The madness has begun.
The 2019 NCAA Tournament tipped off Thursday, and if past years are any indication, the first round should feature no shortage of unforgettable moments. Keep it locked here on NESN.com for updates throughout the day’s action.
Thumbnail photo via John David Mercer/USA TODAY Sports Images
No. 9 Baylor is moving on, beating No. 8 Syracuse 78-69. Meanwhile, No. 3 Purdue leads No. 14 Old Dominion in the final game of the night, leading 55-46 with 3:40 to play.
Here are some final scores from a pair of the late games
— Michigan 74, Montana 55
— Wofford 84, Seton Hall 68
Third-seeded Purdue is making easy work of Old Dominion so far, leading 32-19 at halftime.
At the half for three of the nightcaps, we have some close ones:
— No. 7 Wofford leads No. 10 Seton Hall 40-30
— No. 2 Michigan leads No. 15 Montana 34-21.
— No. 9 Baylor leads No. 8 Syracuse 38-37.
Though they trailed at the half, No. 6 Villanova avoids the upset, beating No. 11 Saint Mary’s 61-57.
Gonzaga finishes its first game of the tournament with little issue. They beat Fairleigh Dickinson 87-49.
No. 10 Florida has completed an upset of No. 7 Nevada, earning a 70-61 victory.
Kentucky has finished off its throttling of Abilene Christian, claiming a 79-44 win.
Saint Mary’s is giving Villanova some trouble in the first half. The Gaels lead 30-28 after the first 20.
To the surprise of nobody, Gonzaga is blowing the doors off Fairleigh Dickinson. The Bulldogs lead 53-17 at the half.
Kentucky has not been kind to Abilene Christian, the Wildcats lead 39-13 at the break.
The first half of Florida-Nevada has concluded, and it’s the 10th-seeded Gators that currently own a 37-28 lead.
Murray State put the finishing touches on the win, earning a 83-64 victory over Marquette.
Meanwhile, 12th-seeded Murray State is running away with things. They lead No. 5 Marquette 62-44 with under 11 minutes in regulation.
At long last, Kansas’ drubbing of Northeastern is over. The Jayhawks beat the Huskies 87-53.
Kansas is pulling away from Northeastern with 13 minutes left. The Jayhawks lead by 17.
Ja Morant hits a pretty step-back three to put No. 12 Murray State up seven over No. 5 seed Marquette at the half.
Morant finishes the first frame with 10 points, 4 rebounds, and 8 assists. Marquette’s Markus Howard has 16 points on 3/6 shooting from deep.
Welcome to the Ja Morant show
— SB Nation (@SBNation) March 21, 2019
No. 4 seed Kansas has stretched its lead over No. 13 seed Northeastern to 15 points with 15 minutes remaining in regulation.
Murray State is up 37-33 on Marquette with two minutes left in the first half, in what’s sure to be a great one. The Racers and Golden Eagles are trading buckets at a rapid pace in an offensive shootout.
No. 13 seed Northeastern and No. 4 seed Kansas are underway in the second half. The Jayhawks lead by 10 with 16:43 left in regulation.
No. 6 seed Maryland holds on to beat No. 11 seed Belmont 79-77. Maryland is on to the round of 32.
Belmont tries to force a pass inside with under 10 seconds left, but turns the ball over. Maryland hits one free throw to make it 79-77 with 2.5 seconds left. One free throw remains before Belmont gets one final shot.
A Belmont 3-pointer pulls the team within one! It’s 78-77 with one minute left.
No. 12 Murray State and No. 5 Marquette are upholding their reputations of being offensive-minded teams. It’s 25-24 Murray State with six minutes left in the first half.
Belmont trails Maryland by three with 2:25 remaining in regulation. The Bruins’ Dylan Windler is up to 33 points.
Kansas leads Northeastern by 12 at the half.
No. 11 Belmont and No. 6 Maryland are locked at 71 heading into crunch time.
A Maryland 3-pointer ties the game with 3:50 left!
No. 15 seed Bradley did all it could, but the No. 2 Spartans were too much. Michigan State leads by nine with 40 seconds left. The Big Ten champs are on to the round of 32.
Dylan Windler is up to 29 points, leading Belmont to a four-point lead over Maryland with six minutes left.
Ja Morant is leading the Racers early. Murray State is up 18-10 over Marquette after seven minutes of play.
Bradley scores to cut the deficit to five with 90 seconds left. Michigan State is doing a nice job of getting inside and drawing fouls against the smaller opponent.
No.11 seed Belmont now leads No. 6 seed Maryland 60-58 with eight minutes remaining.
Michigan State uses a 9-0 run to take a 63-55 lead over Bradley with 2:45 left in regulation.
No. 11 Belmont responds with a run of its own! They take the lead over No. 6 Maryland, only to have the Terrapins take it right back on the next possession. These teams are trading buckets with just under ten minutes left.
