The NCAA basketball tournament is in full swing, and the first-round games are proving to be full of surprises. In Greensboro, No. 6 seed Iowa State fought back from a 20-point deficit against No. 11 seed Pitt to win the game in a come-from-behind victory. Meanwhile, Xavier avoided an upset by No. 14 seed Kennesaw State to advance to the next round. Saint Mary’s held on to beat VCU in a low-scoring affair, and Baylor dominated UC Santa Barbara after a poor defensive performance in the first half. Other notable games include Marquette’s win over Vermont and Creighton’s victory over NC State.
2023 March Madness: Highlights and Scores from the First Round
The first round of the 2023 March Madness has concluded with some exciting games and surprising results. Here are some of the highlights and scores from the first round:
Indiana Dominates Kent State
In one of the final games of the night, Indiana faced off against Kent State. Despite being a trendy upset pick, Kent State never threatened the Hoosiers, and Indiana won comfortably. Trayce Jackson-Davis was the star of the game, finishing with 24 points, 11 rebounds, five assists, and five blocks. According to OptaStats, Jackson-Davis is the first player in NCAA Tournament history to record such a stat line, dating back to when blocks became an official stat in 1985-86. With the win, Indiana will move on to play Miami in a 4/5 matchup. Indiana’s program rebuild under Mike Woodson is showing promise, and if they continue to perform well, Jackson-Davis might have a case for NPOY.
TCU Secures a Close Win Against Arizona State
TCU secured a close 72-70 win over Arizona State, thanks to a go-ahead floater from JaKobe Coles with just 1.5 seconds left on the clock. Mike Miles led the Horned Frogs with 26 points, and the team committed only five turnovers compared to Arizona’s 17. Despite Arizona’s late rally to tie the game on a DJ Horne 3-pointer, TCU came up with the clutch bucket in the end to secure the win.
FAU Escapes Memphis with a Late-Game Heroics
In a game that was within five points for the entire second half, FAU secured a 62-60 win over Memphis with a go-ahead bucket from Nick Boyd with just 2.5 seconds left on the clock. Memphis committed a confounding late turnover and then broke down defensively on the final possession. FAU will take on Fairleigh Dickinson in the second round on Sunday.
Kansas State secured a comfortable win over Montana State, with Keyontae Johnson and Markquis Nowell combining for 35 points. Arizona State is up on TCU at the half, hitting 60% from both the floor and from beyond the arc, hoping to continue the trend of teams from the First Four performing well. Kent State struggled offensively, shooting just 26.3% from the floor, but managed to stay within striking distance of Indiana, thanks to a 9-3 edge in second-chance points.
The first round of the 2023 March Madness has come to an end, with some exciting games and surprising results. We can’t wait to see what the second round will bring!
March Madness 2023 First Round: Scores and Takeaways
The first round of March Madness 2023 has already witnessed some exciting games and surprising upsets. Here are some of the highlights and scores from the first round:
Kansas State vs Montana State
Kansas State started strong, shooting 51.7% from the floor in the first half. Markquis Nowell and Keyontae Johnson contributed 10 points each, but Montana State remained in the game, thanks to RaeQuan Battle’s 13 points on 5 of 9 shooting. Both teams struggled with turnovers, and the squads combined to make just 3 of 9 free throws.
Memphis vs FAU
Memphis had a slow start, trailing 25-15 midway through the first half, but they finished strong with a 16-4 run to take a 35-31 lead on FAU into halftime. Kendric Davis led the Tigers with 9 points, and they committed just two turnovers. The Owls started hot, but they headed to the locker room just 4 of 14 from beyond the arc. The winner of this game will face Fairleigh Dickinson in the second round.
Drake vs Miami
Drake led 55-47 with under six minutes remaining but couldn’t close it out against No. 5 seed Miami, who finished with a 16-1 run to win 63-56. Nijel Pack led Miami with 21 points, and Wooga Poplar added 15. Darnell Brodie led Drake with 20 points.
Fairleigh Dickinson vs Purdue
In one of the earlier games, Fairleigh Dickinson pulled off a big upset against Purdue, winning 74-68. Fairleigh Dickinson’s Brandon Rush led all scorers with 28 points, and Jahsean Tate contributed 15 points and 10 rebounds.
Gonzaga vs Grand Canyon
No. 3 seed Gonzaga cruised to an 82-70 victory over Grand Canyon. Julian Strawther led the Zags with 28 points and 10 rebounds, while Drew Timme added 21 points. The Zags shot 53.6% from the floor, continuing with the momentum they built coming into the Big Dance.
