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March Madness Day 2: Recapping the Final Games of the NCAA Tournament's First Round

The SI Staff
March Madness Day 2: Recapping the Final Games of the NCAA Tournament's First Round

The second day of the NCAA tournament was more upset-heavy than its first, with two No. 12 seeds, a No. 13 seed, a No. 11 seed and a No. 10 seed all winning to cap a chaotic first round.

The day also saw some scares to top seeds, including No. 15 seed Colgate giving Tennessee all it could handle and two No. 16 seeds, Gardner-Webb and Iona, leading Virginia and UNC (respectively) at halftime before the No. 1s took over. Oh yeah, and Zion Williamson and Duke played.

Meanwhile, the Big Ten finished off an excellent Round of 64 with Ohio State’s upset of No. 6 seed (and Big 12 tournament winner) Iowa State on Friday night. After sending the most teams to the tournament this year, the Big Ten went 7–1 in round one, including the Buckeyes, Minnesota and Iowa all winning as the lower-seeded team. The conference’s lone loss came at the hands of Wisconsin, which fell to No. 12 seed Oregon on Friday.

Saturday will open the second round, starting with Maryland vs. LSU at 12:10 p.m. ET and ending with Auburn vs. Kansas at 9:40 p.m. Our complete Viewer’s Guide to Day 2 can be found here.

No. 11 Ohio State 62, No. 6 Iowa State

Ohio State outlasted Iowa State in a low-scoring defensive battle, winning 62–59 to upset the Cyclones and cap a 7–1 first round for the Big Ten. Big man Kaleb Wesson led the Buckeyes with 21 points and 11 rebounds, while Keyshawn Woods hit two clutch free throws late to seal it. It was a disappointing end to the season to the up-and-down Cyclones, who showed flashes of brilliance, like winning the Big 12 tournament, and periods of frustration, like losing five of six to end the regular season. Marial Shayok led all scorers with 23.

No. 9 UCF 73, No. 8 VCU 58

The secret is out on Tacko Fall. UCF’s 7'6" center turned in 13 points, 18 rebounds and five blocks as the Knights built a big second-half lead and coasted to the finish for a 73–58 win over VCU. From his surprising touch to his flat-footed blocks against the backboard, Fall’s every move was the subject of national fascination. B.J. Taylor had a game-high 15 points to set UCF up for a meeting with Duke on Sunday in Columbia.

No. 4 Virginia Tech 66, No. 13 Saint Louis 52

Virginia Tech notched its first tournament win since 2007 with a 66–52 triumph over A-10 champion Saint Louis, and it looks like the Hokies could still have some noise left to make in the East Region. Justin Robinson’s return from an injury that had sidelined him for the final 12 games of the Hokies’ season made Buzz Williams’s outfit look fully operational once again, and the 13th-seeded Billikens struggled all night to find continuity on offense or crash the glass with their usual success.

No. 1 North Carolina 88, No. 16 Iona 73

For the second time on Friday, a No. 1 seed trailed at halftime before rallying for a stress-free finish. MAAC champion Iona used 10 first-half threes to build a 38–33 lead at the break, but North Carolina needed only 39 seconds of second-half action to tie things up and pulled away for a 88–73 win in Columbus to ensure that all four No. 1 seeds would survive the first round. Freshman forward Nassir Little capped off a 19-point night with a turnaround dunk, and if he continues to be an offensive factor, the Tar Heels will flirt with 90 points against anyone in the country.

No. 12 Liberty 80, No. 5 Mississippi State 76

Mississippi State threw its best knockout punch with just over seven minutes to play, taking a 10-point lead on a Lamar Peters lay-in, but their offense went into traction at the worst time, as the Flames took advantage of a stretch of over six minutes in which the Bulldogs did not make a bucket and furiously battled back for an 80–76 win, with the final of junior Caleb Homesley’s 30 points making the difference to secure the school’s first NCAA tournament win.