No. 5 Marquette and No. 12 Murray State are underway in Hartford. It’s tied at five after three minutes of action.
A quick 5-0 run puts No. 6 seed Maryland back on top over Belmont.
Belmont turns a missed Maryland dunk into points. The Bruins trail by two with 13:43 left.
Bradley – Michigan State has had 16 lead changes thus far. The Spartans are on upset alert.
No. 6 Maryland leads No. 11 Belmont by five with 15 minutes left. Guard Dylan Windler has paced the Bruins to keep them in this one.
Bradley has taken the lead over No. 2 seed Michigan State. The Braves are up 51-50 with 10:55 left.
Bradley hits a 3-pointer to pull within two! The Braves are causing all sorts of problems for the Spartans.
Belmont and Maryland have kicked off the second half, with the Terrapins leading 41-40.
No. 15 seed Bradley continues to give No. 2 seed Michigan St. all it can handle. It’s 48-41 Spartans with 13 minutes left. Michigan St. has used an extended 14-2 run to stretch the lead to seven.
Kansas and Northeastern are knotted at nine in the early going.
Michigan State takes its first lead since early in the first half against Bradley. The Spartans lead 44 – 39 with 16:48 left in regulation.
No. 4 seed Kansas and No. 13 seed Northeastern are closing in on tip off. The Huskies will have a tough hill to climb if they want to knock off Bill Self’s Jayhawks.
No. 4 seed Florida State holds off No. 13 seed Vermont 76-69. The Seminoles advance to the Round of 32. Gritty win by Leonard Hamilton’s squad.
If you’re looking for a must-watch game of the day, look no further than No. 12 seed Murray State vs. No. 5 seed Marquette, which features two of the nation’s most exciting players. The Racers’ Ja Morant is one of the top NBA prospects in this year’s class, while the Golden Eagles’ Markus Howard is an elite scorer who can shoot from anywhere in the gym. That game is set to tip off following the conclusion of Florida State – Vermont.
No. 11 seed Belmont leads No. 6 seed Maryland by a score of 40-34 at the half.
The Seminoles now lead by 10 with 90 seconds left. The Catamounts upset hopes are shrinking.
Florida State’s Terrance Mann is getting the ball inside on every possession. The Catamounts can’t handle an athletic big like him. The Seminoles need to continue to get him looks each time down the floor.
Vermont hits a 3 to cut the deficit to five with three minutes remaining.
Belmont leads Maryland 35-30 with 4:28 left in the first half. The Bruins have done a nice job handling the Terrapins size and length.
No. 15 seed Bradley leads No. 2 seed Michigan State 35-34 at the half.
Vermont needs some stops here. Florida State just extended its lead out to eight with 4:27 left, which led to a UVM timeout.
No. 15 seed Bradley has not let up since its quick start. It leads No. 2 seed Michigan State by one with 13 seconds left in the first half.
No. 11 seed Belmont has taken a nine-point lead over No. 6 seed Maryland with seven minutes left in the first half.
No. 4 seed Florida State leads No. 13 seed Vermont 52-48 with 6:57 left. Senior guard David Nichols just came up limping with an apparent leg injury. The Seminoles will need him at full strength for the rest of this one if they want to hold on.
New Mexico State can’t convert the buzzer-beater 3-pointer. Auburn holds on 78-77 in a wild finish.
The Aggies make one of three free throws and trail by one with one second left. Tigers knock the ball out of bounds, so New Mexico State will have one more chance.
New Mexico State gets fouled shooting the three down two. Three free throws coming up.
Auburn heads to the line and misses the first.
Auburn fouls to send New Mexico St. to the line down three. It hits one of two and now the Tigers will head to the charity stripe.
Auburn has six turnovers in the last six minutes. The Aggies are starting to capitalize and they’re now down one with 18 seconds left.
New Mexico State trails Auburn by five with 45 seconds left. The Aggies 15 turnovers have been the difference maker down the stretch. The Tigers are giving New Mexico St. plenty of chances to get back into this one.
Maryland leads Belmont 9-8 after six minutes of action.
New Mexico State. now trails Auburn by seven with 90 seconds left.
Despite a slippery floor that has caused some problems, Vermont still leads Florida St. by three with 14 minutes left.
Jared Harper ends Auburn’s three-minute scoreless stretch with a deep three. Bruce Pearl is leaning into the Tigers on the sidelines, but they lead by nine with less than five minutes to go.
No. 13 seed Vermont is leading No. 4 Florida State by three with 16 minutes remaining in Hartford. Catamount fans are getting loud and providing a home court feel for UVM.
New Mexico State is struggling to handle Auburn’s athleticism and backcourt. The Tigers have forced 12 turnovers and lead by 13 with guard Jared Harper leading the way.
Bradley has come out firing. The No. 15 seed leads Michigan State 10-4 early on.
No. 2 seed Michigan State and No. 15 seed Bradley have tipped off in Des Moines.