Kentucky vs Providence
Kentucky advanced past the first round of the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2019, beating Providence 76-68. Antonio Reeves led all Wildcats with 22 points, and Oscar Tshiebwe had 25 boards and nearly notched a double-double.
Indiana vs Kent State
In one of the final games of the night, Indiana faced off against Kent State. Kent State was a trendy upset pick, but Indiana won comfortably. Trayce Jackson-Davis was the star of the game, finishing with 24 points, 11 rebounds, five assists, and five blocks. Indiana will move on to play Miami in a 4/5 matchup.
Indiana vs Kent State: Key Takeaway
The experts are projecting Indiana’s prospects ahead to the tournament, and what we have seen from them in the last month is encouraging and terrifying. It’s uncertain what to expect from this team, but in this spot, with a lot of people thinking Kent State can pull this off, coach Mike Woodson will have IU ready. There’s a big game coming from Trayce Jackson-Davis, a big second half from Jalen Hood-Schifino, and an IU win (by more than the number).
March Madness First Round Roundup: Scores and Takeaways
The first round of March Madness ended with a bang on Friday night. The games were intense, and teams fought hard to move on to the next round. Here are some key takeaways from the games.
Indiana and Trayce Jackson-Davis Make History
Indiana dominated Kent State, and Trayce Jackson-Davis made history with a unique stat line. He recorded 24 points, 11 rebounds, five assists, and five blocks, becoming the first player in NCAA Tournament history to achieve this feat. Indiana will now face Miami in a 4/5 matchup in the second round.
TCU Escapes with a Win
TCU escaped with a close win over Arizona State thanks to JaKobe Coles’ go-ahead floater with 1.5 seconds left. Mike Miles led the Horned Frogs with 26 points, and the team capitalized on Arizona’s 17 turnovers.
Montana State Fails to Upset Kansas State
Despite Kansas State shooting 51.7% from the floor in the first half and getting 10 points each from Markquis Nowell and Keyontae Johnson, Montana State was able to keep the game close. The Bobcats’ RaeQuan Battle scored 13 points, and both teams struggled with turnovers.
Miami Overcomes Drake’s Strong First Half
Miami started slow but finished strong, overcoming a strong first-half performance by Drake. Miami’s Nijel Pack led the team with 21 points, and Wooga Poplar added 15 as the team finished on a 16-1 run to win 63-56.
Gonzaga Cruises to Victory
Gonzaga built a 22-point lead against Grand Canyon and cruised to an 82-70 victory. Julian Strawther led the team with 28 points and 10 rebounds, while Drew Timme contributed 21. The team shot 53.6% from the floor and continued their strong momentum in the tournament.
Kentucky Advances to the Second Round
Kentucky advanced past the first round for the first time since 2019, thanks to Antonio Reeves’ 22 points and Oscar Tshiebwe’s 25 rebounds. The team led Providence 38-31 at halftime and outscored them 13-2 in second-chance points.
FDU Gives Purdue a Fight
16-seed Fairleigh Dickinson gave top-seeded Purdue a fight, leading by a point at halftime. Despite expected National Player of the Year Zach Edey’s 12 points and 6 rebounds, Purdue struggled from beyond the arc, shooting only 2-of-11.
FAU Upsets Memphis
FAU came into the tournament with 31 wins and a dominating performance in Conference USA. They upset Memphis in the first round, despite Memphis guard Kendric Davis’ strong performance. FAU’s balanced offense and defense proved too much for Memphis, winning outright with 2.5 points.
UConn Dominates Iona
UConn dominated Iona in the second half, outscoring them 50-24 and screaming into the second round matchup against No. 5 Saint Mary’s. Adama Sanogo led the Huskies with 28 points and 13 rebounds, and the team shot 48% from the field and 44% from 3.
Rick Pitino Watch Begins
Rick Pitino has been linked to the vacant St. John’s opening and Texas Tech gauging interest. The process is expected to move quickly, and it will be interesting to see which school emerges as a contender.
Overall, the first round of March Madness was intense and full of surprises. We can’t wait to see what the second round brings.
March Madness Update: Second Round Games
It’s been an exciting second round of March Madness games so far. Here are some of the highlights from Friday’s games.
