March Madness got off to a good start as six of the top teams, seven of the top 10 went down
If Saturday is the forerunner of March Madness, all of our brackets seem more resigned than usual. Seven of the AP’s top 10 teams fell in a day of intense turmoil, including the top six. 1 Gonzaga, 2 Arizona, 3 Auburn, 4 Purdue, 5 Kansas, 6 Kentucky, and 9 Texas Tech all caught Ls.
The only top 10 teams to win were No. 7 Duke and No. 10 Baylor, who played against the top 10 Kansas team. (No. 8 Villanova is probably grateful they got to play.) It was the first time every AP top six team lost on the same day, and also the first time seven of the top 10 had lost on the same day. one day, according to ESPN.
Keep these games in mind when you’re fully focused on your frame. (After such a crazy day, I only have enough bandwidth to touch the top six teams below, so forgive me, Texas Tech fans.)
No. 23 St. Mary’s 67, Number 1 Gonzaga 57
One group at the meeting presented Mark with a little problem at Gonzaga that was St. Mary’s. The Zags have only lost half of the game for the third time this season, and this match ended with the same loss as the previous two.
Drew Timmie had one of his worst games of the season, and it got worse when Logan Johnson lunged near his head. He made a business decision and opted out of the contest, but that didn’t stop the already good guy from going crazy. The fans must also be kept on the field until the clock hits 0 because it is certain that they will end up on the wooden floor. If you’re looking for a team with calm, veteran play to make it difficult for a few teams on the tourney, the Gaels qualifies.
Colorado 79, No. 2 Arizona 63
Buffs fans also flocked to the field after the Wildcats were never released, shooting down 40% as a team. It was Colorado’s first win over a top team in 30 years. Tristan di Silva finished with 19 points and ended any hopes of an Arizona comeback with three goals late in the second half.
The only Wildcat to score more than three goals is reserve defender Peele Larsson – he has four. The loss didn’t affect Arizona’s chances at the regular-season Pac-12 title, and most of the top 10 losses didn’t negatively affect their shot at a No. 1 seed either.
No. 17 Tennessee 67, No. 3 Auburn 62
Former UT coach Bruce Pearl was not welcome in Knoxville, but he didn’t get to say goodbye to Lane Kiffin because his team couldn’t come out victorious. The Vols went from 11 points down in the second half, and used their 17-2 pace to gain control as Tiger failed to score for eight minutes.
Auburn freshman Jabari Smith led all scorers with 27, but it was UT freshman No. 3 Brandon Huntley-Hatfield that sparked Tennessee’s superb second half. If there are two coaches that scare me in the league, it’s Pearl and Rick Barnes. Both coaches often have good to big talent, and both always have games where their teams seem like they don’t know how to shoot.
Michigan State 68, No. 4 Purdue 65
Sparty recovered from a disastrous performance against Iowa this week, and Tom Izzo took Bobby Knight’s record for most wins by a male coach at a Big Ten school. Michigan State keeper Tyson Walker hit a 3-draw with three seconds left in the second half to secure victory in East Lansing, and brought his coach to tears.
Usually in the tournament group stage, Sparta has lost three games in a row and five or six finals. Any more trouble and they could have found themselves on the bubble. They needed a quality win and they got it.
Number 10 Baylor 80, Number 5 Kansas
By default, Baylor was the only top 10 team to host Saturday’s game, and they used that home ground to overcome a 28-15 early deficit against the Jayhawks. Bill Self’s flushed face and Ochai Agbaji’s 27 points are impressive but not enough to win the W.
Last year’s national champion took a one-point lead at halftime, but scored 49 in the final round to win 10. If Kansas goes back to winning over Lawrence, it will be a plane ride. or the bus home happy as it used to be accompanied by the Big 12 title.
Number 18 Arkansas 75, Number 6 Kentucky 73
The Hogs continue to be hot, taking John Calipari’s side home with only their second loss in their past 10 games. Arkansas’ J.D. Notae and Wildcat center Oscar Tshiebwe each had 30 points, but Tshiebwe was unable to produce a strike back in the final seconds, allowing Arkansas to seal victory at the line. (A bank of 3 at the whistle cut makes sense only for those with a Kentucky +3.)
Bud Walton Arena came alive with Pig Sooie chants, and trainer Eric Musselman did his best to encourage the crowd with one hand in a sling. The last time Arkansas beat Kentucky in consecutive games was 2013-14. If Great Britain comes out with a win, they will draw with Auburn on the conference record. Despite that, both teams are still alive to win the regular-season SEC title.