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1:22 a.m.: It’s over, as UCLA defeats Tulsa 76-59. The Bruins held the Golden Hurricane to just five points — three of them on a garbage-time basket — in the final 4:54, turning a five-point game into a laugher. Next up for UCLA: New tournament darling Stephen F. Austin on Sunday.
1:17 a.m.: UCLA is pouring it on, as a young Tulsa squad continues to press the issue and make mistakes. Back-to-back baskets off turnovers give the Bruins a 74-56 lead with 56 seconds left. The only thing in doubt is the margin by which UCLA will win.
1:07 a.m.: Norman Powell swipes Tulsa’s long inbound pass, makes the basket and is fouled. He sinks the free throw, stretching UCLA’s lead to 64-54 with 4:11 left. The Golden Hurricane’s ball-handling — never a strength of theirs all season — is hurting them down the stretch.
1:03 a.m.: Don’t count out Tulsa yet. D’Andre Wright’s two free throws cap a 9-0 Golden Hurricane run, and Bruins coach Steve Alford calls a timeout to regroup his team, which leads 57-52 with 5:39 left.
12:56 a.m.: UCLA is letting Tulsa hang around, but time is running low. It’s 57-46 Bruins with 7:31 remaining.
12:48 a.m.: The sloppiness now has hit both sides, as Tulsa and UCLA seemingly trade turnovers and missed shots for a two-minute span. Tony Parker stops it with a 3-pointer that gives the Bruins a 49-38 lead with 11:21 left.
12:39 a.m.: Tulsa’s sloppiness with the ball is digging the team a big hole. Another turnover, another transition bucket, and UCLA leads 45-32 with 15:57 remaining in the second half.
12:32 a.m.: Kentucky defeated Kansas State 56-49 and will face top-seeded Wichita State on Sunday. That game should be a doozy.
The Tulsa-UCLA game is back underway, with the Bruins sprinting out to a 41-32 lead as the Golden Hurricane struggle to make shots.
12:20 a.m.: Kentucky is putting the finishing touches on its second-round victory over Kansas State, but K-State isn’t going down easy. A late three by Marcus Foster has trimmed Kentucky’s lead to six points with 24.4 seconds remaining.
12:06 a.m.: It was an up-and-down first half in San Diego, but UCLA leads Tulsa 35-30.
Iowa State has wrapped up its huge victory over N.C. Central, 93-75. The Cyclones, who shot an absurd 63.6 percent from the field., will play North Carolina on Sunday.
11:55 p.m.: Coastal Carolina gave a valiant effort, but its upset bid ultimately fell short. Virginia wins 70-59 and advances to the round of 32, where it will face No. 8 Memphis.
11:49 p.m.: Virginia is beginning to play like the No. 1 seed it is and leads Coastal Carolina by 13 points with under four minutes to play. Hey, the Chanticleers made it fun for a while — almost as fun as the name of their mascot.
Kentucky remains in control against Kansas State, leading by eight with 8:44 remaining, and Iowa State has all but sealed up its victory over North Carolina Central, leading by 20.
11:36 p.m.: Aw, man. Apparently Virginia isn’t too keen on the idea of an upset as it has increased its lead to six points against Coastal Carolina. Virginia is 15 of 18 on free-throw attempts, and its aggressiveness has been the difference.
It’s all Kentucky in St. Louis right now. The Wildcats lead K-State by 11 points with 11:38 remaining.
11:28 p.m.: Iowa State is shooting 60.6 percent from the field, and N.C. Central is having a difficult time containing the Cyclones, who lead 52-43 with just under 17 minutes to play.
Kansas State, meanwhile, is beginning to show signs of life in the second half. A couple of offensive boards and a Shane Southwell 3-pointer have the Wildcats trailing Kentucky by two points.
Coastal Carolina is still hanging tough and only is down one to the Cavaliers with under 10 minutes to play.
It’s still early for Tulsa and UCLA, but things are tied up at 10 with 13 minutes to play in the first half.
11:10 p.m.: Virginia might have gotten a little butt-kicking during halftime, but whatever it was, it worked. Malcolm Brogdon knocked down a three, and Anthony Gill drained a short jumper to give the Cavaliers a 39-38 lead early in the second half.
