Welcome to the happy confluence that is the first Friday of March Madness and St. Patrick’s Day.
This promising day of cool and fun features 16 men’s NCAA Tournament games in the Round of 64 slate. And it produced one of the greatest upsets in March Madness history.
No. 16 Fairleigh Dickinson upset No. 1 Purdue, becoming just the second men’s No. 16 seed to take down a No. 1 since the NCAA Tournament field expanded to 64 teams in 1985.
Brackets everywhere are surely in tatters, as FDU moves on to the second round, along with these Cinderella double-digit seeds that won Thursday: No. 15 Princeton, which stunned No. 2 Arizona; and the 13-seeded Paladins of Furman, who upset No. 4 Virginia.
The action won’t stop until around midnight on the East Coast with No. 11 Arizona State and No. 6 TCU tipping off at 10:05 p.m. ET (truTV).
Follow the madness: Latest Men’s NCAA Tournament College Basketball Scores and Schedules
In addition, the women’s first round got underway. Aliyah Boston and No. 1 South Carolina got their title defense off to a good start with a win over 16-seeded Norfolk State. Fellow No. 1 seed Virginia Tech dispatched No. 16 Chattanooga, while Caitlin Clark had another double-double to lead the No. 2 seed Iowa over SE Louisiaa.
Think you have what it takes to beat your friends? Test your college basketball skills (or luck) here with USA TODAY’s Survivor Pool. Bookmark our brackets page, too!
MEN’S TOURNAMENT: Complete scores and schedule
WOMEN’S TOURNAMENT: Complete scores and schedule
Trayce Jackson-Davis does it all in Indiana win
All-America forward Trayce Jackson-Davis scored 24 points and pulled down 11 rebounds as No. 4 Indiana beat No. 13 Kent State 71-60 in the final game of the first round of the men’s tournament.
The box-score-stuffing senior made his impact across the board. Jackson-Davis also chipped in five assists and five blocks as the Hoosiers advanced to the second round for the first time since 2016 and the fifth time since 2008.
Senior forward Race Thompson added 20 points on 8-of-11 shooting to crack the 20-point mark for just the third time in his college career.
Indiana next takes on No. 5 Miami. With a win against the Hurricanes, the Hoosiers could land a Sweet 16 matchup with No. 1 Houston and former coach Kelvin Sampson, who was fired in 2008 amid allegations of serious NCAA rule violations.
— Paul Myerberg
TCU men cap rally with dramatic shot in final seconds
After clawing back from a double-digit deficit, No. 6 TCU defeated No. 11 Arizona State on JaKobe Coles’ runner with just over a second remaining. TCU’s comeback victory prevented a third double-digit seed from winning Friday (No. 11 Pitt defeated Iowa State and in the stunner of the day No. 16 Fairleigh Dickinson defeated No. 1 Purdue).
And yes, the “Hypnotoad” made a reappearance in the postgame celebration.
Men’s final: Kansas State 77, Montana State 65
The No. 3 seed Wildcats took care of business with a methodical win over the Bobcats. Four K-State players hit double figures as the team shot 58.2% from the field.
Women’s final: Ole Miss 71, Gonzaga 48
Ole Miss must have been mad about being a No. 8 seed in the women’s tournament.
The Rebels, who earlier this season took No. 1 overall seed and heavy title favorite South Carolina to the brink, dismantled ninth-seeded Gonzaga Friday, thumping the Zags 71-48.
Ten of 11 Ole Miss players scored, led by Snudda Collins’ 15 points. Madison Scott added 11 points and nine rebounds. The Rebels dominated the boards, winning the rebounding battled 50-37 and their bench scored 33 points to Gonzaga’s 6. Ole Miss will play No. 1 seed Stanford on Sunday.