No. 3 Houston 84, No. 14 Georgia State 55

Houston’s relentless defense locked down Georgia State’s shooters in the second half, and the Cougars rode Corey Davis Jr.’s 26 points to an emphatic 84–55 win in Tulsa. The Panthers finished 6-for-23 from behind the arc but were out rebounded 51–27 by Kelvin Sampson’s scrappy team, which stayed level with Buffalo for the nation’s best record, moving to 32–3 on the year.

No. 1 Duke 85, No. 16 North Dakota State 62

Duke overcame a sluggish start that saw it narrowly trail North Dakota State in the first half to win a blowout, 85–62. Zion Williamson put on a show as expected, finishing with 25 points on 12-for-16 shooting and a series of highlight-reel plays (and even a three!). R.J. Barrett added a double double with 26 and 14 rebounds, and the Blue Devils, who so often struggle with perimeter shooting, went 8 for 19 (42.1%) from three. Duke will face the winner of UCF-VCU on Sunday.

No. 9 Washington 78, No. 8 Utah State 61

Noah Dickerson put up a double double with 20 points and 12 rebounds and Matisse Thybulle turned in another vintage individual defensive performance as Washington separated late from a back-and-forth battle with Utah State for a 78–61 win in Columbus. Thybulle finished with five steals and three blocks (and scored 10 points, including a pair of threes) as the Huskies’ zone slowed the Aggies down just enough in the second half. After spending all season as the butt of jokes across the country, the Pac-12 has two teams in the second round.

No. 12 Oregon 72, No. 5 Wisconsin 54

Oregon continued its hot play of late, pulling away in the second half in a 72–54 rout of Wisconsin for its ninth straight win. The Ducks outscored the Badgers 47–29 in the second half, aided by a 7-for-15 mark from three on the night and a strong defensive effort that included six steals and five blocks. Payton Pritchard led all scorers with 19, while Kenny Wooten recorded four blocks. Wisconsin shot 33.3% from the field and took 30 threes, connecting on only six. In the last game of his stellar career, Ethan Happ finished with 12 points and eight rebounds.

No. 6 Buffalo 91, No. 11 Arizona State 74

Big man Nick Perkins scored 21 points and grabbed 10 rebounds and hot-shooting Buffalo bashed Arizona State, 91–74, on Friday in a first-round NCAA tournament game in Tulsa, Okla., sinking 10 three-pointers and making more than 52% of its shots. The sixth-seeded Bulls (32–3) rolled to an easy win over former head coach Bobby Hurley and the 11th-seeded Sun Devils (23–11) in an emotional game for the two head coaches. Hurley hired Buffalo coach Nate Oats to his UB staff in 2013, and the two are still close, speaking by phone at least once a week. Oats beat his mentor with one of the nation’s fastest, highest-scoring offenses, and his unit now gets the top-ranked defense in the land, Texas Tech, on Sunday with a trip to the Sweet 16 on the line.

No. 1 Virginia 71, No. 16 Gardner-Webb 56

There would be no historic upset this time. After Gardner-Webb raced out to a 14-point lead in the first half against Virginia, eventually taking a six-point lead into the locker room that spurred all sports of Twitter jokes, the Cavaliers and their defense put the clamps on the Runnin’ Bulldogs in the second half. They outscored Gardner-Webb 41–20 over the final 20 minutes, coming out of halftime fast and never looking back in a 71–56 win. De’Andre Hunter lead all scorers with 23 points, and UVa overcame 15 turnovers and a poor effort from the outside, where it shot 7 for 23 (30.4%).

No. 2 Tennessee 77, No. 15 Colgate 70

Colgate made an admirable push, but the Raiders’ upset bid fell short in a 77–70 loss to Tennessee. After the Vols’ lead was cut to three with two minutes to go, Admiral Schofield hit back-to-back clutch threes to expand a lead Tennessee wouldn’t relinquish. Jordan Burns had seven threes and 29 points for Colgate, which shot 50% as a team from the outside to put the Vols on their heels. Schofield lead Tennessee with 19, while Jordan Bone added 16.

