but Burgess came back with his big shot to give the Rams a 60-59 edge. Darius Theus’ runner from about six feet provided the final margin. Stutz’s long jumper just before the buzzer was off for fifth-seeded Wichita State (26-6). Ragland finished with 15 points after getting off to a slow start.
Video: The Thrilling Final Three Minutes of VCU 62, Wichita State 59
(16) Western Kentucky 66 vs (1) Kentucky 81:Terrence Jones and Doron Lamb could have left for the NBA last year. This is why they stayed. Jones had 22 points and 10 rebounds, Lamb scored 16 and top-seeded Kentucky began its quest for an eighth national title with a staggering display of athleticism in an 81-66 victory over Western Kentucky on Thursday night.
On a day when Syracuse nearly became the first No. 1 seed ever to lose to a 16, the Wildcats (33-2) clearly relished their growing role as favorites. Freshman and player of the year candidate Anthony Davis added 16 points, nine rebounds and seven blocks for Kentucky, which was never seriously threatened.
VIdeo: Kentucky Doesn’t Hold Back, ESPN Basketball Analyst break it down.
(14) 9 Baylor 68 vs (3) S. Dakota St. 60: Pierre Jackson scored 18 points and Baylor held off 14th-seeded South Dakota State 68-60 Thursday night in the second round of the NCAA tournament.
The third-seeded Bears (28-7) fell behind by 12 in the first half before taking a 36-28 halftime lead that they never relinquished. But it was a nail-biter. Making their first trip to the NCAA tournament, the Jackrabbits (27-8) misfired on a 3-pointer with 25 seconds left that would have made it one-point game. Then, the Bears iced it at the line.Brady Heslip added 17 points for the Bears, who will face the Colorado-UNLV winner in the third round of the South Regional at The Pit on Saturday.
(9) Connecticut 64 vs (8) Iowa State 77: The national champions are one and done, thanks to Iowa State. When Jim Calhoun and Connecticut will be back in the NCAA tournament is anybody’s guess.
“We’re talking about tonight’s game. We’re not talking about me,” Calhoun said after Iowa State’s 77-64 victory over Connecticut in the NCAA tournament Thursday night. “I’m going to get on the plane tomorrow, go home and do what I usually do and meet up with the team on Monday. My own personal thing, I don’t think it has any relevance, to be honest with you.”
Chris Allen led four Cyclones in double figures with 20 points, and Iowa State scored its last 14 at the free throw line to beat UConn, the first time since UCLA in 1996 that the defending champs have lost in the opening game. Calhoun didn’t even wait for the final buzzer, heading for half court with about four seconds left to congratulate Iowa State coach Fred Hoiberg. It is only the second loss in the opening game of the NCAA tournament for UConn.
Video: Jim Calhoun after Connecticut becomes first defending champ since 1996 to fall in opening game of NCAA Tournament.
(13) New Mexico State 66 vs (4) Indiana 79: Jordan Hulls went on a second-half shooting spree and finished with 22 points, and fourth-seeded Indiana rolled to an impressive 79-66 win over New Mexico State in the second round of the South Regional on Thursday night.
Making its return after a four-year tournament absence, the Hoosiers (26-8) picked up their first tournament win since beating Gonzaga in 2007 on a night their main stars — Cody Zeller and Christian Watford — did the heavy lifting in the opening minutes then watched Hulls and others carry the load.
Hulls shot 8 of 12, including 7 of 8 in the second half. Zeller, Watford and Will Sheehey all finished with 14 points. The Hoosiers will face upstart No. 12 seed VCU in Saturday’s third round.
(10) Gonzaga 54 vs (7) West Virgina Gonzaga 77: Senior center Robert Sacre’s pregame message to his younger teammates before facing West Virginia made up for in directness what it lacked in eloquence.
“Hit ‘em, is all you’ve got to say,” Sacre said. “Hit ‘em, be physical, let everything else work itself out. As long as you’re physical, that’s all that matters. Show that Gonzaga’s not soft.”
Dominating the lethargic Mountaineers on both ends of the floor, the Bulldogs rolled to a 77-54 win Thursday night in the second round of the NCAA tournament. Sacre and Gary Bell Jr. scored 14 points apiece for seventh-seeded Gonzaga (26-6), which will play Ohio State or Loyola (Md.) in the third round on Saturday.
Jimmy Dykes on Gonzaga rolling to 77-54 win over West Virginia.
(15) Loyola (MD) 59 vs (2) Ohio State 78: Deshaun Thomas scored a career-high 31 points and grabbed 12 rebounds — one off his career best — to lead second-seeded Ohio State to a 78-59 victory over Loyola, Md., on Thursday night in the second round of the East Regional.
William Buford had 17 points and Jared Sullinger added 12 points and 11 rebounds for the Buckeyes (28-7), who dominated the smaller Greyhounds inside, finishing with a 49-24 rebound advantage.
Ohio State will play seventh-seeded Gonzaga in the third round Saturday. The Bulldogs beat 10th-seeded West Virginia 77-54.
(11) Colorado 68 vs (6) UNLV 64: Freshman reserve Askia Booker scored 16 points Thursday night and 11th-seeded Colorado held off a furious UNLV rally for a 68-64 victory in the South Regional.
CU (24-11) led 49-29 with just under 15 minutes remaining, then sixth-seeded UNLV (26-9) went on a 26-8 run to cut the margin to two at the 4:20 mark.But UNLV missed its next seven shots and Carlon Brown took a full-court pass for a windmill dunk to help the Buffs gather themselves and win in their first NCAA appearance since 2003.
Austin Dufault finished with 14 points and Andre Roberson had 12 points and 16 rebounds for CU, which plays Baylor on Saturday.