Women’s final: Princeton 64, NC State 63
A day after their men pulled off an improbable 15-over-2 win against Arizona, the Princeton women will join them in the Round of 32. The Tigers used a 9-0 run over the last 3:09 to pull out a come-from-behind, did-that-just-happen 64-63 victory over seventh-seeded NC State.
Trailing 63-61 with 12 seconds left, the Tigers forced a turnover and called a timeout to draw up a sideline out of bounds play. Then Grace Stone buried a 3 with 4 seconds left on the clock to give Princeton the winning bucket.
Stone and Kristen Chen scored 22 each for the Tigers, who advance to play No. 2 Utah on Sunday. Princeton won despite shooting just 33% from the floor, while NC State shot 49%. The Wolfpack also had 20 turnovers, which Princeton turned into 19 points.
Florida Atlantic men defeat Memphis in bizarre, thrilling finish
The ending of the FAU-Memphis game had a little bit of everything: Teammates getting into an altercation in the Tigers huddle. A ghastly turnover. A mini timeout controversy. And a dramatic winning shot.
Nicholas Boyd’s driving layup in the final seconds gave Florida Atlantic a 66-65 victory, the Owls’ first in NCAA Tournament play. They advance to No. 16 Fairleigh Dickinson, which ousted No. 1 Purdue in a historic upset earlier in the night.
Memphis coach Penny Hardaway was not pleased by the final turn of events, throwing his water bottle.
— Jace Evans
Men’s final: Gonzaga 82, Grand Canyon 70
Julian Strawther scored 28 points and grabbed 10 rebounds and third-seeded Gonzaga went on a 16-0 run midway through the second half to separate from No. 14 seed Grand Canyon, ultimately winning 82-70. Drew Timme, the Zags’ three-time All-American, chipped in 21 points, six rebounds, three assists and three blocks.
Timme said afterward that the end of the Purdue-FDU game was being played in the arena, and the Zags took note of the crowd going crazy — but he didn’t let it distract his teammates.
“We came out of a timeout and we heard people screaming,” Timme said. “We were like, ‘Alright, something happened.’ But the biggest focus is just eyes on the court. We don’t need another circus show going on. We got one here.”
Gonzaga advances to the Round of 32 for the 13th consecutive year.
Women’s final: Utah 103, Gardner Webb 77
Pac-12 player of the year Alyssa Pili came close to recording a triple-double and Utah shot a scintillating 59% from the field on its way to a 103-77 win over Gardner-Webb.
The Utes, who run one of the best offenses in women’s basketball, scored a staggering 60 points in the paint.
Pili, a junior forward, finished with 33 points, eight rebounds and eight assists. Three other Utes scored in double figures. Utah turned 14 Gardner Webb turnovers into 26 points and dominated the boards 44-30 in the win.
— Lindsay Schnell
Women’s final: South Dakota State 62, Southern California 57 (OT)
Myah Sellend scored 29 points on 10-of-18 shooting, and Paige Meyer chipped in 16 as ninth-seeded South Dakota State survived a late scare from Southern California to win 62-57 in overtime. Sellend also grabbed 9 rebounds.
Trailing 58-55, USC forced a turnover with 23.3 to play, but Destiny Littleton’s 3-pointer to tie it missed badly, and SDSU hit two free throws to ice the win. It was SDSU’s 22nd victory in a row.
The Jackrabbits, who went undefeated In Summit League Play and won the WNIT last year, shot just 35% from the field in the game, but held USC to 31%. SDSU also scored 25 points off 20 USC turnovers.
SDSU, a popular sleeper pick, now advances to play No. 1 Virginia Tech on the Hokies’ home floor.
— Lindsay Schnell
Women’s final: Stanford 92, Sacred Heart 49
The No. 1 seeded Cardinal cruised to a 43-point, first-round win over the Pioneers, and it was a team effort. Five Stanford women scored in double-digit points, including a double-double from Fran Belibi (12 points, 10 rebounds). Haley Jones had a team-high 17-points.