Iowa State vs. Pittsburgh
Iowa State struggled to find their footing against Pittsburgh, falling into a 22-2 deficit early on. The Cyclones were unable to recover, shooting just 23.3% for the game and missing 8 free throws. While there were questions about the level of one of the rims before the game, event staff evaluated it and Iowa State declined extra warm-up time. Pitt moves on to face Xavier in the second round.
Creighton vs. NC State
Creighton center Ryan Kalkbrenner dominated the game with 31 points, 7 rebounds, and 3 blocks as the Bluejays beat NC State 72-63. Kalkbrenner scored 20 of his points in the second half and was too much for NC State big man DJ Burns. NC State’s Terquavion Smith countered with 32 points, but it wasn’t enough. Creighton will play No. 3 seed Baylor in the second round.
UConn vs. Iona
In a highly anticipated matchup between Dan Hurley and Rick Pitino, Iona took a 39-37 lead over UConn at halftime. Berrick JeanLouis scored 11 points for Iona, while UConn’s Donovan Clingan and Adama Sanogo combined for 14 points. Both teams had success from beyond the arc in the first half, with UConn making 7 of 16 attempts and Iona making 6 of 11. It’s been an exciting game so far.
Marquette vs. Vermont
Marquette had a dominant performance against Vermont, with Kam Jones scoring 18 straight points at one point. The Golden Eagles shot 51.8% from the field and hit 10 of 20 attempts from beyond the arc. Marquette had just 5 turnovers and got contributions from 5 different players. They will play Michigan State in the second round.
In other games, Gonzaga built a 40-36 lead over Grand Canyon at halftime, and Kentucky took a 38-31 lead over Providence at halftime. FAU upset Memphis, winning 82-78.
Overall, it’s been an exciting second round so far, and there are sure to be more surprises as the tournament continues.
NCAA Tournament Day 2: Rollercoaster rides, upset alerts, and dominant performances
It was another thrilling day of NCAA tournament action, with some teams soaring to victory, others making an improbable comeback, and a few experiencing a devastating defeat. Here are the highlights from Day 2 of the tournament:
Iowa State’s comeback stuns Pitt
In a momentum-swinging game, No. 6 seed Iowa State made an impressive comeback against No. 11 seed Pitt. After falling behind 22-2 in the opening minutes, the Cyclones somehow managed to claw their way back and secure a win. The turning point came in the final 10 minutes of the game when Iowa State went on a 21-9 run to secure a victory.
St. Mary’s cruises past VCU
Fifth-seeded St. Mary’s had a comfortable win over VCU, holding them to just 37% shooting. VCU’s star player, Ace Baldwin Jr., suffered a lower-leg injury in the second half, which didn’t help their chances. St. Mary’s Mitchell Saxen scored a game-high 17 points, while freshman Aidan Mahaney didn’t score any points. St. Mary’s will face the winner of the UConn-Iona game in the second round.
Marquette dominates Vermont
Marquette used an 8-0 edge in second-chance points to take a 39-30 lead over Vermont at halftime. Vermont struggled to make free throws and had to rely heavily on their outside shots. Marquette won the game 78-61 and will face Michigan State in the second round.
Baylor dominates UCSB
Baylor had a slow start to the game, allowing UCSB to shoot 61% in the first half. However, the Bears came to life in the second half and held UCSB to just seven total field goals, securing a 77-48 victory. Adam Flagler and LJ Cryer scored 33 points combined on just 23 shots. Baylor will face the winner of Creighton/NC State in the second round.
It was a thrilling day of basketball, with some teams delivering dominant performances while others staged incredible comebacks. We can’t wait to see what the rest of the tournament holds!
VCU gives Saint Mary’s a close fight
VCU, a trendy pick for the 12-over-5 upset, gave No. 5 seed Saint Mary’s a close fight in Round 1. At halftime, VCU trailed by only one point with Ace Baldwin Jr. contributing 11 of the team’s 28 points. Saint Mary’s relied on its defense throughout the season, and it has been the same story for them in this game, which has been a low-scoring and ugly affair. VCU entered the tournament on a nine-game winning streak that included a successful run through the A-10 Tournament.
Xavier survives a close call against Kennesaw State
No. 3 seed Xavier was on the brink of a Round 1 exit after falling behind by as many as 13 points in the second half against No. 14 seed Kennesaw State. However, Xavier clawed its way back and took the lead late to secure the win. Jerome Hunter had a game-high 24 points, while Souley Boum contributed 17 points in the win. Xavier will face the winner of the game between No. 11 seed Pitt and No. 6 seed Iowa State in the second round on Sunday.
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