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The Greatest and Worst from Day 1 of March Insanity

The Greatest and Worst from Day 1 of March Insanity. A 15-seed prevailing for a 3rd straight yr, a 13-seed successful on a loopy shot within the remaining seconds, a 1-seed being pushed deep into the second half; The primary Thursday of the NCAA match all the time appears to ship, and this yr was no completely different.

Let’s dive headfirst into all the very best and worst from the primary “true” day of March Insanity.

The three Greatest March Insanity Video games Of Day 1

1. (13) Furman 68, (4) Virginia 67 (South)

Maybe Thursday being the 5 yr anniversary of Virginia changing into the primary 1-seed in NCAA match historical past to lose to a 16-seed ought to have given away the ending to this one.

Whereas the Cavaliers’ beautiful loss in 2018 was gradual, painful, and finally decisive, this one was extra like a vicious left-hook smashing in out of nowhere from out of body.

Virginia was capable of hold upset-minded Furman at arm’s size for a lot of the afternoon, however may by no means fairly acquire the extent of separation essential to really feel relaxed.

Nonetheless, UVA led by 12 with lower than 12 minutes to play, a state of affairs by which a popular Tony Bennett coached workforce is nearly all the time a positive factor. Toss in the truth that Furman’s main scorer, Mike Bothwell, fouled out with 6:30 nonetheless to play, and all the things appeared to level in direction of having the ability to pencil the Cavaliers into spherical two.

A Kihei Clark made free-throw to deliver the rating to 67-63 with 19 seconds to go put UVA inside one cease of having the ability to all it a day. Even after an iffy foul name on Virginia’s Kadin Shedrick and two made free-throws by Garrett Hien, Furman wanted one thing simply wanting a miracle to have their insanity second.

The gods of March Answered

Clark’s unusual determination to chuck the ball down the ground regardless of having a timeout to make use of resulted in JP Pegues, who had been 2-for-8 from the sector and 0-for-3 from three earlier than that shot, changing into a Huge Dance immortal.

Virginia’s Reece Beekman obtained a reasonably good look at a possible game-winner, however his shot discovered nothing however glass and rim.

The dramatic victory would have been an unbelievable second for any 13-seed in any state of affairs, but it surely was particularly candy for this group of Furman gamers. A yr in the past, the Paladins constructed upon a tough current historical past of unhealthy luck within the SoCon match by dropping to Chattanooga within the championship sport on a 30-footer on the buzzer.

Each Bothwell and 2022-23 SoCon Participant of the Yr Jalen Slawson may have transferred to main packages within the offseason and nearly assured themselves a shot at experiencing March Insanity, however they selected to return again and get Furman to its first NCAA match since 1980.

One of many cooler moments of Championship Week was, within the closing seconds of Furman’s SoCon championship victory, Bothwell making it a degree to go over to the identical spot on the ground the place he had been mendacity in agony 12 months earlier. Now, the ‘Dins are a win over San Diego State away from the primary Candy 16 look in program historical past.

For Virginia, the loss marked their second straight in a 4/13 matchup, and their fourth match defeat by the hands of a double-digit seed since 2016.

Thank goodness for that little nationwide title sprinkled in between all of the chaos.

2. (8) Maryland 67, (9) West Virginia 65 (South)

It’s all the time good when the early window delivers on the primary day, and the preliminary wave of video games on Thursday afternoon was large.

Setting the tone was the very first sport of the day to tip-off, which featured Maryland and West Virginia buying and selling ridiculous runs for 40 minutes earlier than the Terrapins finally prevailed by a bucket.

Maryland trailed 16-4 to begin the sport, however carried a 2-point lead into the locker room after hitting 9 of their final 13 pictures (and all seven of their free-throws) to shut the primary half. That stretch arrange a back-and-forth remaining 20 minutes, which ended with West Virginia’s Kedrian Johnson getting a shot to play hero.

First-year head coach Kevin Willard, who gained only one NCAA match sport in 12 seasons at Seton Corridor, could make himself the toast of The Outdated Line State if he can take out No. 1 general seed Alabama on Saturday.

3. (15) Princeton 59, (2) Arizona 55 (South)

In 1996, Mitch Henderson was a starter who had eight factors, 4 steals and three assists in Princeton’s well-known first spherical upset of reigning nationwide champion UCLA. On Thursday, he was the pinnacle coach of a Tiger workforce that grew to become simply the eleventh 15-seed within the historical past of the NCAA match to win a primary spherical sport.

The shocker marked the third straight season by which we’ve had a 15-seed advance to the second spherical, and this one could have been the strangest of all of them.