The final game of the evening — Tulsa vs. UCLA — will get underway momentarily.
10:58 p.m.: The first half comes to a close for Kentucky-Kansas State, with UK leading 29-23.
N.C. Central trails by six at halftime against Iowa State.
10:53 p.m.: Kentucky is pulling away from Kansas State, leading 29-17 with 1:58 to play in the first half. The 12-point margin is Kentucky’s biggest lead of the night.
North Carolina Central also is looking to jump on the upset bandwagon, as it trails Iowa State by one with 1:45 left to play in the first half.
10:44 p.m.: Speaking of upsets — Coastal Carolina leads Virginia 35-30 at halftime.
Elsewhere, Kentucky leads Kansas State 24-16, and Iowa State leads N.C. Central 38-30.
10:42 p.m.: Stephen F. Austin wins. Yes, you read that correctly.
The 12th-seeded Lumberjacks prevail as they stun VCU and win their 29th consecutive game. S.F. Austin trailed by 12 points with three minutes left in regulation.
10:36 p.m.: Fourteen seconds left in overtime, and its Lumberjacks ball. They lead by one.
Thomas Walkup is hacked on the rebound and heads to the line. Walkup misses the first free-throw attempt and makes the second to increase SFA’s lead to two. VCU coach Shaka Smart calls his only timeout of overtime.
10:31 p.m.: Overtime is underway, and both teams are picking up right where they left off. VCU hits a three to start bonus basketball, but two Lumberjacks free throws cut the lead to one.
SFA hits two more free throws and leads 71-70 with 2:42 to play.
10:26 p.m.: No. Way. Stephen F. Austin senior guard Desmond Haymond knocks down a 3-pointer with 3.6 seconds remaining as he gets fouled and falls to the floor. What a freakin’ shot. Haymond will go to the free-throw line in hopes of tying this game.
This game is nuts. Haymond drains the free throw, and we’re going to overtime in San Diego.
While that madness is going on, Coastal Carolina extends its lead to 10 points over Virginia with 3:32 to play in the first half.
N.C. Central also is giving Iowa State a tough time, trailing by just two points midway through the first half.
10:16 p.m.: Stephen F. Austin is putting up a heck of a fight. But VCU leads by three with 23.9 seconds remaining.
In other news around the NCAA, Coastal Carolina is showing it came to play. The Chanticleers lead Virginia 29-21 with five minutes to play in the first half. Coastal Carolina Cinderellas has a nice ring to it.
10:09 p.m.: Well, this is strange. Before Kansas State and Kentucky even tipped off, K-State was assessed a technical for one of its players dunking during pregame warmups. Kentucky started with free throws before the jump ball, but Andrew Harrison only knocked down one out of the two.
Sure, NCAA, whatever you say.
Stephen F. Austin is making a surge late in the game and has pulled within five points of VCU with less than two minutes to play.
10:02 p.m.: It’s never too early to be on the upset alert, right? Coastal Carolina will look to complete the biggest upset of the day against No. 1 Virginia, and if it continues to shoot 62.5 percent from the field, that could very well happen. The Chanticleers lead Virginia 12-11 with 13:32 to play in the first half.
9:52 p.m.: When you’re hot, you’re hot, and the Rams are smokin’. Treveon Graham finishes a silky smooth effort and lays it up and in to put VCU up 50-43 with just over 11 minutes to play. VCU is outscoring Stephen F. Austin 26-9 in the second half.
9:47 p.m.: No. 1 Virginia is set to tip off against No. 16 Coastal Carolina in just a few minutes. No. 3 Iowa State will take on No. 14 N.C. Central shortly after.
9:39 p.m.: It’s time to turn our attention to VCU-Stephen F. Austin. The Rams have taken a one-point lead with 12:21 left in the second.
Make that a seven-point lead. The Rams are turning on the pressure, and after forcing consecutive turnovers, VCU leads 50-43 with 11:29 to play. Well, that escalated quickly.
VCU has gone on a 20-3 run in the last six-plus minutes.
9:32 p.m.: James Michael McAdoo makes the first free throw and misses the second, but he grabs his own rebound. North Carolina leads Providence 78-77 with 1.7 seconds remaining. Bryce Cotton fouls McAdoo immediately, and he’ll head back to the free-throw line.