Stanford controlled the boards for the entirety of the game, outrebounding No. 16 seed Sacred Heart 57-28, including 22 offensive rebounds. Ny’Ceara Pryor led the Pioneers with 12 points.
Men’s final: Miami 63, Drake 56
No. 12 seed Drake led the Hurricanes by 8 with 5:40 left in the second half, but No. 5 Miami erased the deficit with a 16-1 run to close out the game. Nijel Pack finished with 21 points and Norchad Omier recorded a double-double (12 points and 14 rebounds).
Free throws and turnovers were the difference in the game. Miami had 29 free throw attempts, compared to Drake’s eight. The Bulldogs had 12 turnovers to the Hurricanes’ nine. Darnell Brodie had a team-high 20 points for the Bulldogs.
Men’s final: Kentucky 61, Providence 53
No. 6 seed Kentucky took a seven-point halftime lead and held it, dispatching No. 11 Providence in Greensboro, North Carolina.
The Wildcats dominated the glass behind senior forward Oscar Tshiebwe, who pulled down 25 rebounds to set a new Kentucky tournament record. The Wildcats outrebouned the Friars 48-31.
Guard Antonio Reeves led Kentucky with 22 points, forward Jacob Toppin had 18 points and six rebounds and Tshiebwe chipped in eight points.
Forward Ed Croswell tallied 16 points and six rebounds and guard Devin Carter added 10 for Providence, which shot just 5-for-24 from 3-point range.
Men’s shocker: Fairleigh Dickinson takes down No. 1 Purdue
Five years after Virginia was knocked out in the first round by Maryland-Baltimore County, No. 1 Purdue lost 63-58 to Fairleigh Dickinson to become the second top seed to lose to a No. 16 seed since the bracket expanded to 64 teams in 1985.
The automatic bid out of the Northeast Conference, FDU was able to battle the Boilermakers to a draw in the paint despite a mammoth size disadvantage. FDU is the shortest team in Division I at an average height of 6-foot-3, with 6-foot-6 freshman Jo’el Emanuel the tallest player in the Knights’ rotation.
After Purdue went on a 12-0 run to go up 47-41 with under 12 minutes left, the Knights began chipping away behind forward Sean Moore, who finished with 19 points, 14 coming in the second half.
Purdue was led by 7-foot-4 center Zach Edey who tallied 21 points and 15 rebounds, but the Boilermakers struggled overall, shooting just 35.8% from the field and 19.2% from 3-point range.
This marks the third consecutive year the Boilermakers have lost to a double-digit seed in the tournament. In 2021 as a No. 4 seed, Purdue lost to No. 13 North Texas in the first round. Last year, the Boilers made it to the Sweet 16 but were knocked out by No. 15 Saint Peter’s.
— Paul Myerberg
No. 6 Kentucky up by seven over No. 11 Providence at half
Kentucky’s Oscar Tshiebwe (13) has the same amount of rebounds as the entire Providence team. Tshiebwe is only four points away from a double-double as the Wildcats head into halftime with a 38-31 lead over Providence. Kentucky collectively had 25 rebounds, including 13 offensive rebounds.
Jacob Toppin has 12 points and Antonio Reeves scored 14 points.
The Friars’ Bryce Hopkins got shook up with 1:52 left in the half, when Toppin blocked his dunk attempt. Hopkins suffered a cut on his left hand, but reentered the game after a TV timeout with tape on his hand. He has five points.
Women’s final: Mississippi State 81, Creighton 66
Mississippi State took the lead 18 seconds into the game and never gave it up.
The 11th-seeded Bulldogs became the first First Four team to reach the second round of the women’s tournament, routing sixth-seeded Creighton 81-66. Jerkail Jordan led five Mississippi State players in double figures with 20 points, while Jessika Carter had a double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds.
It was the second upset of the day by an SEC team, following 10th-seeded Georgia’s win over No. 7 Florida State.
