In games still going on, Minnesota is in the midst of pulling an upset of its own over UCLA. The No. 11 seed is currently up 54-42 with just under 12 minutes to go in the second.
So, let’s recap. Georgetown is out. Notre Dame is out. And UCLA may be out. If you like upsets, this is sure your night.
10:20 p.m.: The two game going on right now might be the two most competitive we see tonight.
San Diego State is a solid team with one of the best all-around players in the country in Jamaal Franklin. Meanwhile, Oklahoma is a bunch of big-bodied ogres who tend to dominate the glass and use their size down low.
Well, the Sooners are asserting themselves thus far with a 27-21 lead and just over seven minutes to play.
The other big 7/10 game has Notre Dame really bodying up Iowa State down low and trying to keep the Cyclones from getting those high-percentage shots they love.
Both of these games feature some definite star power and should come down to the wire before a winner is decided. Don’t be surprised if we get some late-game drama even.
9:51 p.m.: It didn’t look good in the first half as Florida led by just eight at the break, but Billy Donovan’s guys really turned on the jets in the second half.
The Gators locked down defensively and took control of the tempo in the final 20 minutes, outscoring Northwestern State by 24 for the 79-47 win. And maybe just to add some wow factor to this win, Florida held the nation’s No. 1 scoring offense (81 points per game) to just 47 points total and 15 in the second half. Yikes.
If the Gators play like they did in the second half the rest of the tournament there is no question they’ll be in the Final Four.
9:47 p.m.: Just like most of the other top seeds — not you, Georgetown or Gonzaga — Ohio State took care of business in the Round of 64.
Deshaun Thomas and Sam Thompson combined for 44 points and Aaron Craft chipped in seven assists and six steals to help lead the Buckeyes to an easy 995-70 win over the Gaels of Iona.
Now, they can turn their attention to the winner of the Notre Dame/Iowa State game later tonight.
9:36 p.m.: It was not pretty at all, but Roy Williams gets his 700th-career win and North Carolina will move on to, in all likelihood, play Kansas.
It’s mind boggling that UNC, as talented as they are, had a 20-point lead in this game, but allowed Villanova to climb all the way back to even take a lead. That is not the sign of a team even close to competing for a championship.
If Kansas puts on even a decent showing against Western Kentucky, I’d bet they’ll drop the Tar Heels by double digits on Sunday.
9:25 p.m.: Brackets everywhere may be busted right now with that Georgetown loss, but you can at least take solace in the fact that both Florida and Ohio State are doing work right now.
Florida, who struggled with Northwestern State in the first half, has extended their lead out to 20 and Ohio State is putting a hurting on Iona.
Right now, I’d have to say Ohio State, along with Louisville, Indiana and Syracuse, look like the best teams in the tournament. Florida could work their way back into that conversation, but for the time being they’re outliers.
9:16 p.m.: The little guy did it again.
After two No. 2 seeds — Duke and Mizzouri — took a tumble in the first round in 2012, Georgetown followed suit with a loss to 15th-seeded Florida Gulf Coast.
The Eagles became just the seventh 15 seed all time to pull the unlikely upset with a 78-68 win, but it didn’t come without some drama.
Georgetown was down by as many as 17 in the second half, but some timely shooting pulled them back within four in the final minutes. But FGCU hit their free throws to seal the win in the end.
Now, the giant killers will be faced with either San Diego State or Oklahoma in the Third Round — I maintain my opposition — on Sunday.
9:00 p.m.: UNC blew what was a 20-point lead and are now stuck in the middle of a dogfight with Villanova.
Roy Williams was so angry at his starters that he even sent in an entire reserve unti for a minute or so just to prove a point and motivate them again. The message seems to have been heard loud and clear, but is it too late?
Over on TBS, Florida Gulf Coast has Georgetown on the ropes. They’ve got a nine-point lead with under two minutes to play. Can they do it?
8:22 p.m.: We may have another upset in the making.
As things stand right now, Florida Gulf Coast is still well out in front of Georgetown, 50-33 with 13 minutes to go in the second half. The No. 15-seed is being led by guards Bernard Thompson and Sherwood Brown, who have 18 and 16 points, respectively.
This would easily be the biggest upset of the tournament so far, if FGCU can hold on — even bigger than Harvard’s upset win over New Mexico.
7:45 p.m.: The first half has come to a close and the Florida Gulf Coast actually has the lead on Georgetown.
Now, don’t get too excited, they’re only up two points at the break, but with the way Georgetown has been playing it wouldn’t be a surprise to see this upset attempt go down to the wire.