No. 6 Maryland and No. 11 Belmont tip off in 15 minutes, with a potential upset bid in play. Belmont knocked off Temple on Tuesday night to get into this game, and will look to ride that momentum against the Terrapins. Maryland’s duo of NBA prospects (Bruno Fernando and Jalen Smith) will draw plenty of pro eyes to this matchup.
No. 5 Auburn is fighting off No. 12 New Mexico State, but the pesky Aggies won’t go away. They trail 51-40 with 13 minutes left.
Florida State and Vermont are tied at 27 heading into halftime. The Catamounts have slowed the game down to their preferred pace, while the Seminoles are missing the impact of forward Phil Cofer. UVM’s ball movement has also been sharp in their half court sets.
Ball movement on
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) March 21, 2019
No. 3 seed LSU holds on against No. 14 Yale by a final score of 79-74.
Yale trails LSU by 6 with 20 seconds left. The Tigers are heading to the free throw line looking to put this one away.
The second half is underway between No. 5 seed Auburn and No. 12 New Mexico State. The favored Tigers lead 38-33.
A Yale 3 cuts the deficit to 4 with 30 seconds left. The Bulldogs will not go away.
Yale’s Miye Oni misses an open three that would have cut the deficit to three. Instead it trails by five with 41 seconds left.
Timeout LSU with 1:25 remaining. No. 14 Yale is down 68-62. The Bulldogs will need to get a quick stop and continue moving the ball well over their next few possessions to really make LSU sweat.
Yale is playing with a sense of urgency now. They’re down five with just over two minutes left.
Richard Pitino knocks out his father’s former team in the round of 64. No. 10 seed Minnesota defeats No. 7 seed Louisville in the first game of the day.
LSU’s stagnant offense has allowed Yale to stay in this one. Tigers’ big man Naz Reid hasn’t moved the ball all that well, and the Bulldogs are taking advantage. No. 14 seed Yale is down nine with four minutes left.
No. 13 seed UVM has managed to slow down the temp against No. 4 seed Florida State. If the Catamounts can continue to keep the pace in control, they’ll be able to stick with the Seminoles. Florida State leads by 1 with 7:53 left in the first half.
No. 5 seed Auburn leads No. 12 seed New Mexico State 32-29 at halftime.
The Bulldogs are refusing to go down without a fight. They’re down 61-54 to LSU with just under eight minutes left.
Minnesota leads 78-69 with one minute remaining. Pending a meltdown, it looks like the Louisville Cardinals will be the first team out of the round of 64.
UVM has pushed out to an early 16-12 lead over Florida State. The Catamounts have a bit of a home court advantage, playing down Interstate-91 in Hartford, CT.
Yale, a team that normally relies heavily on their shooting, is four-of-22 from three. LSU’s physical perimeter defense has thrown the Bulldogs off of their offensive style. Don’t count the Ivy League champs out, however. A three-point play has cut the deficit to 8 with 10 minutes left.
Minnesota’s perimeter play have been the difference against Louisville. The Gophers have hit 12 threes en route to their late 12-point lead.
New Mexico State just ended its scoreless drought that last over six minutes. The Aggies are lucky to only be trailing by six with four minutes left in the first half.
Louisville needs some stops if it wants to get back into this one. It’s finally starting to click on the offensive side, but can’t stop the Gophers on the other end. Time to lock in with four minutes left. They trail by nine.
Florida State. and Vermont have tipped off from Hartford. We now have four games in play.
Auburn’s aggressive defense is starting to cause some problems for New Mexico State. The Tigers are converting turnovers to points in transition with ease right now. They lead 25-19 with 6:22 left in the first half.
If Louisville has another run in the tank, now is the time to make it happen. The team is down 64-50 with 7:45 remaining. Minnesota is giving no chances however, as the Gophers have just four turnovers on the day.
Yale is doing their best to hang in there with LSU, but they’re struggling to handle the Tigers’ quickness. They trail by 14 with 16 minutes left and the Tigers’ point guard Tremont Waters is taking ankles in Jacksonville.
Minnesota’s lead over Louisville now is up to 16 with 9:48 remaining. The Gophers perimeter play is just too much for for the Cardinals.
Florida State will be without forward Phil Cofer when they take on Vermont at 2:00 PM EST due to a foot injury. Big loss for the Seminoles.
No. 10 seed Minnesota is now leading Louisville by 12 with 13 minutes remaining. Louisville won’t go away, but it can’t seem to get over the hump. The Gophers have responded well to the Cardinals runs early in the second half, keeping their lead around 10 points or more.
The No. 5 seed Auburn Tigers just tipped off against the No. 12 seed New Mexico State Aggies. The Aggies are a popular upset pick, as they finished the year with a record of 30-4.
No. 3 seed LSU hasn’t had much trouble with Yale so far, leading 45-29 at halftime. But the seventh-seeded Louisville Cardinals are getting more than they bargained for with Minnesota. The Gophers currently lead 50-38 early in the second half.