— Nancy Armour
No. 1 Purdue trailing against No. 16 seed at half
Despite 12 first-half points from Zach Edey, No. 1 Purdue found itself trailing 32-31 after 20 minutes in its first-round matchup with Fairleigh Dickinson.
The top-seeded Boilermakers struggled to hit perimeter shots and relied solely on the 7-foot-4 Edey — who was double-teamed for most of the half — for offensive production.
The 16-seeded Knights had five different players finish the first half with at least five points.
It is the 12th time a No. 16 seed has led at halftime of a first-round game. Only one No. 16 seed has upset a No. 1 seed. UMBC took down top-seeded Virginia in the first round of the 2018 tournament.
Women’s final: LSU 73, Hawai’i 50
Angel Reese posted a career-high 34 points as No. 3 LSU dominated its first-round matchup with 14-seeded Hawai’i.
Reese’s 29th career double-double helped the Tigers get out to an early lead and not look back. She added 15 rebounds, three blocks, three steals and two assists.
Hawai’i struggled from the floor, shooting just 30.8% in the loss. The Rainbow Warriors could not take advantage of LSU making just one of its 14 attempts from 3-point range.
Women’s final: Virginia Tech 58, Chattanooga 33
The Hokies looked every bit of a No. 1 seed in their dominant 25-point win over the Mocs. Virginia Tech never trailed during the game thanks to Georgia Amoore’s 22 points, while Elizabeth Kitley added a double-double (12 points and 14 rebounds).
Both teams were careless with the ball, each registering 15 turnovers. But No. 16 seed Chattanooga wasn’t able to convert. The Mocs shot 28.6% from the field, 4-for-18 from three and only 1-for-5 from the free throw line. Chattanooga was also outrebounded 39-23.
Men’s final: Connecticut 87, Iona 63
The No. 4 Huskies pulled away in the second half for a decisive first-round victory over the 13-seeded Gaels.
The Rick Pitino-coached mid major fell short after a second-half surge from UConn. Huskies forward Adama Sanogo registered a double-double, leading all scorers with 28 points and adding 13 rebounds to go along with a block.
Despite Iona connecting on 7 of 16 attempts from 3-point range (43.8%), the Gaels were out-rebounded 45-29 and couldn’t keep pace with the Huskies down the stretch.
The game was also briefly delayed late in the second half after one of the nets ripped off its mooring.
Women’s final: Iowa 95, SE Louisiana 43
Caitlin Clark continues to make a case for Player of the Year.
The Iowa star needed just three quarters to record the 41st double-double of her career, and finished three rebounds shy of what would have been her first triple-double in the NCAA tournament. With the outcome against 15th-seeded Southeast Louisiana never in doubt, Clark didn’t play the last 7:36 of the game.
She finished with 26 points, 12 assists and seven boards in the 95-43 rout.
The second-seeded Hawkeyes now play 10th-seeded Georgia, an upset winner over Florida State earlier Friday
— Nancy Armour
Men’s final: Pittsburgh 59, Iowa State 41
For the 11th time in 12 years, a First Four team is dancing into the second round. And according to coach Pittsburgh coach Jeff Capel, they’re not ready for the music to stop anytime soon.
The No. 11 seed Panthers opened their first-round matchup against Iowa State on a 20-2 run and didn’t let up. The Panthers earned a 18-point victory over the Cyclones, knocking out the No. 6 seed. Jamarius Burton, Nelly Cummings and Greg Elliott combined for 34 of the team’s 59 points.
Pittsburgh held Iowa State to 23% (23!) shooting from the field, blitzing the Cyclones to set up a second-round game with 3rd-seeded Xavier (which is coached by former Pitt standout Sean Miller, no less). The Panthers are just three days removed from hanging on to beat Mississippi State 60-59 in the tournament’s play-in round.
It’s safe to say no one saw this run coming from Pitt, given how weak the ACC has been all year — no one except the Panthers, anyway.