McAdoo makes the first and misses the second, but the ball slips out of Cotton’s hands, and that’s the ballgame, folks.
Goodness gracious, the Tar Heels hang on to win 79-77.
In non-nailbiting news, Wichita State defeats Cal Poly 64-37. No one is shocking the Shockers yet.
9:26 p.m.: Bryce Cotton. Wow. The senior point guard drives to the lane and gives Providence a three-point lead. Cotton has a career-high 36 points and eight assists tonight.
UNC answers back, though. Marcus Paige nails a three to tie things up with less than a minute to go.
The Tar Heels decide to go for the win, and James Michael McAdoo will go to the line after Providence fails to haul in the rebound.
9:23 p.m.: Anything you can do, I can do better is the game Providence and UNC currently are playing.
Seconds after the Friars complete a three-point play, the Tar Heels do the same. It’s all tied up at 74 with 1:54 to play.
9:19 p.m.: Providence is doing work late in the game. The Friars lead UNC 71-66 with 3:55 to play.
George Washington couldn’t pull off the comeback as Memphis advances after a 71-66 win.
Wichita State continues to crush Cal Poly, leading 57-30 with five minutes left in the second half.
9:12 p.m.: George Washington trails by one after a Joe McDonald jumper, and the foul game begins. Michael Dixon Jr. makes both of his free throws, and Memphis leads by three with 9.6 to play.
9:04 p.m.: We’ve got a ballgame in Raleigh.
George Washington’s Patricio Garino drives the lane, and all of a sudden, the Colonials only trail Memphis by two with just 2:12 left.
Things also are heating up between Providence and UNC. The Friars have finally overtaken the lead and now are up by two with 7:51 remaining.
8:53 p.m.: Providence is putting up a fight, but North Carolina has an answer for everything. The Tar Heels lead 52-45 with 13:46 to play.
Cal Poly has stormed back against Wichita State, and things are all tied up. Just kidding. The Shockers hold a commanding 42-17 lead with just over 14 minutes to play in the second half. Thanks for playing, Mustangs.
George Washington also is chipping away, but Memphis remains in control, leading 60-55 with just five minutes left in that game.
Jacob Parker drains a three with just four seconds remaining, and Stephen F. Austin will take a 36-30 lead over VCU into the second half. The Lumberjacks are shooting 60 percent from the field, and this is a fun one, folks.
8:40 p.m.: Shaka Smart’s VCU squad has proven it’s dangerous in March, but Stephen F. Austin is hanging in there. The Lumberjacks are leading 22-20 with 6:40 to play in the first half and shooting 58.2 percent from the field. There already have been four ties and five lead changes in this game that is far from over.
8:16 p.m.: Bryce Cotton’s 13 points have led Providence in the early going, and the Friars are only down three at the half against North Carolina.
Wichita State, on the other hand, has been absolutely crushing Cal Poly, and the Shockers take a 32-13 lead into the half. But if you enjoy complete domination and monster dunks, tune in now. Cleanthony Early leads all scorers (and all the Mustangs combined) with 19 points.
Memphis has maintained its lead on 18-of-41 shooting from the field, and the Tigers lead George Washington 45-38 with 14:41 to play in the second half.
8:04 p.m.: It’s just too easy for the Shockers. Cleanthony Early throws down an absolute jam to give Wichita State a 30-8 lead, and Cal Poly calls a timeout to regroup.
Elsewhere, James McAdoo continues to lead North Carolina, as the Tar Heels lead Providence 37-30 with 3:34 remaining in the first half.
No. 12 Stephen F. Austin is set to tip off against No. 5 VCU in just a few minutes.
7:44 p.m.: Cal Poly looks to be overwhelmed and outmatched against the undefeated Wichita State Shockers. After a 15-0 run by the Shockers, the Mustangs trail 21-5 with 8:31 to play in the first.
Despite shooting an incredible 72.7 percent from the field, Providence is trailing North Carolina 25-19 with just over nine minutes to play in the first half.
At the half, Memphis leads George Washington 31-26. The Tigers hit GW with a flurry of threes and are shooting 5 of 17 from beyond the arc.
7:35 p.m.:O klahoma State’s season has come to an end. Gonzaga will advance after defeating the Cowboys 85-77.