No. 13 UC Irvine 70, No. 4 Kansas State 64

In the biggest seeding upset of the NCAA tournament so far, UC Irvine outlasted Kansas State, 70–64. The Wildcats were without starter Dean Wade, and were held to a 45% mark inside the arc by an Anteaters defense that ranks first nationally in opposing two-point percentage. Max Hazzard beat the buzzer with a game-tying three to close the first half, and UC Irvine was then able to assert itself enough in the final 20 minutes to win by six. Hazzard and Evan Leonard finished with 19 apiece to lead the Anteaters’ upset, while Kamau Stokes had 18 for the Wildcats.

No. 3 Texas Tech 72, No. 14 Northern Kentucky 57

Jarrett Culver lifted Texas Tech’s offense out of a sluggish start and finished with 29 points, eight rebounds and seven assists, and the Red Raiders tightened up on defense late and pulled away for a 72–57 win to open the action in Tulsa. The Norse got 23 points from junior guard Tyler Sharpe but hit just five threes as a team, and Texas Tech overcame a 58.7% performance at the line to stay on schedule for a potential Sweet 16 matchup of the nation’s two top defenses according to kenpom.com if the Red Raiders and Michigan both win on Sunday.

No. 9 Oklahoma 95, No. 8 Ole Miss 72

The Sooners showed up on time for the early tip-off in Columbus, sprinting out to a 12–0 lead and cruising to a wire-to-wire 95–72 win at Ole Miss’s expense. Christian James and Rashard Odomes both scored 20 points, and Kristian Doolittle and Brady Manek combined to add 37 more as the Sooners did whatever they wanted offensively, leading by double digits for the final 30 minutes of the game. Oklahoma, one of the tournament’s most extreme boom-or-bust teams, shot 57.6% from the floor and registered 10 steals, creating nightmares for the Rebels’ talented backcourt.

No. 10 Iowa 79, No. 7 Cincinnati 72

Despite falling behind 18–5 early on, Iowa rallied to knock off Cincinnati, 79–72, and advance to the Round of 32 with a big second half. Luka Garza had a strong game in the frontcourt against the Bearcats’ stingy interior defense, recording 20 points and helping force Cincy center Nysier Brooks to foul out, while freshman guard Joe Wieskamp connected on four threes and finished with 19. Justin Jenifer led Cincinnati with 19 points, while star Jarron Cumberland had 18 and four assists.

Friday's full schedule

• 1:30 p.m.: No. 14 Northern Kentucky vs. No. 3 Texas Tech (TNT)

• 2:00 p.m.: No. 13 UC Irvine vs. No. 4 Kansas State (TBS)

• 2:45 p.m.: No. 15 Colgate vs. No. 2 Tennessee (CBS)

• 3:10 p.m.: No. 16 Gardner Webb vs. No. 1 Virginia (truTV)

• 4:00 p.m.: No. 11 Arizona State vs. No. 6 Buffalo (TNT)

• 4:30 p.m.: No. 12 Oregon vs. No. 5 Wisconsin (TBS)

• 6:50 p.m.: No. 9 Washington vs. No. 8 Utah State (TNT)

• 7:10 p.m.: No. 16 North Dakota State vs. No. 1 Duke (CBS)

• 7:20 p.m.: No. 14 Georgia State vs. No. 3 Houston (TBS)

• 7:27 p.m.: No. 12 Liberty vs. No. 5 Mississippi State (truTV)

• 9:20 p.m.: No. 16 Iona vs. No. 1 North Carolina (TNT)

• 9:40 p.m.: No. 9 UCF vs. No. 8 VCU (CBS)

• 9:50 p.m.: No. 11 Ohio State vs. No. 6 Iowa State (TBS)

• 9:57 p.m.: No. 13 Saint Louis vs. No. 4 Virginia Tech (truTV)

All games can also be streamed with March Madness Live online on NCAA.com.