Sometimes when a teen seed advances within the match, it’s as a result of little man going nuts from the surface, or feasting on the free-throw line, or dwelling off of a slew of uncharacteristic turnovers from their opponent. None of that actually occurred on this sport.

Princeton shot simply 4-of-25 from three and was solely 3-of-5 from the charity stripe, however they took down one of many greatest pre-tournament favorites by showing to have a superior sport plan, controlling the tempo, and by being the extra poised aspect down the stretch.

The Tigers scored the ultimate 9 factors of the sport and held Arizona scoreless for practically 5 minutes to notch their first NCAA match win since 1998 (a workforce Henderson additionally performed for).

After the sport, Henderson couldn’t assist however consider his legendary former Princeton coach, Pete Carril, who died final August.

“He can be very pleased with the group,” Henderson mentioned. “He wouldn’t need any consideration to be introduced apart from what these guys did. They performed to win. We knew we needed to hold the sport low possessions.”

The 5 Groups That Received It The Greatest

1. Duke

Look, I don’t like this any greater than you do, however the Blue Devils seem to as soon as once more be an issue that we’re going to need to cope with this month.

Duke scored the primary 15 factors of the sport towards stylish upset decide Oral Roberts — some idiots even thought the Golden Eagles may very well be the primary 12-seed to crash the Closing 4 — on their option to a dominant 74-51 victory. ORU, the one workforce in faculty basketball to run the desk of their convention this season, noticed their successful streak snapped at 17 video games.

Jeremy Roach, who scored 23 factors, seems to have recaptured the identical March magic that he discovered a yr in the past. Dariq Whitehead is lastly wholesome and taking part in just like the man who was a prime 5 recruit within the 2022 class.

Jon Scheyer didn’t present any indicators of jitters in his first March Insanity expertise as a head coach. It’s all coming collectively for a Duke workforce that has now gained 10 in a row and which is 19-1 this season when taking part in with its full complement of gamers.

Oh, and the Blue Devils are additionally taking part in within the area that feels the most probably to have fully crumbled by the point we get to the second weekend.

2. Penn State

A lot of the discuss surrounding the 7-10 matchup between Texas A&M and Penn State was centered across the Aggies being under-seeded and likewise staring down a possible showdown towards outdated rival Texas within the second spherical.

The Nittany Lions made fast work of each narratives Thursday night time.

Micah Shrewsberry’s workforce drilled 10 of its first 14 three-point makes an attempt, completed with 13 makes from past the arc for the sport, and led by as many as 26 on their option to a dominant 76-59 victory. Andrew Funk, who scored a game-high 27 factors (probably the most of any participant on day one) was 8-of-10 alone from three.

The win was Penn State’s first within the NCAA match since 2001, and it got here of their first NCAA match look since 2011.

Each 10 years these Nittany Lions are one thing particular.


No. 2 seeds are dropping like flies within the first spherical lately, so we will simply gloss over UCLA’s 86-53 thrashing of UNC Asheville.

Enjoying with out Jaylen Terry and massive man Adem Bona, who may very well be again on Saturday, the Bruins scored the primary 14 factors of the sport and by no means allowed the Bulldogs to suppose for a second that that they had a shot at pulling off the second 15/2 upset of the day.

UCLA gamers admitted after the sport that they had been effectively conscious of what had occurred to Virginia and Pac-12 brethren Arizona earlier within the day.

“It’s like the primary day and there’s already so many upsets,” level guard Tyger Campbell mentioned. “It simply makes us lock in additional as a result of we all know it’s potential. Particularly earlier at present, Princeton and Arizona. I believe it made us come out and simply perceive that, you understand, each workforce on this match can play.”

A win over Northwestern on Saturday will ship UCLA to a 3rd straight Candy 16 for the primary time since 2006-08.

4. Auburn

Do you know that Auburn is 11-0 all-time within the first spherical of the NCAA match? As a result of Auburn is 11-0 all-time within the first spherical of the NCAA match.

That’s bizarre, proper?

The Tigers managed issues from just about begin to end of their 83-75 “upset” of Eighth-seeded Iowa. They’ll face a wounded No. 1 seed Houston in Birmingham, on Saturday.

5. Northwestern

Additionally undefeated all-time in first spherical video games? Northwestern.

The Wildcats moved to 2-0 in tourney openers with a formidable 75-67 win over Boise State.

The 5 Largest Disappointments on March Insanity

1. Arizona

I don’t suppose this one requires a proof, however simply in case you wished to see a guidelines, Arizona …

Turned the primary program in NCAA match historical past to lose a number of 2/15 video games.