7:27 p.m.: OK, things could get interesting here. The Cowboys are clawing their way back into this game slowly but surely. Brian Williams’ three-point play, combined with two Marcus Smart free throws, has Oklahoma State trailing by just six points with 40.1 seconds left.
No. 16 Cal Poly just tipped off against No. 1 Wichita State, and No. 6 North Carolina is taking on No. 11 Providence.
7:20 p.m.: You get a foul and you get a foul, everyone gets a foul! Kyle Dranginis becomes the latest player to foul out for Gonzaga.
Both Gonzaga and Oklahoma State will start running out of players pretty soon, but still, the Bulldogs are hanging on to a 10-point lead with 1:25 remaining — mostly because the Cowboys can’t knock down any free throws.
7:11 p.m.: With 2:56 to go, Gonzaga leads Oklahoma State by 11. Some questionable — very questionable — officiating is starting to overshadow the game, but the Cowboys still have a chance to get right back in this game. With both teams in the double bonus, these last few minutes might take a while.
As for GW-Memphis, the No. 8 Tigers lead the No. 9 Colonials 17-12 with 11:41 to play in the first half.
6:59 p.m.: Marcus Smart is doing all he can to lead Oklahoma State past Gonzaga, but the Cowboys hold a 10-point lead with just under six minutes remaining. Smart has added 15 points, eight rebounds and five assists for OSU so far.
We have some more action getting under way, as well. The George Washington-Memphis matchup is just starting.
6:48 p.m.: Well, that was almost really cool. It’s all over, and Kansas walks away with the 80-69 victory over Eastern Kentucky. Andrew Wiggins led the way for the Jayhawks with 19 points and four rebounds, and Jamari Traylor chipped in 17.
6:44 p.m.: After a vicious Andrew Wiggins dunk, Glenn Cosey makes a three, and Eastern Kentucky finds itself down nine with 18.4 seconds to play. Let the fouling begin.
Elsewhere, Oklahoma State and Gonzaga are putting on a pretty good battle. The Bulldogs lead OSU 58-52 with 9:41 to play in the second half.
6:37 p.m.: The back-and-forth action continues. Tarius Jackson nails a three to close the gap to five points, but Kansas fires right back with a couple of offensive putbacks to increase their lead to 10 with 0:58 left.
6:32 p.m.: This game is going to come down to the wire. Corey Walden drained a jumper to pull Eastern Kentucky within three, but Kansas’ Jamari Traylor put back an offensive board and will go to the stripe to complete the three-point play. Kansas leads 66-61 with 3:19 left to play.
6:28 p.m.: The Kansas Jayhawks are starting to play like the Kansas Jayhawks, and that’s horrible news for Eastern Kentucky. KU has used its speed and athleticism to extend its lead to seven points with 5:30 left to play.
6:15 p.m.: The Colonels aren’t messing around. Jeff Johnson drills a three to give Eastern Kentucky a 56-53 lead against Kansas.
Kansas comes roaring back on the next few possessions, though, as Jamari Taylor throws down a ferocious dunk and Andrew Wiggins scores an easy layup to give the Jayhawks a 61-56 lead with 7:35 to play.
6:08 p.m.: Now things are getting interesting. Eastern Kentucky has gone on a 7-0 run in the last 1:58 and leads Kansas 48-47 with 12:14 to play.
5:53 p.m.: Eastern Kentucky isn’t going anywhere. Eric Stutz drains a three to pull his team within one, but Kansas responds with a Perry Ellis dunk. The Jayhawks lead 38-35 with 17:44 left in the second half.
Gonzaga, meanwhile, is pulling away from Oklahoma State, taking a 43-34 lead into the second half.
5:37 p.m.: Dougie McBuckets also is Dougie McClutch. The fifth leading scorer in NCAA history drains a three to extend Creighton’s lead to seven with just over two minutes to play.
McDermott’s shot proved to be the dagger as Louisiana-Lafayette couldn’t pull off the upset, falling 76-66. McDermott finished with 30 points and 12 rebounds.
In other news, Eastern Kentucky is looking to become the next Cinderella. EKU and Kansas are all tied up at 32 at halftime. Eastern Kentucky is only shooting 9 of 28 from the field (32.1 percent), but it has knocked down five 3-pointers in the first half.
