NCAA Tournament LIVE Blog
Everything -- and we mean everything -- from the first weekend of the NCAA Tournament will be covered here.
Reminder: You can see all of our brackets on CBSSports.com here. We have straight-up and against-the-spread picks. Here are the tip times, sites and announcing teams. And the continually updating, viewable bracket.
11:53 p.m.: FINAL: Arizona 84, Gonzaga 61. The Wildcats, like Florida and Virginia, enter the Sweet 16 feeling good after absolutely demolishing their Round of 32 opponents. Wichita State can't sayt he same. The Sweet 16 is set. As we leave you, here'es how the seeding breaks down: 1, 1, 1 2, 2 3 4, 4, 4, 4 6 7 8 10 11, 11. -- Matt Norlander
11:26 p.m.: I could fill the final six entries of this live blog with Arizona GIFs. The Wildcats are imposing their will on the Bulldogs. Gonzaga's season will end in the Round of 32 yet again. -- Matt Norlander
11:09p.m.: Anyone know what's happening in the final game of the night? Oh, hello, Aaron Gordon. It's Arizona 55-38. -- Matt Norlander
11:05p.m.: FINAL: Virginia 78, Memphis 60. Josh Pastner has made four NCAA Tournaments but is yet to reach the Sweet 16. Virginia is back in the Sweet 16 for the first time in 19 years. It looked like a No. 1 in this game. -- Matt Norlander
10:46 p.m.: Meanwhile, I look up at Virginia leads Memphis 68-43. I'd like to thank Memphis for not making this all that competitive. TV tip times for Thursday/Friday were just released as well. -- Matt Norlander
Last time Madison Square Garden hosted an NCAA East Regional, Verne Lundquist was 10 years old. Bill Raftery was 7.— Neil Best (@sportswatch) March 24, 2014
10:40 p.m.: Our numbers still show our readership is still chugging here, and for those who are still checking in: THANK YOU. Sorry we took that break; I had to write a little piece on the end of Doug McDermott's career. -- Matt Norlander
10:16 p.m.: FINAL: Baylor 85, Creighton 55. Doug McDermott's career comes to a surprisingly close, as he finishes with 15 points and two rebounds in the blowout loss. Baylor made a concerted effort to stop McDermott with their zone, and it worked. Moreover, the rest of the Bluejays couldn't step up and knock down shots. All five starters scored in double-figures for Baylor, led by Brady Heslip and Isaiah Austin scoring 17 apiece. Austin was also a huge factor on the defensive end, with his length and athleticism creating issues at the rim.
Baylor moves on to play Wisconsin in the Sweet 16 -- and that should be a fun one. Wisconsin is capable of knocking down shots from the perimeter, but the Badgers also have ideal personnel to attack a zone. It will be intriguing. -- Jeff Borzello
9:55 p.m.: The final game -- finallly -- of this memorable first weekend has tipped. WATCH ARIZONA-GONZAGA ONLINE HERE. -- Matt Norlander
9:52 p.m.: Baylor is dismantling Creighton -- and it's a surprising way for Doug McDermott's career to end. He's been the best player in the country throughout the season, breaking records, setting milestones, but it will end in the Round of 32 in a blowout loss while having one of the worst games of his career. Baylor's zone focused on taking away McDermott, and it succeeded -- while also protecting the rim and forcing mostly contested jumpers from Creighton. And the Bluejays went cold. With 6:19 remaining, Baylor is up by 26. -- Jeff Borzello
9:38 p.m.: Fred Hoiberg "broke" "it" "down" in the postgame locker room celebration. Let's hope this remains attached to his legacy as much as taking ISU to the Sweet 16. Below, a great Twitter interaction between two coaches' sons. -- Matt Norlander
You ain't seen Beilein RT @JackHoiberg: My dad might have the worst dance moves of all time.— Andrew Beilein (@AndrewBeilein) March 24, 2014
GIF via The Big Lead
9:30 p.m.: Memphis should probably have 30 points. Instead, it's 27-18 Virginia because that's what the Cavs do. The Tigers are not well-built to attack the pack-line defense of Tony Bennett. And Memphis has missed some bunnies. -- Matt Norlander
9:27 p.m.: Speaking of Florida, the Gators now own the nation's longest winning streak -- after Wichita State and Stephen F. Austin both lost. Florida has won 28 games in a row. -- Jeff Borzello
9:23 p.m.: FINAL: UCLA 77, Stephen F. Austin 60. The Lumberjacks' 29-game winning streak comes to an end. UCLA handled Stephen F. Austin's half-court pressure throughout the game, turning it over just four times -- which was huge against a team that was fourth in the country in defensive turnover percentage. Thomas Walkup had 22 points and 11 rebounds for Stephen F. Austin, but the Lumberjacks had no answer for UCLA's perimeter. Kyle Anderson had 15 points and eight rebounds; Jordan Adams went for 19 points, six rebounds and five assists, and Norman Powell had 16 points.