The Wildcats had been additionally upset by Steve Nash in Santa Clara within the first spherical of the ‘93 match, the second 2/15 upset ever.

—Misplaced to Princeton regardless of the Tigers taking pictures simply 4-of-25 from three.

Usually in monumental upsets, the little man shoots higher than 40.6 % from the sector and 16.0 % from past the arc, and makes greater than three free-throws, however that wasn’t the case right here.

—Misplaced to a Princeton workforce that was one of the vital inexperienced squads within the nation.

Once more, not precisely becoming the mould of a traditional David-Goliath upset.

—Went scoreless during the last 4:45 of the sport.

Arizona led by double figures on the below eight timeout and had appeared to place Princeton’s upset bid to mattress. Then, the Wildcats inexplicably began to play just like the double-digit appeared that was blinded by the intense lights of the game’s greatest stage. They missed their remaining seven pictures of the sport and turned it over 3 times within the final 4 minutes.

—Misplaced a yr after taking a disappointing upset as a 1-seed in 2022.

Tommy Lloyd’s first two common seasons as Arizona’s head coach have been wildly profitable. A yr in the past, the Wildcats gained 33 video games, captured each the Pac-12 common season and match titles, and earned a No.

1 seed for the NCAA match. They then wanted time beyond regulation to outlive TCU within the second spherical of the Huge Dance earlier than being manhandled by fifth-seeded Houston within the Candy 16.

That disappointment was nothing in comparison with the catastrophe that Lloyd skilled in his second March Insanity on Thursday.

—Added to an unprecedented historical past of March disappointments.

This graphic has to chop proper on the coronary heart of the tremendous individuals of Tucson.

Yeah, however 1997 was nonetheless superior.

2. Texas A&M

Buzz Williams and Texas A&M followers had been livid about being not noted of the NCAA match a yr in the past, they usually let everybody learn about it. Twelve months later, Buzz Williams and Texas A&M followers had been livid about being a 7-seed, they usually let everybody learn about it.

With an opportunity to point out the faculty basketball world that School Station deserves a jolt of respect from the faculty basketball world, the Aggies laid an absolute egg Thursday night time towards Penn State.

3. Iowa

One other yr, one other first weekend exit for Fran McCaffery, who has been a head coach for 27 seasons (13 at Iowa) and by no means been to a Candy 16.

His fan base is conscious.

Iowa’s loss to Auburn additionally allowed the SEC to take an early lead within the “I informed you idiots our convention was the very best” race. SEC groups went 5-1 on day one. The Huge Ten continues to be off to a strong 3-2 begin.

4. Houston

I do know the Cougars are banged up, however shew, that was scary to observe for anybody who has Kelvin Sampson’s workforce taking part in deep into this match. UH seemed fully disjointed on offense and turned the ball over a whopping 17 instances, permitting Northern Kentucky to maintain issues far more attention-grabbing than that they had any enterprise being.

5. Oral Roberts

On Sunday, I mentioned Duke-Oral Roberts was going to be the very best sport of the primary spherical. On Wednesday, I picked the Golden Eagles to turn into the primary 12-seed ever to make the Closing 4.

Is that this private? You’re rattling proper it’s.

ORU couldn’t even hold this factor remotely attention-grabbing for a minute, and now we’ve obtained everybody agreeing that Duke type of seems just like the workforce to beat within the East.

We’ll all the time have 2021, Max.

5 Day 1 Cheers

1. Locker room celebrations

Probably the greatest elements of this time of the yr was again in full pressure on Thursday.

2. Furman’s “FU” free-throw cheer and followers

Every thing about Furman on Thursday was spectacular, together with their cheerleader’s free-throw celebration cheer.

You’ll be able to’t assist however smile.

Additionally love the showcasing of the 2 kinds of Furman followers within the sport’s remaining moments.

Fan 1: Can’t cease smiling and saying “what the fuck”:

Fan 2: Frantically praying and on the verge of an entire nervous breakdown:

They each obtained the job executed.

3. SDSU breaking the Mountain West dropping streak

Following Nevada’s blowout loss to Arizona State on Wednesday night time within the First 4 and Utah State’s loss to Missouri earlier within the day on Thursday, the Mountain West was driving an 11-game NCAA match dropping streak when San Diego State took the court docket to face Charleston in a 5/12 matchup.

Although they might have been aided a bit by a bogus foul name within the remaining minute (extra on that coming), SDSU was finally capable of maintain on for a 63-57 win over a Cougar workforce that completed its season with 31 wins.

With Boise State’s loss to Northwestern just a few hours later, the Mountain West is now 4-18 within the NCAA match since 2015, and has dispatched only one workforce to the match’s second weekend over that very same time span. The convention can also be now 2-14 in first spherical video games since 2016.