John Thompson III needs to dig into his team at the half and really get them going offensively in the second half. It’s not like the Eagles are shooting lights out either, as they’ve only hit 30 percent of their shots. But Georgetown isn’t doing themselves any favors either and their best Otto Porter only has four points.
You can just see the blood in the water now.
7:38 p.m.: So, Ohio State is taking care of business with Iona, but the Hoyas aren’t enjoying quite as much luck against Florida Gulf Coast.
FGCU is actually ahead of Georgetown with under two minutes to go in the first half. Now, the Hoyas aren’t exactly an offensive power, but you’d think their staunch defense might be able to keep the Eagles at bay.
I guess we’ve got out first upset alert of the evening games. Keep on the lookout for this one.
7:15 p.m.: Illinois can take let out a big sigh of relief, because the Illini found a way to fend off the pesky boys from Colorado.
The Fighting Illini led by 16 early in the second half, but a 23-5 run by the Buffaloes saw it quickly evaporate. Luckily, some clutch shooting from senior Brandon Paul and and a few key rebounds from center Nnanna Egwu provided just enough to secure the 57-49 win.
Now, Illinois will have the fortune, or misfortune, of facing No. 2 Miami in the third round — I still don’t agree with these round labels — on Sunday.
Elsewhere, No. 2 Ohio State just tipped off against No. 15 Iona and fellwo no. 2 Georgetown currently holds a six-point lead over Florida Gulf Coast halfway through the first half.
5:35 p.m.: So after blowing an 18-point lead, La Salle finishes it off and pulls the upset — as the No. 13 seed — on Kansas State, 63-61.
In other games, Creighton beats Cincinnati 67-63 behind 27 points from Doug McDermott. The junior forward went 7-for-13 from the field, and also pulled down 11 rebounds for the double-double.
Two games going live as we speak. James Madison is trailing Indiana big early in the second half — no surprise there — while Illinois is up 37-21 over Colorado at the half.
5:05 p.m.: So no matter what the other storylines may be, upsets are always the sexy item at the NCAA tournament.
Last night it obviously fell to Harvard to fulfill that role, but late this afternoon it may well be La Salle. The Explorers are currently knotted up 60-60 with Kansas State with just about 3:30 to go in the game. Of course, Kansas State was down 18 at halftime, so perhaps the aggregates are just on their side at this point.
In any case, Jerrell Wright leads La Salle with 18 points, while Shane Southwell leads Kansas State with 17.
4:10 p.m.: Miami is just about to put a bow on a blowout victory against the 15-seed Pacific.
The Hurricanes are up 73-49 with two minutes to go, thanks in large part to the play of Durand Scott. He’s got 21 points to lead all scorers, and the strong start to the tournament bodes well for the ACC champion’s title hopes.
3:50 p.m.: Temple holds on to beat NC State 76-72, in a game that ended up much closer than the Owls would have liked. NC State battled back from an 18-point deficit to make this close, but couldn’t pull off the miracle comeback.
Attention now shifts to the “upset alert” brewing in the Kansas State-La Salle game. There, La Salle has opened up an 18-point lead over K-State. Elsewhere, Creighton leads Cincinnati by five at the half, behind 14 points by the nation’s leading scorer, Doug McDermott.
3:48 p.m.: C.J. Leslie has fouled out of this one, as the junior guard finishes with 20 points for NC State.
3:44 p.m.: A couple of controversial calls went against NC State in these final moments, with what looked like a clean block and a possible charge instead turning into free throws for Temple.
NC State only trails by three with about 10 seconds to go, but Temple has the ball and will need to inbound it from under their own hoop.
3:40 p.m.: LaSalle has opened up a double-digit lead against Kansas State halfway through the first half. Temple is still clinging to a lead with under 30 seconds to go, but NC State is shooting free throws down six points.
3:35 p.m.: The action is coming fast and furious on TBS as the Wolfpack continue to rally. It’s a three-point game with 1:27 to play.
3:30 p.m.: Here comes the Wolfpack!
Back to back 3-pointers have cut the Temple lead that once was 18 all the way down to three with just over three minutes to play. NC State’s Lorenzo Brown has 16 points, but he’s also playing with four fouls and has to be careful.
A pair of free throws for Temple extends the lead back to five, but kudos to NC State for showing some fight late in Dayton.
3:20 p.m.: Cincinnati and Creighton have tipped off, with the 7-10 matchup starting off a close one. La Salle and Kansas State are also underway early, with those two playing for the right to face Ole Miss next.