Gonzaga and Oklahoma State have a tight contest going, too. The Bulldogs are opening their 16th consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance with a 26-22 lead over the Cowboys with 5:46 remaining in the first half.
5:20 p.m.: Kansas is waking up, and unsurprisingly, Andrew Wiggins is giving his team some much-needed energy. Wiggins just completed an insane alley-oop as the Jayhawks are down by just three with two minutes left to play in the first half.
Elsewhere, Creighton leads Louisiana-Lafayette 68-60 with just over three minutes remaining.
5:12 p.m.: The Minutemen’s season comes to an end after a second-round blowout at the hands of the Vols. In a game that was never in question, Tennessee moves past UMass 86-67.
The Vols were led by junior guard Jarnell Stokes, who recorded a career high 26 points in the dominating victory. Tennessee will face Mercer on Sunday.
5:07 p.m.: Uh oh, Kansas. Glenn Cosey knocks down a three to extend Eastern Kentucky’s lead to 23-14. The Jayhawks have committed 12 turnovers in the early going.
Tennessee continues to pull away from UMass, leading by 21 with just over two minutes left.
5:00 p.m.: This game is far from over, but the Ragin’ Cajuns are looking to become the Mercer of the early evening. Elfrid Payton’s layup gives Louisiana-Lafayette a four-point lead over Creighton, 50-46, with 12:08 remaining in the second half.
In other news, Gonzaga has jumped out to a 6-0 lead against Oklahoma State. Gary Bell Jr. has scored all 6 of his team’s points.
4:50 p.m.: UMass has shown signs of life in the second half, but Tennessee just keeps pulling away, leading 67-46 with 8:18 to play.
Doug McDermott continues to lead Creighton as it holds a 46-41 lead with 15:22 left in the second half. Dougie McBuckets leads all scorers with 23 points.
Eastern Kentucky isn’t making life easy on No. 2 Kansas, taking an early 14-11 lead with 12:17 left in the first half, thanks to Glenn Cosey’s nine points.
4:35 p.m.: Maxie Esho will go to the line to try and complete the three-point play as UMass continues to chip away at the Vols’ lead. Tennessee is up 57-42 with 11:41 to play.
Eastern Kentucky and Kansas is just about to get underway as well, and tipoff for Oklahoma State-Gonzaga is just minutes away.
4:22 p.m.: The Ragin’ Cajuns aren’t going down without a fight. Creighton leads 39-33 at halftime, but Elfrid Payton nailed a 3-pointer with four seconds left to pull Louisiana-Lafayaette within six.
They’ll have their work cut out for them if they want to stop Doug McDermott, though. McDermott has 17 points and 10 rebounds at the half.
Meanwhile, Arizona hangs on to defeat Weber State 68-59. The Sun Devils shrugged off their sluggish start to the game and will play the winner of Gonzaga-Oklahoma State.
4:15 p.m.: The second half is about to get underway for UMass-Tennessee. The Minutemen have 20 minutes to stage a ferocious comeback as they are down 41-24 at the half.
4:04 p.m.: Robbie Lemons and Chasson Randle each drilled two late free throws to help Stanford survive New Mexico, 58-53. The Cardinal advance to play the winner of Kansas and Eastern Kentucky on Sunday.
3:53 p.m.: A 3-pointer by Jordan McRae puts an exclamation point on a dominant first half, and Tennessee heads into the locker room with a commanding 41-28 lead. McRae’s 14 points leads all scorers.
The Ragin’ Cajuns are giving Doug McDermott’s a tough time down in San Antonio, as Louisiana-Lafayette leads 17-15 midway through the first half.
3:40 p.m.: Maxie Esho and Chaz Williams team up on a nifty alley-oop, but that’s one of very few highlights for the Minutemen in this half. Tennessee has extended its lead to 20 points (36-16) on 53 percent shooting.
Stanford leads New Mexico 52-47 with three minutes to play, Arizona is up 48-29 on Weber State and Creighton has an early 9-8 lead on UL Lafayette.
3:29 p.m.: The Volunteers seem to be wearing down UMass, as Tennessee takes a 23-12 lead at the 10-minute mark of the first half. UMass is shooting just 5-for-16 from the floor.
