Fantastic Friday! Must See March Madness Games For Today!
There were a plenty of games that went down to the wire yesterday in the first round of the NCAA March Madness Tournament! Even though the 16 seed demolished the 1 seed yesterday in all three games, there were still upsets that busted many people’s chances from having a perfect bracket.
For example, it was the Makai Mason show yesterday as he dropped 31 points for the Yale Bulldogs in the shocking upset in Providence over the Baylor Bears. Meanwhile, Baylor was not the only 5 seed to go down yesterday. Arkansas-Little Rock stormed back late from a 13 point deficit with only 3:20 remaining to pull within one point against Purdue on a generous three pointer from the corner that bounced off the rim and in. The Trojans Josh Hagins launched a three ball from the parking lot to tie the game at 70 with 5 seconds left. Arkansas-Little Rock and the Purdue Boilermakers would remain tied after the first overtime and a second overtime was needed to decide the winner. Arkansas-Little Rock was up by 84-83 when Johnny Hill for Purdue tried to take it up the seams of the Trojan defense during the final seconds but slipped, forcing a circus shot that hit the bottom of the backboard and into the hands of a Trojan defender to seal the deal.
But the best game of the night concluded around midnight, as the Providence Friars went down to the wire with the USC Trojans.Those lucky Friars! The final seconds came down to USC making simple mistakes, such as an easy slam dunk that went off the rim with a missed opportunity of an and one, only to have USC shooting bricks at the free throw line. The Trojans were up by 69-68, and at the foul line to put the icing on the cake when USC’s free throw shooter missed a free throw and the ball went back to Providence. USC then made the worst mistake of their life as Southern Cal fans were in shock when the Trojan defense left the Providence Friar Rodney Bullock slip free on the baseline sinking in an easy layup to give the Friars the victory.
What to Look Forward for Today:
#10 Syracuse vs #7 Dayton 12:15pm CBS:
This game has already started and the Syracuse Orange are ahead by two at the half. However, who in the world knew that the Syracuse Orange would be in the NCAA Tournament after starting off conference play at 0-4. The Orange went .500 in the ACC this season and have lost their last five of six. On the other side, the Dayton Flyers have been known to make it deep into postseason play the past few years. Both teams allow just less than 66 points per game so expect a great game defensively. However, don’t expect a 70, 80, or 90 on the scoreboard because both teams are not known to be strong on offensive. Many people believe that Dayton has been strong all season long in Atlantic 10 Conference play, losing only by three points in the A-10 Title game to St. Joseph’s. Meanwhile, many still argue that the tournament committee disrespected the South Eastern Conference this year by only accepting two bids (Kentucky and Texas A&M). For many of us, we are still stumped on how Syracuse made it in and how the South Carolina Gamecocks, who started the season at 15-0 and finished at 24-8 did not make it into the NCAA Tournament. The Orange will have to prove why they are tournament worthy with the committee by keeping it close or possibly defeating Dayton today.
#10 VCU vs #7 Oregon State 1:30pm TNT:
Many wonder why the Oregon State Beavers was accepted as a 7 seed in the tournament with 19-12 record. The Beavers, who have not been to the tournament since 1990, are looking for their first NCAA Tournament win since 1982. Against Top 25 teams, Oregon State is 1-4. On the other side, VCU is 0-2 against the Top 25. If the Beavers are looking to increase their chances of winning, their defense must be able to beat VCU on the boards (something that Oregon State has struggled with this season). Also, they must be able to get Gary Payton II involved early in the game because he may be an important factor for the Beavers offense.
#13 Hawaii vs #4 California 2pm TBS:
This game should be a dandy! All eyes will be on this game today for this wild west coast match up in Spokane, Washington. The Hawaii Rainbow Warriors are 27-5 and want to make sure that the California Golden Bears do not take them lightly. Hawaii has seen light competition since conference play started in January, while the California plays in the always tough and challenging Pac-12 Conference. The past two losses by the Golden Bears have been by a combined seven points (one of them was an overtime loss in the Pac-12 Tournament to Utah). With that being said, you would think that Hawaii does not stand a chance. Hey, there is a chance that you might be WRONG! The leading scorer for the California Golden Bears, Tyrone Wallace, has been ruled out of today’s match up due to a hand injury. Do not count the Rainbow Warriors to be out of this one, and by the way, they lost by three back in December to number 2 seeded Oklahoma. With Wallace on the sidelines for this one, this match up should be closer than expected.
#10 Temple vs #7 Iowa 3:10pm truTV:
At one point of the season, Iowa was sitting at 10-1 in the Big 10 Conference, with an overall record of 19-4. They have now lost their last five of six and are coming into this match up at 21-10. Meanwhile, the Temple Owls have won their last four out of five games and are looking to extend it with another one. What Iowa needs to do to get back on the right track is to shake off the bad losses that they had throughout February and March. The Iowa Hawkeyes need to get Jarrod Uthoff going hot early with the three ball if Iowa is expecting to pull this one off.
#14 Stephen F. Austin vs #3 West Virginia 7:10pm CBS:
If Stephen F. Austin can shock us again, tonight is the night! The Lumberjacks stunned the nation in the 2014 NCAA Tournament when they were down by four to VCU in the final seconds and hit a three pointer, while the Lumberjack three-point shooter was also fouled. SFA won it in overtime that day. The Lumberjacks are running on a 20 game win streak and are looking to continue it. On the other end, the West Virginia Mountaineers have won their last six out of seven in the Big 12 Conference. Their only loss in their last seven game stretch was against top seeded Kansas. If SFA wants to make this game a contest, they need to do what they do best and that is to pass the basketball to hit the open jumpers.
#11 Michigan vs #6 Notre Dame 9:50pm TBS:
This intense and heated rivalry set for tonight in Brooklyn should be one for the ages! Both teams have had its ups and downs in recent weeks. The Michigan Wolverines barely made it into the tournament by earning a spot in the First Four and beating Tulsa. Michigan has an abominable record of 2-9 when it comes to playing Top 25 opponents. The Notre Dame Fighting Irish is 3-5 when playing against Top 25 opponents. If Michigan wants to even have a chance in this game, they need to box out and win the battle of the boards. Michigan struggles in their rebounding game averaging 32 rebounds per game, which is 326th in the nation. Junior guard Zak Irvin needs to continue his hot streak if the Wolverines stand a chance in this match up.
#11 Northern Iowa vs #6 Texas 9:50pm TBS:
Northern Iowa barely made it into the tournament and needed a fade away buzzer beater by Wes Washpun over Evansville to put them in. UNI has been hot as of late with six straight victories. On the other side, an upset may be brewing because Texas lost twice to Baylor (both games lost by 14 points and Baylor was upset by Yale). The UNI Panthers do have a chance tonight against the Texas Longhorns, and with the way that UNI has been playing as of late, expect this one to be a close one. UNI needs to continue their strong defensive play, allowing just less than 63 points per game. However, if UNI wants to compete tonight, they need to win at the boards, along with Oregon State and Michigan in their games, because UNI ranks almost dead last in the nation with only 30 rebounds per game.
With additional reporting by Sal Lopez