This sets up a Florida-UCLA battle in the Sweet 16. Defense vs. Offense. The Gators have stifled pretty much everyone in their path, but UCLA can score like few teams in the country. -- Jeff Borzello
9:03 p.m.: Virginia and Memphis are underway. WATCH ONLINE/MOBILE. -- Matt Norlander
9 p.m.: UCLA is still up on Stephen F. Austin right now. The Bruins lead by 14 with 6:54 remaining. The guards for UCLA are handling SFA -- and while they have combined for 43 points, the biggest stat is two. That's how many turnovers the Bruins have tonight, which is tremendous considering the Lumberjacks are one of the nation's best teams at forcing turnovers. -- Jeff Borzello
8:56 p.m.: The most surprising score of the day is coming from San Antonio. Baylor is dominating Creighton at both ends of the floor, and takes a 40-20 lead into halftime. The Bears have knocked down seven 3-pointers in the first half, and have also stifled Creighton at the other. Doug McDermott has just three points on four shots, and the Bluejays are 1 of 9 from 3-point range. The Baylor zone defense has caused a ton of issues for Creighton. Kenny Chery leads the way for Baylor with nine points. -- Jeff Borzello
8:22 p.m.: FINAL: Tennessee 83, Mercer 63. The Volunteers go from the First Four to the Sweet 16. Josh Richardson scored a career-high 26. And no Volunteer ever had more rebounds in a tourney game than Jarnell Stokes, who grabbed 18 on Sunday night. The Vols will play Michigan. -- Matt Norlander
8:18 p.m.: Stephen F. Austin hasn't lost in 29 games, but the Lumberjacks will have to make up a 10-point halftime deficit against UCLA. UCLA is hitting on all cylinders offensively, shooting nearly 54 percent from the field, taking care of the ball (only two turnovers) and stretch the defense from the perimeter. Kyle Anderson and Jordan Adams have combined for 23 points. -- Jeff Borzello
8:14 p.m.: Doug McDermott against the length and size of the Baylor zone. WATCH LIVE. -- Jeff Borzello
Jarnell Stokes: 22nd double-double of season, tying Julius Randle for most in Division I— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) March 23, 2014
7:51 p.m.: Really solid Sunday was due for a dud. Mercer cannot overcome Tennessee. The Vols lead 63-47 and are on the verge of improving the SEC to 7-0 in this year's tournament. -- Matt Norlander
7:49 p.m.: DeAndre Kane. -- Jeff Borzello
7:42 p.m.: The final seconds of Iowa State-North Carolina. -- Jeff Borzello
7:38 p.m.: FINAL: Iowa State 85, North Carolina 83. Without Georges Niang, the Cyclones knock off the Tar Heels on DeAndre Kane's layup with 1.6 seconds left. -- Jeff Borzello
7:34 p.m.: DeAndre Kane! Iowa State up two with some clock issues on the way. -- Jeff Borzello
7:25 p.m.: What a ridiculous pass from DeAndre Kane. -- Jeff Borzello
7:23 p.m.: Iowa State and North Carolina now tied at 76, 1:54 remaining. North Carolina missed a couple bunnies around the rim and now the Cyclones have some life. -- Jeff Borzello
7:17 p.m.: Iowa State is just about out of bullets, down five with 3:35 left. -- Jeff Borzello
7:06 p.m.: Stephen F. Austin is on a 29-game winning streak, but its toughest opponent is up next: UCLA. It tips off shortly. WATCH LIVE. -- Jeff Borzello
7:05 p.m.: Iowa State is on the ropes a little bit here. North Carolina is on a 10-0 run, taking a six-point lead. The Cyclones look gassed, having trouble dealing with North Carolina on the glass and in the paint. How much more do DeAndre Kane and Melvin Ejim have in the tank? They will carry the load. -- Jeff Borzello
7:00 p.m.: It's 42-27 at the half. Tennessee leads. Cuonzo Martin was on the hot seat even entering this tournament. Now the Vols are 20 good minutes away from reaching the Sweet 16. Mercer only has four rebounds. -- Matt Norlander
6:51 p.m.: Jabari Parker, Nick Johnson, Doug McDermott and Russ Smith have been announced as the 2014 Naismith finalists. The award is handed out at the Final Four. -- Matt Norlander