However hey, a minimum of they averted having all 4 of their members out earlier than Friday for a second straight yr. Brian Dutcher says you’re welcome.

4. This superb Northern Kentucky fan



I’m wondering at what age it was that his spouse — who’s noticeably not carrying any form of costume in anyway — simply accepted that this was going to be a factor.

Northern Kentucky has solely been a Division-I program since 2012. Was this man carrying his Norse gear to Nice Lakes Valley Convention video games within the late ‘80s? Did the spouse costume up at any level up to now? And who the hell is she texting proper now? Is it concerning the get-up? As a result of we each knew this was occurring once we purchased the tickets, CYNTHIA.

So many questions.

5. The continued rise of the 15-seeds

The match expanded to 64 groups in 1985. Between then and 2011, we witnessed simply 4 occurrences of 15-seeds upsetting 2-seeds within the first spherical of the Huge Dance.

Then, in 2012, one thing wonderful occurred. A pair of 15-seeds — Norfolk State and Lehigh — pulled off first spherical stunners on the identical day. A yr later, Florida Gulf Coast grew to become the primary 15-seed to ever advance out of the match’s opening weekend. The upset occurred once more in 2016, then once more in 2021, after which final season Saint Peter’s grew to become the primary 15-seed to play in a regional remaining.

Now, for the primary time in match historical past, we’ve had a minimum of one 15-seed advance out of the primary spherical in three consecutive years.

Might Princeton take this factor all the best way to the Closing 4? Might Vermont be part of the membership on Friday?

At this level it feels prefer it’s all potential for the second littlest of the little guys.

BONUS CHEER: Dexter Dennis’ pin block

All due respect to Xavier Rhodes, this was the very best particular person spotlight of the day, so we needed to discover a option to work it in right here someplace.

Simply two or 25 extra of these and A&M would have been proper within the sport.

5 Day 1 Jeers

1. Houston’s well being issues

After lacking the AAC match championship sport due to a groin harm, Marcus Sasser — the convention Participant of the Yr and an All-American — was again within the beginning lineup Thursday night time for Houston’s NCAA match opener towards Northern Kentucky. He performed simply 14 minutes earlier than showing to irritate the harm and limp to the Cougar bench. Sasser didn’t see the court docket within the second half of the sport.

If that weren’t sufficient, Jamal Shead — a double-figure scorer and the workforce chief in assists — hyperextended his knee in the course of the win. Shead informed reporters after the sport that he expects to play on Saturday, but it surely’s exhausting to say how near one hundred pc he’ll be.

“I’m very involved,” Houston head coach Kelvin Sampson mentioned of his workforce’s harm standing after the sport.

Including to that concern is the truth that Houston now should cope with an Auburn workforce that seemed very spectacular of their first spherical win over Iowa on Thursday, they usually should cope with them in Birmingham.

2. The wedgies in Des Moines

4 wedgies, one court docket, in the future.

One thing’s occurring in Des Moines, and I’m afraid of what that may be.

Fortunately, we’ve obtained Ricky with boots on the bottom.

3. Boise State’s winless streak

The Mountain West could have snapped its 11-game dropping streak with San Diego State’s afternoon victory over Charleston, however Boise State’s all-time winless streak within the Huge Dance moved to 9. No workforce has appeared in additional NCAA tournaments with out posting s single victory than the Broncos.

On the flip aspect, Northwestern — which knocked off Boise by a remaining of 75-67 — has nonetheless by no means misplaced a primary spherical NCAA match sport. The Wildcats, making simply their second look in March Insanity ever, will search for their first journey to the Candy 16 after they face UCLA on Saturday.

4. Kihei Clark’s remaining March second

In one of many strangest juxtapositions in NCAA match historical past, Kihei Clark saved Virginia’s nationwide title run asa true freshman in 2019 by making one of many smartest, headiest passes in March Insanity historical past.

Then, as a fifth-year senior level guard on Thursday, his faculty profession got here to an finish thanks largely to one of many extra inexplicably poor move makes an attempt in NCAA match historical past.

It was such an odd determination that Furman star Jalen Slawson nonetheless couldn’t imagine it occurred whilst he was strolling into the locker room to have a good time.

As all the time, March provides and March takeaways. It simply usually doesn’t accomplish that in such extremes.

5. The foul name on the finish of San Diego State/Charleston

With simply 25 seconds to play and San Diego State clinging to a 58-55 lead, Charleston’s Jaylon Scott appeared to make a clear block on a three-point try by Matt Bradley that might enable the Cougars to have a shot to return down and even the rating or draw to inside a degree.

