1. Do you know which program is the only one besides Kansas to win at least one game in each of the past eight NCAA tournaments? Not Duke. Not North Carolina. Not Kentucky. It's actually Gonzaga, which moved into the round of 32 with a convincing 68-52 victory over previously surging Seton Hall. Domantas Sabonis had 21 points and 16 rebounds to lead the 11th-seeded Zags, while Seton Hall star Isaiah Whitehead looked gassed from the Big East tournament and went 4-for-24 from the field. Gonzaga's win sets up a compelling matchup of possible future first-round picks between Sabonis and Utah's Jakob Poeltl.
2. Three years ago, Wichita State made a surprise Final Four run. Two years ago, Wichita State finished the regular season undefeated. Last year, Wichita State made the Sweet 16 at in-state power Kansas' expense. Now the Shockers are on the verge of accomplishing something special once again. A Wichita State team that was the second-to-last team into the field followed up a First Four win over Vanderbilt by outclassing sixth-seeded Arizona 65-55 in the round of 64. The Shockers advance to the round of 32, where they will meet third-seeded Miami.
3. Two 12 seeds delivered the biggest upsets on the opening day of the NCAA tournament. Yale ousted fifth-seeded Baylor behind guard Makai Mason's 31 points and Arkansas Little Rock toppled fifth-seeded Purdue behind guard Josh Hagins' 31 points. Of the two 12 seeds, Arkansas Little Rock probably has the better shot of advancing to the second weekend. While Yale's rebounding could pose problems on Saturday for Duke, Arkansas Little Rock's methodical pace and top 30 defense will be a major challenge for free-flowing, high-scoring Iowa State.
4. The most highly anticipated prospective game of the round of 32 is now a certainty. Neither 12th-seeded Chattanooga nor 13th-seeded Stony Brook managed to derail a clash of blue bloods between Kentucky and Indiana. The Kentucky-Indiana matchup is especially intriguing because of the way their rivalry abruptly ended in 2012 after the two teams met at least once a season the previous 44 years. John Calipari wanted the games be played at a neutral site in either Louisville or Indianapolis. Tom Crean preferred the matchup rotate between the two campus sites.
5. If this is the year a No. 16 seed finally topples a No. 1 seed, then Holy Cross will have to be the one to make history. Hampton, Austin Peay and Florida Gulf Coast each fell by 36, 26 and 16 points respectively on Thursday, dropping No. 16 seeds to 0-127 all time in round of 64 games. This season appeared more promising than usual for No. 16 seeds given the parity among the top teams, but chaos in the one-bid conference tournaments drastically reduced those odds. While Hampton swept the regular season and conference tournament titles in the MEAC, Florida Gulf Coast was the No. 4 seed in its tournament and Austin Peay and Holy Cross both finished below .500 in their respective leagues.
Baylor didn't survive the NCAA tournament's opening day for the second straight year, but forward Taurean Prince may still make an appearance in this season's One Shining Moment video. That's how good this one-handed put-back slam was with seven minutes left in the Bears' loss to Yale. The dunk was the highlight of Prince's 28-point outburst, one that helped the Bears cut a 13-point deficit to one in the final minute.
"You go up and grab the ball off the rim when it comes off and then you grab it with two hands, and you come down with it, and that's considered a rebound. So they got more of those than we did." — Taurean Prince's deadpanned response to a reporter's question about how Yale managed to out-rebound Baylor. The Bears are the third-ranked team in the country in offensive rebounding percentage, but Yale is top 10 in offensive and defensive rebounding.
What does it look like when a team makes the NCAA tournament for the first time in 54 years and then pulls an upset? Something like this. That's Yale coach James Jones leaping into the arms of his players after Ivy League champions upset fifth-seeded Baylor.
MOST MEMORABLE PHOTO:
There were times when it seemed like Sean Miller was working harder on the sideline than his team was on the floor. Even notoriously sweaty Gary Williams thinks Miller needed a darker shirt.
Josh Hagins capped Arkansas Little Rock's rally from a late 14-point deficit in the most dramatic fashion imaginable. He buried a game-tying pull-up 3-pointer with 6.8 seconds left in regulation, paving the way for the 12th-seeded Trojans to stun fifth-seeded Purdue in double overtime.
Scrappy the Mockingbird. Nightmare fuel.
PODCAST: Shane Battier on Duke, NCAA tourney, more:
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