Over in St. Louis, Stanford is doing its best to stay just ahead of New Mexico. The Cardinal currently lead 48-45 with 7:18 remaining.
No. 3 Creighton is set to tip off against No. 14 Louisiana-Lafayette in a matter of minutes.
3:12 p.m.: Neither teams are having great shooting nights thus far, with UMass and Tennessee going a combined 4-for-16 from the floor through the first 4:23.
The Volunteers own an 8-4 lead thanks to three free throws from Josh Richardson.
Meanwhile, Arizona holds a healthy, 12-point lead at halftime, and New Mexico has trimmed Stanford’s lead to 39-38 with just under 14 minutes to play.
3:02 p.m.: Get excited, Amherst.
UMass and Tennessee are off and running in Raleigh.
2:59 p.m.: Stanford and New Mexico are underway in the second half, with the Lobos sinking a layup to cut their deficit to 35-33.
Senior forward Cameron Bairstow has been huge for New Mexico today, racking up a game-high 18 points to go along with five rebounds.
2:53 p.m.: Apologies for the delay. As is wont to happen in the tournament, tip-off for UMass-Tennessee has been pushed back to 3:01 p.m., probably to give stadium security time to heard the dancing Mercer Bears into the locker room.
There isn’t a whole lot of action going on elsewhere in the bracket at the moment, as Arizona has begun to pull away from Weber State and the Baylor-Nebraska outcome has long been all but decided.
2:34 p.m.: Well, now that that’s all wrapped up, let’s take a look at the three other games currently in progress.
Baylor is well on its way to a win over Nebraska, leading the Huskers 60-40 with 6:37 to play.
New Mexico has rallied back from a miserable start to make a game of it against Stanford. The Lobos trail 32-27 at the half after falling behind 20-9 early.
No. 1 seed Arizona also is being tested by No. 16 seed Weber State, which trails by just two (14-12) nearly halfway through the first half.
UMass fans, get ready. The No. 6 seed Minutemen tip off against Tennessee in about 10 minutes. The road to the Sweet 16 just got considerably more favorably for both these teams, with the winner now taking on Mercer rather than Duke.
2:27 p.m.: And Mercer does it.
The Bears pulled away in the final seconds of their first tournament game since 1985 to win 78-71 and send Duke home early yet again.
That’s two years in a row for the Atlantic Sun Conference, which is also home to Florida Gulf Coast.
2:21 p.m.: Duke steals the Mercer inbounds pass down five with 29.9 seconds to play, but the ball bounces off Rasheed Sulaimon’s foot and out of bounds.
Mercer has the ball and a 73-68 lead with 22.8 seconds to go.
2:16 p.m.: Daniel Coursey goes hard to the hoop for a two-pointer and gets fouled in the process. He sinks the free throw. 68-63 Mercer with 53 seconds left.
2:13 p.m.: Duke’s Rodney Hood gets called for a travel under the basket. Mercer has the ball up two with 1:30 to play.
2:09 p.m.: Anthony White Jr. drains a three for Mercer, and we are all tied up at 63 with 2:33 to play.
-Baylor 42, Nebraska 29, 13:34 second half
-Stanford 23, New Mexico 14, 9:04 first half
-No. 1 Arizona and No. 16 Weber State set to tip off in San Diego
2:03 p.m.: Tyler Thornton gets fouled on a 3-pointer, makes all three shots and puts Duke up 63-58.
Mercer comes right back down and cuts the deficit back to three, though, on a wild, bouncing shot by Daniel Coursey.
Four minutes to play.
1:51 p.m.: A straightaway 3-pointer by Quinn Cook puts Duke up 54-51 with 9:07 to play.
The 7-10 matchup between New Mexico and Stanford has begun in St. Louis, with the Cardinal jumping out to an early 13-4 lead.
Baylor leads Nebraska 29-16 at half.
1:43 p.m.: Parker checks back into the game with Duke leading 48-47. Mercer has had a number of opportunities right at the rim but can’t seem to capitalize. The Bears have made just one field goal in the last five minutes — a span that has included three missed layups, two turnovers and three fouls.
1:32 p.m.: With Mercer leading 43-40 four minutes into the second half, Jabari Parker heads to the bench with three fouls. Now is the time for the Bears to crank up the pressure.