“We’re hungry,” said senior guard Cummings, who led all scorers with 13 points, while also handing out 3 assists. “We’ve been doubted all year long. When we get to this stage, we’re happy to prove people wrong.”
Iowa State couldn’t get its offense going, shooting just 2 of 21 from the three-point line. The Cyclones didn’t help themselves at the free throw line either, going 11 of 19.
The NCAA said Iowa State questioned if the rims were level prior to tip off. “Building personnel checked it and made a minor adjustment prior to the game beginning. We offered them additional warmup time but they declined,” NCAA said in a statement to The Athletic.
— Lindsay Schnell and Cydney Henderson
Men’s final: Creighton 72, N.C. State 63
No. 6 Creighton pulled ahead late thanks to a second-half emergence by Baylor Scheierman, who drained multiple 3-point shots in the final minutes.
Ryan Kalkbrenner led the Bluejays with a 31-point performance. Ryan Nembhard, Arthur Kaluma and Scheierman chipped in with 10 points apiece.
Despite a torrid effort from N.C. State’s Terquavion Smith (32 points), the No. 11 Wolfpack shot just 37.5% from the field and couldn’t take advantage of Creighton’s streaky 3-point shooting.
Women’s final: Notre Dame 82, Southern Utah 56
The No. 3 Fighting Irish took care of business in the first round.
Maddy Westbeld led all scorers with 20 points for Notre Dame while teammate Lauren Ebo registered a double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds.
Megan Jensen was the lone player for 14-seeded Southern Utah to finish in double figures, scoring 11 points. The team shot just 35.7% from the field.
Women’s final: Michigan 71, UNLV 59
The No. 6 seed Wolverines cruised to a 12-point win over the No. 11 seed Lady Rebels on Friday. Michigan outperformed UNLV in all areas, shooting 44.1% from the field and 40.0% from three. The Wolverines outrebounded the Lady Rebels 41-31 and made it to the free throw line nine more times.
Emily Kiser and Maddie Nolan each scored 18 points, while Leigha Brown added 17 points. Laila Phelia finished two points short of a double-double (eight points, 11 rebounds, one steal.)
Essence Booker led UNLV with 16 points, while Justice Ethridge and Desi-Rae Young each finished with 11 points.
Men’s final: Marquette 78, Vermont 61
The 15-seeded Catamounts kept it close for most of the game, but No. 2 Marquette found its rhythm eventually and rolled to a first-round victory.
Kam Jones was a force for the Golden Eagles, tallying 19 points and connecting on 3 of 4 shots from beyond the arc. Marquette went 10-for-20 (50%) from 3-point range.
The Catamounts got their fair share of 3-pointers (8 of 25, 32%), but the Golden Eagles were too much for the America East champions in the round of 64.
Women’s final: Maryland 93, Holy Cross 61
The No. 2 Terrapins had five scorers finish in double digits in a first-round blowout of the 15-seeded Crusaders.
Maryland’s Brinae Alexander led all scorers with 18 points, while teammates Abby Meyers chipped in 16 and Diamond Miller and Shyanne Sellers finished with 13 points apiece.
The basket looked like a hula hoop for the Terrapins. They were 9 of 19 (47.4%) from 3-point range and shot 52.2% overall from the field.
Women’s final: South Carolina 72, Norfolk State 40
It was a dominant performance by the defending national champions.
Star forward Aliyah Boston was relatively quiet — tallying just seven points, nine rebounds and two blocks — but the No. 1 Gamecocks received plenty of scoring to roll in their first-round matchup. Zia Cooke and Laeticia Amihere paced South Carolina with 11 points apiece.
Meanwhile, No. 16 Norfolk State struggled to make shots. They were just 16 of 61 (26.2%) from the field. South Carolina won the rebound battle 49-33.