Temple is holding on to a late lead against NC State, who are valiantly trying to come back. They’re down eight at the under-four minute timeout after a key 3-pointer by C.J. Leslie.
3:00 p.m.: NC State is making things interesting against Temple, as the No. 8 seed Wolfpack have cut the lead to single digits. It’s 47-39 Temple with 13 minutes to go in the second half.
Meanwhile, Miami is cruising over No. 15 Pacific, having opened up a 20-point lead nearing halftime. Shane Larkin has 10 points and five assists for the Hurricanes.
2:45 p.m.: It’s in the books. Another No. 5 seed has fallen to a No. 12.
Ole Miss will move on to the next round after dispatching Wisconsin 57-46, behind 19 points from star guard Marshall Henderson and 12 rebounds from Reginald Buckner. The Rebels will face the winner of the Kansas State-La Salle game in the Round of 32.
2:30 p.m.: It’s that time again — time to find where truTV is on your dial.
While Temple enters halftime up 16 on NC State, Ole Miss and Wisconsin are in a tight one with under four minutes to go. Elsewhere, Miami leads Pacific early, while Duke is moments away from wrapping up a W over Albany in its first game of the tournament.
2:15 p.m.: Miami and Pacific are underway in the second 2-15 matchup of the day. Duke is still comfortably ahead of Albany in the first one, leading by 10 with under four minutes to play.
Meanwhile, Henderson is heating up for the Rebels, and Ole Miss has grabbed the lead from Wisconsin. That’s the game to watch as we head into the home stretch of these early games.
2:10 p.m.: Marshall Henderson has finally made a 3-pointer. His first make from long range brings Ole Miss to within three of Wisconsin with 11:26 to go, and improves his shooting mark to 1-for-7 from deep.
Bo Ryan immediately called a timeout, possibly in hopes of making sure Henderson doesn’t find his rhythm.
1:50 p.m.: We’re up to three simultaneous games after Temple has tipped off against NC State in Dayton. The Owls have grabbed a quick 12-4 lead over the Wolfpack thanks to all five starters scoring in the first five minutes of play.
Meanwhile, Duke continues to pull away from Albany, making an upset for Duke haters less and less likely. They’ve got a comfortable double-digit lead midway through the second half.
Wisconsin and Ole Miss are underway in the second half as well.
1:25 p.m.: For all his talk of getting paid, Marshall Henderson has been anything but money in this first half.
The outspoken Ole Miss guard heads into the locker room with his team trailing 25-22, and Henderson’s shooting is a big part of that. He’s just 1-for-11 from the field and 0-for-4 from long range. He averages 20 points per game and has gone for 21 or more in five straight games, but he’ll need a monster second half to reach that mark against a stingy Wisconsin defense.
1:15 p.m.: Duke has reached halftime, and the Blue Devils lead 35-26 over Albany. Seth Curry leads all scorers with 12 points on 5-for-6 shooting so far today.
In Kansas City, Bo Ryan is looking more and more frustrated with his Badgers squad during their dogfight against Ole Miss. Wisconsin has already committed six turnovers in the first half as the two teams trade blows in a close game.
1:05 p.m.: There’s a much more exciting game going on in Kansas City, where Mississippi now leads Wisconsin 15-11. While Marshall Henderson has been ineffective so far (just two points, and some bench time), the Rebels are hanging in with Bo Ryan’s Badgers.
Albany, meanwhile, has snuck within five of Duke. The Blue Devils are up just 31-26 with 1:38 to go in the half.
12:55 p.m.: Duke is pulling away, but it’s not as bad as it could be. Albany has ways to stop the Blue Devils, and it just has to hope that the shooting cools off. Duke is up 29-18.
Wisconsin has an early 9-7 lead on Ole Miss, by the way. As for Marshall Henderson? He has two of the points.
12:38 p.m.: Austin Rivers couldn’t keep Duke from a first-round upset last year, but Seth Curry may be able to. He is torching the net so far and showing that this is one of the games where he’ll be hard to stop. He’s been outstanding this year despite not being able to practice due to ankle problems.
He has nine points as Duke leads 22-12, and he’s well on his way to the 17.0 points a game he’s averaging this year.
Duke is 8-for-10 from the field so far, and 3-for-4 on 3-pointers. Albany needs to find some defense.
Ole Miss and Wisconsin are getting ready to go on truTV. They’ll start any minute now.
