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NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament Recap: Round Of 64, Day 1

NCAAB:

The NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament kicked off today with high drama and a few upsets along the way. Here is a brief recap of Day One of the Round Of 64.

Seizing Of Mistake Leads Providence Over USC In Closing Seconds: Rodney Bullock’s layup with 1.5 seconds left helped Providence beat USC 70-69 on Thursday night in the first round. The reason Bullock was so open was because Big East player of the year Kris Dunn and top scorer Ben Bentil drew so much of the Trojans’ attention. Ben Bentil scored 19 points and Bullock finished with 16 points and 10 rebounds to help the ninth-seeded Friars (24-10) earn their first win in the tournament since 1997. They will face top-seeded North Carolina (29-6) on Saturday in the second round of the East Regional.

Yale Stuns Baylor, Keeps Ivy League In Uptick In Recent Tournaments: The Ivy League has produced its share of surprise winners in the NCAA tournament. It can add Yale to that list of bracket spoilers. Makai Mason had a career-high 31 points, including six of Yale’s final nine points, and the No. 12 seed Bulldogs held on to upset No. 5 seed Baylor 79-75 in the first round of the NCAA tournament on Thursday. This is the second straight year Baylor has been “one and done” in the Tournament, as Georgia Southern knocked them out in 2015.

“Shockers” Shock Arizona For Second Win In 3 Days: The road to the Round Of 64 for Wichita State included a trip to Dayton in the “First Four” Tuesday, but fatigue wasn’t even a factor for the Shockers. Fred VanVleet and Ron Baker combined for 29 points and Wichita State’s swarming defense did the rest as the Shockers beat Arizona 65-55 on Thursday night in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. Wichita State (26-8) will play Miami (26-7), the third seed in the South Region, on Saturday.

Double-Overtime Thriller Win For Arkansas-Little Rock Knocks Out Purdue Big Time: Josh Haginsa 6-foot-1 senior, made a 3-pointer from the edge of the half-court logo to send the game into overtime, a high looper off glass to send it into double-overtime, and kept right on scoring. He finished with 31 points, leading his team past Purdue 85-83 for a spot in the second round of the NCAA tournament. “Don’t ever count the little guys out,” first-year coach Chris Beard shouted toward press row as he ran off the court after his team joined Yale as the second No. 12 seed to beat a 5 on Thursday. This is the second straight year The Sun Belt Conference Champion has created an upset minded team, with Georgia Southern achieving the same feat last year.

Gonzaga Displays Classic March Momentum As They Beat Seton Hall: Gonzaga was no sure thing to make this, its 18th straight tournament, until it won the West Coast Conference tournament last week. Turns out, all that did was build steam, and some confidence, and suddenly, this looks like the sort of Gonzaga team hoops fans have come to know during March. The Bulldogs pulled away from Seton Hall for a 68-52 victory Thursday night behind a 21-point, 16-rebound effort from Domantas Sabonis and a shutdown defensive effort on Seton Hall’s Isaiah Whitehead.

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