Columbus, Ohio — No. 16 seed in the NCAA Tournament Fairleigh Dickinson defeated top-seeded Purdue on Friday, 63-58, in the biggest upset in men’s college basketball in half a decade.
The win marked the second time a No. 16 seed had beat a No. 1 seed, after University of Maryland, Baltimore County’s victory over Virginia five years earlier by 20 points.
FDU, located in Teaneck, N.J., across the Hudson River from upper Manhattan, had never advanced to the second round of a tournament before Friday. It had to defeat Texas Southern on Wednesday in the play-only game for the right to play Purdue, the Big Ten champ led by 7-foot-4 Zack Eddy.
Purdue struggled in almost every aspect of the game. Poor shot, especially from 3-point range.
FDU is one of the most unexpected successes in college basketball. It is the shortest team in Division I–of 363 teams–with an average of only 6-foot-1. Almost every player at Purdue had a significant height advantage, especially Eddie, who regularly guarded a player a full foot shorter. – Noah Weiland
Xavier survived an early attempt.
During most of their first round matches, No. 3 seed Xavier looked like he was sleepwalking against Kennesaw State, a No. 14 seed stopping nearly every Knights player.
But control in the sport is relentlessly smooth, and Xavier took it in a furious rally to come back against the Owls, eventually holding them back for the 72-67 win that avoided another upset in the first round of the NCAA Men’s Tournament. (Baylor, the third seed, parried another player in a win over UC Santa Barbara after being down by 1 in the first half.)
The Owls led by 13 before Xavier finally got up with less than 10 minutes to go. The Knights scored the next 15 points—part of a drive in which Kennesaw State went nearly 8 minutes without a field goal.
This led to a back-and-forth action, with the teams alternating runs on downs until Xavier moved forward on a Colby Jones free throw. Kennesaw had several chances late on, but Spencer Rodgers stepped on the sideline while throwing an inbound pass, blocking him from attempting a game-tying pass.
An Xavier scare, sure, but not an early exit. Oscar Garcia
South Carolina dominated in its opening game.
South Carolina made a clear opening shot early in its first-round game Friday against No. 16-ranked Norfolk State: The No. 1-ranked Gamecocks allowed just 7 points in the first quarter while scoring 20 of their own.
South Carolina comfortably advanced to the second round of the NCAA Women’s Tournament, 72-40, as it began its run to its second straight national championship. On Sunday, you’ll take on No. 8 South Florida, who beat No. 9 Marquette, 67-65, in overtime on Friday.
The Gamecocks struggled at times to convert their solid possessions into points, committing 12 turnovers and missing 16 of 41 free throw attempts. But their apparent dominance and ease on home court was too much for the Spartans, who were making their first NCAA Tournament appearance in 21 years.
However, the Spartans did not back down. Keira Wheeler, a sophomore forward, finished with 13 points and 8 rebounds, and often found herself sparring with one of the best players in the game: Alia Boston, starting tackle and Gamecock pivot, who finished with 7 points and 9 rebounds. – Remy Tommen
Pittsburgh is the most recent team to have reached the Round of 32.
The top four was not a problem for Pittsburgh. It wasn’t the first round.
Friday’s No. 11 seed Pitt became the 11th team relegated to NCAA Men’s Tournament playoffs to the 2010 NCAA Men’s Championship Win the next contestwith a total dismantling of Iowa.
On Tuesday, Pitt played a close four-team game against No. 11-ranked Mississippi State, with a last-minute trading lead. But in the first round on Friday, the Panthers raced to a 22-2 lead en route to a 59-41 victory. Pete Cyclones grabbed just 23.3 percent, including 2-of-21 on 3-point shots.
In the second round, Pitt will face No. 3 seed Xavier, who narrowly escaped a collapse against No. 14 Kennesaw State.
Could the Panthers have a deeper run in store? They have some great role models in the recent history of top four teams.
Of the previous top four teams with first-round wins since the stadium’s expansion in 2011, five have won their Round of 32 matches as well. Two of those teams reached the Final Four, both 11th: Virginia Commonwealth in 2011, which fell to eighth seed Butler, and UCLA in 2021, which lost to top seed Gonzaga. Sarah Ziegler
LSU didn’t need to fire all the systems.
BATON ROUGE, LA – Kim Mulkey raised her arms as if to say, “Finally.” The crowd erupted in this manner as well.
It was early in the fourth quarter, and Mulkey’s seasoned point guard, veteran Alexis Morris, had just scored her first point of the game.
Morris’ below-average scoring, and Louisiana State’s shaky shooting, didn’t matter much, though, despite third-ranked LSU’s defeat of No. 14 Hawaii, 73-50, in the first round of the Division I Women’s Basketball Tournament.
Morris’s first basket began to rise. On Hawaii’s next possession, Morris grabbed a defensive rebound, then made a jumper and assisted on a forward Angel Reese’s shot. After another Morris basket pushed the Tigers’ lead to 23, Mulkey pleaded with the crowd to “get up” as Hawaii called a timeout. Home fans listened at the Pete Maravich Assembly Center.
Behind their defense, the Tigers built a massive 16-point lead even before Morris’ first basket swung across the net. LSU forced three shooting hour violations and the Hawaiian mansion on several other stagnant properties. Hawaii had 21 turnovers, 12 of them steals from LSU, and shot just 30.8 percent from the field.
The Tigers went over four minutes without a field goal in the third quarter, but Reese kept them on the scoreboard with 5 points at the free throw line. She briefly left the game late in the second quarter with what she described as a cramp, after colliding while fighting for the rebound, but came back to finish with 34 points and 15 rebounds — her 29th double-double of the season.
“On the bench, I was like, man, I have a cheat code for a teammate,” said forward Samia Smith. “It’s unbelievable.”
Sixth-ranked LSU will play Michigan, which beat UNLV earlier Friday, in the second round at home Sunday before a crowd that is supposed to be greater than 8,608 on Friday, as students return from spring break. – Evan Easterling
Michigan ended UNLV’s 22-game winning streak.
BATON ROUGE, LA — After studying UNLV, Michigan players felt confident enough to call two offensive plays for the Rebels during Friday’s game.
“We were wrong,” said graduate student Emily Kaiser.
However, the UNLV Wolverines forced uncharacteristic turnovers and choked out superstar Desi-Rae Young in a 71-59 win on Friday. Sixth seed Michigan will face No. 3 seed Louisiana State, the host nation for the first and second rounds, on Sunday.
UNLV’s 22-game winning streak ended with a second straight loss in the first round of the NCAA Women’s Tournament. Young did not make her first field goal until there were 8 minutes and 15 seconds left in the second half; She finished with 11 points and 8 rebounds.
The Rebels, one of the best teams in Division I at turnover limiting, nearly matched their season average in the first half.
On the offensive end, the Wolverines knew that the Rebels’ pressing and area style would open up opportunities for three cornerbacks and gaps for Keyser to work in the middle of the floor, said guard Maddy Nolan. Keser scored a double-double with 18 points and 10 rebounds while adding 6 assists, and fifth-year guard Lega Brown had 17 points and 7 assists.
UNLV fought back after an early run by Michigan, but after a 3-pointer by Alyssa Brown cut the deficit to 5 midway through the third quarter, the Rebels went scoreless in the next 4:33, allowing Michigan to rebuild a double-digit lead. Nolan had 18 points and shot 4-of-6 from 3-point range, including 3 during a 12-0 run in the third quarter that allowed the Wolverines to get a breakaway.
“I think she saved us many times,” said Kaiser. “When that outcome starts to get closer and closer, the number 3 is huge, I think, just a massive change in momentum.” – Evan Easterling
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