Watch: Tom Izzo snaps whiteboard in half
Michigan State coach Tom Izzo took his frustrations out on a whiteboard in the Spartans’ 72-62 first-round win over USC on Friday. He easily snapped the whiteboard in two while walking into a team huddle after a heated conversation with a referee.
Men’s final: Saint Mary’s 63, VCU 51
The No. 5 Gaels pulled away after star VCU guard Adrian Baldwin Jr. injured his ankle in the second half.
Mitchell Saxen and Alex Ducas paced Saint Mary’s with 17 points apiece. Despite the injury, Baldwin Jr. led the 12-seeded Rams with 13 points.
Saint Mary’s prevailed despite struggling to connect from 3-point range. The Gaels were just 3 of 17 (17.6%) from beyond the arc. Conversely, VCU went 35.7% on 3-point attempts in the loss. The Gaels won the rebound battle 37-29.
Women’s final: Georgia 66, Florida State 54
Diamond Battles had 21 points to lead the Bulldogs to an upset victory over Florida State in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. Georgia, the No. 10 seed in the Seattle 4 Region, took control with a dominant second quarter and kept the pressure on the Seminoles, who compounded their problems with poor shooting and costly turnovers.
Florida State, who played the game without leading scorer Ta’Niya Latson who sat out with an undisclosed injury, was led by Erin Howard’s 19 points and nine rebounds, with Taylor O’Brien chipping in 15, but each player shot 6-16 from the field.
The Seminoles shot 27 percent for the game and were outrebounded by 10. Georgia moves on and will play the winner of host and No. 2 seed Iowa and No. 15 SE Louisiana.
Men’s final: Baylor 74, UC Santa Barbara 56
Adam Flagler scored 18 points for Baylor and LJ Cryer added 15 as the Bears blitzed UC Santa Barbara in the second half to come away with a 74-56 victory.
Caleb Lohner had 13 points off the bench for Baylor, and the Gauchos were held to just 18 points in the second half after leading 36-35 at halftime. Baylor hit 55 percent of its shots and forced 14 turnovers.
UC Santa Barbara was led by Miles Norris, who scored 15 points.
Men’s final: Xavier 72, Kennesaw State 67
Colby Jones’ free throw with 18.3 left gave Xavier the lead and Jack Nunge had a last-second block to secure the win as the Musketeers erased a 13-point second-half deficit and held off the upset bid by 14-seed Kennesaw State, which was making its first appearance in the NCAA Tournament.
Jerome Hunter scored 24 points and Nunge had 10 points and 11 rebounds for Xavier, which went 2-12 from 3-point range. Xavier stormed back with a 15–0 run to take the lead with 4:47 left as Kennesaw State went more than seven minutes without making a field goal, missing 11 shots in a row.
Brandon Stroud’s two free throws tied the score at 63 and Demond Robinson’s jumper gave the Owls a 65-64 lead with 2:04 left, but Kennesaw State scored only six points over the final 10 minutes of the game.
The Musketeers move on to take on the winner of Iowa State and Pittsburgh.
Women’s final: Arizona 75, West Virginia 62
Despite entering the tournament on a three-game losing streak, the Wildcats came out refreshed on hot from the field. Arizona built an 11-point lead in the first quarter and staved off a third-quarter rally before pulling away again.
Senior forward Cate Reese led Arizona with 25 points, six rebounds and two blocks, while senior forward Esmery Martinez — who played three seasons at West Virginia before transferring to Arizona — chipped in a double-double of 13 points and 12 rebounds, with two blocks.
Women’s final: USF 67, Marquette 65, OT
We got free basketball for the first time in this year’s March Madness when Marquette and South Florida went to overtime in the opening game of the women’s tournament.
The Bulls rallied from 11 down late in the third quarter, taking the lead on Dulcy Fankam Mendjiadeu’s three-point play with 1:21 left in regulation. A 3-pointer by Elena Tsineke gave South Florida a four-point lead, but Marquette’s Jordan King and Mackenzie Hare each made a pair of free throws to tie the game at 59 and force OT.