12:35 p.m.: Duke has the lead early in this one, but Albany is hanging in. Seth Curry has already dropped in five points, but the Danes have some real strength inside. Sam Rowley, Blake Metcalf and Gary Johnson are capitalizing on what has been Duke’s biggest weakness all year — physicality inside — and are stemming the Blue Devils’ attack somewhat.
If Albany can get more easy buckets inside and push Mason Plumlee away from the basket, they can make life horrible for Duke. Plumlee averages a double-double, but he struggles against good post players.
Then again, if the Danes collapse and lock it down inside, the Duke sharpshooters can feast. This will be an uphill climb.
Duke leads 18-9.
12:19 p.m.: Tip-off! Oh, there’s nothing more March Madness-y than Mike Krzyzewski and the Blue Devils mascot that looks like Mike Krzyzewski roaming the sidelines as Duke looks to make another run.
Then again, there’s also nothing more March Madness-y than a No. 15 upsetting a No. 2, which of course is what happened to Duke at the hands of Lehigh last year.
Great Danes taking down the Blue Devils? We’ll watch.
11:55 a.m.: We’re about 20 minutes from tip-off here, with Duke up first and then Ole Miss at 12:40. If yesterday’s performance by Harvard busted plenty of brackets, today has a chance to break a few more.
10 a.m.: Here’s a rundown of who’s playing today:
12:15 p.m.: No. 15 Albany vs. No. 2 Duke, CBS
12:40 p.m.: No. 12 Ole Miss vs. No. 5 Wisconsin, truTV
1:40 p.m.: No. 9 Temple vs. No. 8 N.C. State, TBS
2:10 p.m.: No. 15 Pacific vs. No. 2 Miami, TNT
2:45 p.m.: No. 10 Cincinnati vs. No. 7 Creighton, CBS
3:10 p.m.: No. 13 La Salle vs. No. 4 Kansas State, truTV
4:10 p.m.: No. 16 James Madison vs. No. 1 Indiana, TBS
4:40 p.m.: No. 10 Colorado vs. No. 7 Illinois, TNT
6:50 p.m.: No. 15 FGCU vs. No. 2 Georgetown, TBS
7:15 p.m.: No. 15 Iona vs. No. 2 Ohio State, CBS
7:20 p.m.: No. 9 Villanova vs. No. 8 North Carolina, TNT
7:27 p.m.: No. 14 Northwestern State vs. No. 3 Florida, truTV
9:20 p.m.: No. 10 Oklahoma vs. No. 7 San Diego State, TBS
9:45 p.m.: No. 10 Iowa State vs. No. 7 Notre Dame, CBS
9:50 p.m.: No. 16 Western Kentucky vs. No. 1 Kansas, TNT
9:57 p.m.: No. 11 Minnesota vs. No. 6 UCLA, truTV
8 a.m. ET: March Madness this time around is a little different than it has been in years past, with no clear-cut No. 1 team and few big-name players ready to etch themselves into NCAA Tournament lore. What’s so great about March Madness, though, is that even when the odds are stacked in one direction, anything can happen.
Two players who have already grabbed some headlines before this tournament will look to continue their runs today: Marshall Henderson of Ole Miss and Doug McDermott of Creighton. Henderson has been known to taunt a team or two (Florida and Kentucky, for example), and he turned heads when he and Ole Miss went on a run to win the SEC over Florida. As far as upsets go, the Rebels are a favorite.
Creighton’s Doug McDermott, meanwhile, may be the best scorer March Madness fans have seen since the likes of Stephen Curry or Jimmer Fredette. The junior, who could be NBA-bound next season, has seen his numbers notch up each year while playing for his dad, Greg McDermott. He spent considerable time this offseason polishing his game to make it pro-ready, and his scoring average this year — 23.1 points a game on 56.1 percent shooting and 49.7 percent 3-point shooting — shows how hard he has become to stop.
Those are just two of the big stories heading into Friday, which has another 16 games on tap. It starts with No. 2 Duke facing No. 15 Albany, with the Great Danes surely knowing that Duke was upset by No. 15 Lehigh in last year’s tournament (albeit without Ryan Kelly, who is now healthy for the Blue Devils).
Henderson and Ole Miss, a No. 12 seed, face Wisconsin next, with Bo Ryan’s Badgers looking to make a run in the bracket that also features No. 1 Gonzaga. McDermott and Creighton (No. 7) play Cincinnati at 2:45 p.m.
After an opening day that featured wild finishes from Marquette and Memphis, as well as what may be the upset of the tournament in Harvard taking down New Mexico, the second day looks primed for even better action.
Check back here throughout the day to see how the games unfold. We’ll provide news and updates as the day goes on.
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