Friday March Madness: Purdue Falls vs. No. 16 seed Fairleigh Dickinson

COLUMBUS, Ohio – 16th-seeded Fairleigh Dickinson in the NCAA Tournament defeated top-seeded Purdue 63-58 on Friday in one of the most stunning upsets in men’s college basketball in half a decade.

It was just the second time the 16th seed has beaten a No. 1 seed since the University of Maryland Baltimore County defeated Virginia five years ago in a 20-point rout.

FDU, located in Teaneck, NJ, across the Hudson River from upper Manhattan, had never advanced to the second round of the tournament before Friday. It had to defeat Texas Southern in a play-in game on Wednesday for the right to play defending Big Ten champion Purdue, led by 7-foot-4 center Zach Eddy.

Purdue struggled in every facet of the game. It shot poorly, especially from 3-point range.

FDU is one of the most unlikely wins in college basketball. It’s the shortest team in Division I — 363 out of 363 teams — averaging just 6-foot-1. Almost every Purdue player had considerable height, especially Eddie, who guarded a player a full foot shorter. – Noah Weiland

For much of its first-round play, the no. Xavier, the No. 3 seed, looked sleepwalking against Kennesaw State, a No. 1 that stops almost every Musketeer player. 14 seats.

But control is relentlessly fluid in this game, and Xavier took it with a furious rally to come back against the Owls, eventually holding them off for a 72-67 victory that avoided another bracket surprise in the first round of the men’s NCAA Tournament. (Baylor, another No. 3 seed, pulled off the other by defeating the University of California, Santa Barbara by 1 at halftime.)

The Owls led by 13 with less than 10 minutes to play before Xavier finally got up. The Musketeers scored the next 15 points — part of a run that saw Kennesaw State go without a field goal for about 8 minutes.

It was a frantic back-and-forth, with the teams exchanging passes down the stretch until Xavier slipped ahead on a Colby Jones free throw. Kennesaw had several chances late, but Spencer Rodgers stepped on the sideline when he connected on an inbounds pass.

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A scare for Xavier, sure, but not an early exit. – Oscar Garcia

South Carolina got off to a stark start Friday in its first-round opener against No. 16 Norfolk State: The No. 1-ranked Gamecocks allowed just 7 points in the first quarter, while they scored 20 of their own.

South Carolina comfortably advanced to the second round of the Women’s NCAA Tournament, 72-40, as it began its run to its second straight national championship. Sunday, they will face No. 8 South Florida, which defeated No. 9 Marquette 67-65 in overtime on Friday.

The Gamecocks struggled at times to convert solid possessions into points, committing 12 turnovers and missing 16 of their 41 free-throw attempts. But their clear dominance and ease on their home court were the Spartans, who lost their first NCAA Tournament appearance in 21 years.

Still, the Spartans didn’t back down. Kiera Wheeler, a sophomore forward, finished with 13 points and 8 rebounds and found herself going toe-to-toe with one of the best players in the game: Aaliyah Baston, a senior forward and Gamecock’s center, who finished the game. 7 points and 9 rebounds. – Remy Tumin

Pittsburgh doesn’t have a top four problem. Not even in the first round.

Pitt, seeded 11th, became the 11th team to advance to the play-in games of the men’s NCAA Tournament on Friday. Win its next matchIowa State was completely eliminated.

On Tuesday, Pitt played a close top-four game against fellow No. 11 Mississippi State, trading a lead in the final minute. But in Friday’s first round, the Panthers went on a 22-2 run to win 59-41. Pitt held the Hurricanes to just 23.3 percent shooting, including 2 of 21 on 3-point attempts.

In the second round, Pitt will face No. 3 seed Xavier, which will avoid a loss against No. 14 Kennesaw State.

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Can the Panthers have another deep run in store? They have few precedents in the recent history of top four teams.

Of the 10 previous top-four teams that have gone on to first-round wins since the field expanded in 2011, five won their games in the round of 32. And two of those teams reached the Final Four as an 11th seed: Virginia Commonwealth in 2011, falling to eighth-seeded Butler, and UCLA losing to No. 1 seed Gonzaga in 2021. – Sarah Ziegler

Baton Rouge, La. – Kim Mulkey raised his hands as if to say, “Finally.” There was a crowd that way too.

It was early in the fourth quarter, and Mulkey’s starting point guard, senior Alexis Morris, had scored the game’s first points.

Morris’ below-average scoring and Louisiana State’s shaky shooting didn’t matter much, however, as third-ranked LSU fell 73-50 in the first round of the Division I women’s basketball tournament. 14 defeated Hawaii.

Morris’ first basket started a surge. On the following Hawai’i possession, Morris grabbed a defensive rebound, then had a jumper and assisted on a shot by forward Angel Reese. After another Morris basket pushed the Tigers’ lead to 23, Mulkey implored the crowd to “wake up” as Hawaii called a timeout. asked the home fans at the Pete Maravich Assembly Center.

Behind their defense, the Tigers had built a huge 16-point lead before Morris’ first basket. LSU forced three shot-clock violations and limited Hawaii to several stagnant possessions. Hawaii had 21 turnovers, 12 of them from LSU steals, and shot just 30.8 percent from the field.

The Tigers didn’t play for more than four minutes in the third quarter, but Reese kept them on the scoreboard with 5 points at the free-throw line. He left the game late in the second quarter with what he said was a concussion after getting hit while fighting for a rebound, but finished with 34 points and 15 rebounds — his 29th double-double of the season.

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“On the bench, I have a cheat code for a teammate,” forward Samia Smith said. “She’s incredible.”

LSU will play sixth-ranked Michigan, which defeated UNLV on Sunday, before a crowd of more than 8,608. – Evan Easterling

BATON ROUGE, La. – After the UNLV read, Michigan’s players were confident enough to call two of the Rebels’ offensive plays during Friday’s game.

“We made mistakes,” graduate forward Emily Kiser said.

However, the Wolverines forced UNLV into uncharacteristic turnovers and star center Desi-Rae Young in a 71-59 win on Friday. Sixth-seeded Michigan will face No. 3 Louisiana State on Sunday, which hosts these first- and second-round games.

UNLV’s 22-game winning streak in the first round of the Women’s NCAA Tournament ended with its second straight loss. Young didn’t make his first field goal until 8 minutes and 15 seconds into the second half; He finished with 11 points and 8 rebounds.

The Rebels, one of Division I’s best teams in controlling the turnover, nearly matched their season average in the first half.

On the offensive end, guard Maddie Nolan said the Wolverines’ Rebels’ press-and-zone style will open up opportunities for corner 3-pointers and spaces for Kizer to work in the middle of the floor. Kizer had a double-double with 18 points and 10 rebounds while adding 6 assists, while fifth-year guard Leigh Brown had 17 points and 7 assists.

UNLV battled back after Michigan’s early run, but after Alyssa Brown’s 3-pointer cut the deficit to 5 midway through the third quarter, the Rebels went scoreless for the next 4:33, allowing Michigan to rebuild a double-digit lead. . Nolan scored 18 points and shot 4 of 6 from 3-point range, including a 3 during a 12-0 run in the third quarter that allowed the Wolverines to pull away.

“I think she saved us a couple of times,” Kiser said. “When that score starts to get closer and closer, a 3 is big, I think, a big momentum change.” – Evan Easterling

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