Chloe Marotta, who led Marquette with 25 points Friday, fouled out with 2:56 left in overtime. The teams traded 1-point leads until seven seconds left, when Fankam Mendjiadeu made a free throw to put South Florida up 67-65.
Marquette’s 3-point attempt was off target. The Golden Eagles grabbed the rebound but couldn’t get a shot off before the buzzer sounded.
— Nancy Armour
Men’s final: Michigan State 72, USC 62
Joey Hauser scored 17 points as Michigan State held off the cold-shooting Trojans 72-62 to advance in the East Region. The Spartans will next take on the winner of Marquette and Vermont in the second round.
The score was tied at 34 after the first 20 minutes, but Michigan State started to take control with a 13-2 run capped off by a Jaden Akins three-pointer with 4:24 left. Akins and Tyson Walker scored 12 each and A.J. Hoggard had 11 points for the Spartans.
USC shot 40% for the game and was led by Joshua Morgan, who scored 10 of his 14 points in the first half, with Kobe Johnson adding 13. Boogie Ellis, the team’s leading scorer, finished 3-12 for six points, adding six rebounds and five assists before fouling out in the final minute.
No. 14 Kennesaw State looking for upset bid, leads Xavier at half
Terrell Burden leads a balanced scoring effort for Kennesaw State with 10 points as the Owls look for the upset and leads Xavier, the No. 3 seed, 43-36 in the Midwest Region’s first round. Chris Youngblood and Spencer Rodgers paced Kennesaw with eight points each.
Jerome Hunter leads Xavier with 13 points, as the Musketeers hit 1 from 7 from three-point range and did not have an offensive rebound in the first half.
Michigan State and USC tied at half
Joey Hauser scored eight points, and Jaden Akins and Tyson Walker each had six points as Michigan State and USC are tied at 34 in the first-round matchup in the East Region. The Spartans led for all of the first half, except for 1:31 when the Trojans used a 13-2 run to take a lead late in the first 20 minutes after trailing by nine.
Joshua Morgan, who averages only 6.7 points a game, scored 10 points to lead the Trojans. The team’s leading scorer, Boogie Ellis went 1-6 for two points but has four rebounds and four assists.
Women’s first round gets underway
The women’s field of 64 was polished off Thursday night with No. 11 St. John’s and No. 16 Tennessee Tech joining No. 11 Mississippi State and No. 16 Sacred Heart as First Four winners.
Friday’s first round kicks off with a Greenville 1 Region matchup between No. 8 South Florida and No. 9 Marquette. The Bulls are led by Elena Tsineke, who averaged 18 points per game and shot 37.3% from 3-point, and Dulcy Fankam Mendjiadeu, who averaged 16.7 points and 12.3 rebounds. The Golden Eagles rely more on sound defense to grind out wins. Guard Jordan King leads Marquette with 15.9 points, 4.2 rebounds and 4.0 steals.
Best first-round picks in women’s bracket
Deciding on first-round picks is an arduous task. It is important to take into account seed positioning and game matchups. For example, a team with a favorable first-round matchup that has the potential of facing a higher seed in one of the next few rounds could be a smart pick. Why? Because an unfavorable future matchup would result in that team being less tempting to select again.
Here are five intriguing picks for first-round consideration in the women’s tournament, taking into account matchups and bracket positioning.
- No. 3 Duke over No. 14 Iona
- No. 6 Colorado over No. 11 Middle Tennessee
- No. 3 Ohio State over No. 14 James Madison
- No. 8 USC over No. 9 South Dakota State
- No. 5 Oklahoma over No. 12 Portland
— Richard Morin
Winners and losers from Thursday’s action
This is what we want on the first day of Madness: Brackets breaking all over the country and double-digit seeds shocking everyone (except themselves, at least if you’re Princeton).