Besides the whistle blew.

Bradley made 2-of-3 from the free-throw line, and that was just about all she wrote.

I’m contractually obligated to say that this single name “completely didn’t price Charleston the sport,” but it surely positive would have been good to know the way issues would have performed out had play not been interrupted.

All Day-1 Workforce

Andrew Funk, Penn State

The Nittany Lion senior guard went 8-of-10 from three and scored a day one excessive 27 factors to steer Penn State to its first NCAA match victory since 2001.

Jeremy Roach, Duke

The person who saved his greatest basketball for March final season seems to be at it once more. Roach led the Blue Devils with 23 factors, three assists and just one turnover in Duke’s spectacular thumping of Oral Roberts.

Kedrian Johnson, West Virginia

Johnson picked a heck of a time to put up a brand new career-high, scoring 27 factors on 8-of-13 taking pictures, however finally it wasn’t sufficient in West Virginia’s 67-65 loss to Maryland.

Boo Buie, Northwestern

The senior guard with top-of-the-line names in faculty basketball led Northwestern into the second spherical with a 22-point, 5 rebound and 5 help effort.

Nick Pringle, Alabama

All-American Brandon Miller didn’t rating a single level for the Tide on Thursday, but it surely didn’t matter thanks largely to the play of Pringle. The junior entered the afternoon averaging simply 3.0 factors and a pair of.7 rebounds, however went off for 19 and 15 in simply 21 minutes in a 96-75 win over Texas A&M-Corpus Christi.

5 Greatest Day 1 Dunks

1. Jalen Slawson, Furman

It wasn’t a spectacular opening day for crams, however right here’s your very early chief for dunk of the match. And it got here from one of many day’s greatest stars.

2. Naje Smith, Boise State

Extra of a “thunk,” however we’ll enable it.

3. KJ Adams, Kansas

Simply probably the most spectacular lob of Thursday.

4. Julian Reese, Maryland

You knew it was going to be a slugfest with West Virginia, and Reese was proper in the midst of it.

5. Naje Smith, Boise State

Nothing thunky about this reverse.

5 Greatest Day 1 Photographs

1. The agony and the ecstasy


Furman v Virginia



Photograph by Lance King/Getty Photographs


2. Half II


Princeton v Arizona



Photograph by Ezra Shaw/Getty Photographs


3. Clear the lane


Utah State v Missouri



Photograph by Ezra Shaw/Getty Photographs


4. Logan Cremonesi’s hair










5. All eyes on Brandon Miller




NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament - Practice Day - Birmingham





Photograph by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Photographs


The All-American freshman, who was accompanied to the sport by armed safety, didn’t rating in Alabama’s blowout win over Texas A&M Corpus-Christi. Afterward, Crimson Tide head coach Nate Oats mentioned Miller has been nursing a groin harm for the reason that SEC title sport.

5 Notable Quotes From Day 1

1. “In that second, it’s a reasonably surreal feeling. However I can also’t say I’m shocked. This workforce has been so good all yr, so gritty. On paper, it’s going to seem like an enormous upset. However we imagine in one another and we predict we’re a extremely good workforce. After we’re at our greatest, then I believe we will beat anyone within the nation.” —Princeton guard Matt Allocco

2. “I knew when it was goin’ up. I had full perception. Full perception within the shot. I’d been lacking all night time, however that doesn’t matter. On the finish of the day, I need to be in these moments. I used to be born for these moments.” —Furman’s JP Pegues on his game-winner towards Virginia

3. “Nicely I don’t know if we had been well-oiled. I do know Invoice Self is gonna kill me once we get again to the lodge.” —Kansas assistant coach Norm Roberts (filling in for Self) on his workforce’s gradual begin towards Howard

4. “I’ve liked teaching him in his profession. We might not be on this spot with out him. You all the time look to that final second and there’s so many what-ifs and who is aware of. However, in time, that can fade. And what he’s executed, what he’s meant — it’s a tough option to finish, but in addition there’s an entire lot of fine whenever you take a look at the entire image.” —Virginia head coach Tony Bennett on Kihei Clark

5. “It’s over, you understand what I imply. I don’t know what else to say. It’s a special feeling. I can’t thank this program sufficient. I can’t thank coach Huggins sufficient.” —West Virginia’s Erik Stevenson, who performed at Wichita State, Washington and South Carolina earlier than lastly attending to the NCAA match with West Virginia in his remaining faculty season

Full Friday schedule for 2023 males’s NCAA match

Put together your thoughts, physique and soul to do that complete factor over again.













Can’t wait.



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