Be grateful that there is one exciting game going on right now, because Baylor-Nebraska is still a snoozer. With 12 seconds to play in the first, the Huskers have 16 points. Woof.
1:27 p.m.: Mercer and Duke are underway in the second half, and the Bears quickly jump out to a 41-40 lead.
1:10 p.m.: Thanks to a 13-4 run to end the half, Mercer trails by just one heading into the locker room.
Duke is shooting just 35.1 percent from the floor, but the Blue Devils are dominating the boards, outrebounding the Bears 11-1 on the offensive end.
The solution for Duke’s shooting struggles today has been to jack up threes — 21 in the half. They’ve knocked down eight of them, though, including four from Rasheed Sulaimon, who leads all scorers with 12 points.
The Baylor-Nebraska game has been a rather uneventful one so far, with the Bears leading their former Big 12 conference mates 16-7 more than halfway through the first.
1:01 p.m.: Duke built their lead to seven points and threatened to pull away late in the first half, but a pair of free throws and a Bud Thomas jumper have cut the Mercer deficit to 30-27.
Meanwhile, Baylor leads Nebraska 10-3.
12:38 p.m.: We’re nearly halfway through the first half in Raleigh, and the Mercer Bears are keeping right up with the Blue Devils.
A 6-0 run over a four-minute span allowed Mercer to take its first lead of the game at the 13:35 mark, and the teams are currently all square at 17 with 10:25 to play in the half.
Duke junior Quinn Cook’s eight points off the bench leads all scorers.
Wait a bit before you start stressing about Mercer busting your bracket, though. After all, American kept pace with Wisconsin through ten minutes yesterday before going on to lose by 40.
Elsewhere around the bracket, No. 6 seed Baylor and No. 11 seed Nebraska are just minutes from tip-off in San Antonio.
12:15 p.m.: It’s go time.
Duke — led by stud freshman Jabari Parker — and Mercer take the court in Raleigh for the first game of the day.
This is the first trip to the NCAA tournament since 1985 for Mercer, which knocked off last year’s darlings, Florida Gulf Coast, in the Atlantic Sun championship to secure the bid.
11:15 a.m. ET: One day of thrilling NCAA tournament action is in the books.
Ready for Day 2? Good.
Friday’s slate includes a number of eye-catching matchups, especially for college basketball fans in New England.
No. 6 seed UMass will make its long-awaited return to the tournament at 2:45 p.m. when it takes on No. 11 seed Tennessee, which knocked off Iowa in the first round earlier this week.
Big East champion Providence is also in action today on the opposite end of an 6-11 matchup. They’re a popular pick, though, to upset No. 6 seed North Carolina, which has had a down year by its usual standards.
It all get started with No. 3 seed Duke taking on No. 14 seed Mercer, with tip-off set for 12:15 p.m. on CBS.
Take a look at the full schedule of games below, courtesy of CBS Sports.
12:15, CBS, Raleigh: (3) Duke vs. (14) Mercer
12:40, truTV, San Antonio: (6) Baylor vs. (11) Nebraska
1:40, TBS, St. Louis: (7) New Mexico vs. (10) Stanford
2:10, TNT, San Diego: (1) Arizona vs. (16) Weber State
2:45, CBS, Raleigh: (6) UMass vs. (11) Tennessee
3:10, truTV, San Antonio: (3) Creighton vs. (14) UL Lafayette
4:10, TBS, St. Louis: (2) Kansas vs. (15) Eastern Kentucky
4:40, TNT, San Diego: (8) Gonzaga vs. (9) Oklahoma State
6:55, TBS, Raleigh: (8) Memphis vs. (9) George Washington
7:10, CBS, St. Louis: (1) Wichita State vs. (16) Cal Poly
7:20, TNT, San Antonio: (6) North Carolina vs. (11) Providence
7:27, truTV, San Diego: (5) VCU vs. (12) Stephen F. Austin
9:25, TBS, Raleigh: (1) Virginia vs. (16) Coastal Carolina
9:40, CBS, St. Louis: (8) Kentucky vs. (9) Kansas State
9:50, TNT, San Antonio: (3) Iowa State vs. (14) North Carolina Central
9:57, truTV, San Diego: (4) UCLA vs. (13) Tulsa