But other top seeds looked dominant — which is what they’re supposed to look like, especially in their first-round games. All of it is coming together to provide an intriguing second round. But first, we’ve got one more whole day of first-round games, which may provide even more chaos.
— Lindsay Schnell
Ranking Friday’s men’s games
Curiously, the second day of March Madness features all four of the No. 3 seeds in action, and by extension all of the often compelling No. 6 vs. No. 11 matchups. That’s the area of the bracket where first- and second-round chaos often occurs.
Here’s the list of Friday’s games ranked by how watchable we think they’ll be. But again, keep that remote handy in case unexpected situations develop.
- No. 6 Kentucky vs. No. 11 Providence
- No. 8 Memphis vs. No. 9 Florida Atlantic
- No. 5 Saint Mary’s vs. No. 12 Virginia Commonwealth
- No. 6 TCU vs. No. 11 Arizona State
- No. 7 Michigan State vs. No. 10 Southern California
— Eddie Timanus
Houston ruins title hopes by playing Marcus Sasser before he was ready
That backfired in spectacular fashion.
Just five days after Marcus Sasser strained his groin in the American Athletic Conference tournament semifinals, he was back in the Cougars’ starting lineup Thursday night. For a first-round game against a No. 16 team.
In a surprise to pretty much no one, Sasser didn’t even make it to halftime. Now top-seeded Houston might not make it to the second weekend, let alone to the Final Four in its hometown.
— Nancy Armour
Alabama’s biggest opponent may be exhaustion from unending chaos
The athletics director issued a statement at halftime. The most scrutinized 20-year-old in basketball couldn’t make a shot before eventually going to the bench to rest a sore groin. The walk-on nobody had heard of before Wednesday night threatened to sue the New York Times. And the coach is losing his mind on every dribble for two straight hours of a game he didn’t come close to losing.
In other words, it was just another day in Alabama basketball.
— Dan Wolken
What’s a Paladin?
Princeton might have pulled off the biggest upset Thursday, but 13-seeded Furman’s downing of No. 4 Virginia was a fun (unless you’re a Cavaliers fan, of course) start to the 2023 men’s NCAA Tournament.
It’s been a long wait for Paladins men’s basketball fans. It was more than 40 years since Furman was last in the tournament, and over 45 years since its last March Madness win.
— Jordan Mendoza
How to watch NCAA Tournament first-round games
Whether it’s at home, at a bar or at work, millions of Americans will be tuning in to watch teams make or break their bracket.
CBS and Turner Sports have the broadcasting rights to the men’s NCAA Tournament and broadcast games on four channels. Three of them – CBS, TNT and TBS – you may know from broadcasting dozens of other sporting events each year, but the remaining channel, truTV, is one that always eludes basketball fans each year.
Here’s where to find TruTV, depending on your cable provider or streaming service, and what games will be on the network:
What channel is truTV?
TruTV can be found on several cable providers, and has the same channel number nationwide on some of the providers. Here are the channels:
- AT&T U-Verse: 164/1164
- FIOS: 183/683
- Cox: Varies by location
- DISH: 242
- DirecTV: 246
- Spectrum: Varies by location
- Xfinity: Varies by location
For streaming, truTV is also available on: YouTube TV, iOS App Store, Google Play, Amazon App Store, Chromecast, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Roku and Android TV.
Which March Madness games will be on truTV?
Four games will be broadcast Friday on truTV during the first rounds of March Madness. Here are the games that will be on truTV, as well as tip-off times (in ET):
► No. 3 Xavier vs. No. 14 Kennesaw State (Friday, 12:40 p.m.)
► No. 6 Iowa State vs. No. 11 Pittsburgh (Friday, 3:10 p.m.)
► No. 3 Gonzaga vs. No. 14 Grand Canyon (Friday, 7:35 p.m.)
► No. 6 TCU vs. No. 11 Nevada/No. 11 Arizona State (Friday, 10:05 p.m.)
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