6:46 p.m.: Iowa State is looking a little fatigued. Dustin Hogue had his hands on his knees, Melvin Ejim was looking a little tired, and DeAndre Kane is settling for perimeter jumpers instead of driving to the rim -- although that could be attributed to his foul trouble. Iowa State leads North Carolina by three with 13:50 left. Can the Cyclones continue to bang inside with North Carolina's bigs? -- Jeff Borzello
6:26 p.m.: I am digging this Tennessee-Mercer game. Both this and the ISU-UNC game are smothered in the afterglow of UK-Wichita State, but it's bene a nice one. It's tied at 8 with 14:45 to go. Mercer's wardrobe is all black. Slimming! -- Matt Norlander
6:15 p.m.: I'M BACK IN THE BLOG. And with Tennessee-Mercer underway, it's a good option for the second screen. Here's your live/online/mobile link. -- Matt Norlander
6:13 p.m.: North Carolina's Brice Johnson left the game in the first half, and didn't return. -- Jeff Borzello
#UNC says they won't know anything about Brice Johnson until after halftime.— Stephen Schramm (@stephenschramm) March 23, 2014
6:13 p.m.: Entertaining first half between Iowa State and North Carolina, with Iowa State up three, 40-37. The Cyclones got down early, but DeAndre Kane (15 points, eight rebounds) gradually began to take over -- and North Carolina has simply had no answer for him. He's driving through the Tar Heels' defense with ease, and keeping them honest with deep jumpers. More importantly, the loss of Georges Niang hasn't killed Iowa State defensively and on the glass against North Carolina's big men. It will put more of the onus on Kane and Melvin Ejim to create offense, though.
Leslie McDonald leads North Carolina with 12 first-half points. -- Jeff Borzello
5:34 p.m.: Iowa State's first game without Georges Niang is about five minutes old. The Cyclones trail 14-7 to North Carolina. WATCH LIVE.
5:29 p.m.: FINAL: Kentucky 78, Wichita State 76. The Shockers suffer their first loss of the season, as Fred VanVleet's 3-pointer at the buzzer doesn't fall. Andrew and Aaron Harrison combined for 39 points, while Julius Randle had 13 points, 10 rebounds and six boards.
Cleanthony Early was fantastic in the loss for Wichita State, scoring 31 points -- but missing a layup in the final minutes that could have given the Shockers some separation. -- Jeff Borzello
5:19 p.m.: BANK! Ron Baker buries a 3 from the wing with 29.3 seconds left to cut Kentucky's lead to one. -- Jeff Borzello
5:09 p.m.: Wichita State leads Kentucky, 69-65, with 3:54 remaining. The Wildcats need one more push. -- Jeff Borzello
5:04 p.m.: We hate Goodman in these parts, but he makes a good point. -- Jeff Borzello
All these likely pros -- and CleAnthony Early has been best player on court today thus far.— Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanESPN) March 23, 2014
4:58 p.m.: Just wanted to get this out there -- is this the best game of the season so far? -- Jeff Borzello
4:45 p.m.: Kentucky has the momentum right now. A fantastic baseline drive and finish by Julius Randle puts the Wildcats up three. Randle has been outstanding, especially in the second half. He has nine points, nine rebounds and six assists right now. -- Jeff Borzello
4:38 p.m.: Julius Randle is starting to assert himself more on the inside, using his physicality and aggression at the rim. One thing to watch is Fred VanVleet with three fouls. Ron Baker will have to shoulder more of the ball-handling load with him out. Wichita State leads by one. -- Jeff Borzello
4:12 p.m.: They'll probably let you call them nerds since they're in the Sweet 16 and all. -- Jeff Borzello
4:07 p.m.: Cleanthony Early's dunk. Yikes. -- Jeff Borzello
4:06 p.m.: HALFTIME: Wichita State 37, Kentucky 31. Huge shot by James Young to bring Kentucky back within six after Cleanthony Early dunked in transition for Wichita State. Early is creating problems for Kentucky, with 10 points in the first half. Fred VanVleet has been very solid at both ends, controlling tempo and finding players in good spots. He's also doing a good job defending on the perimeter. The Wildcats' guards are keeping them in the game, shooting a combined 9 of 15 from the floor for 22 points. Julius Randle needs to step up, though. -- Jeff Borzello
3:51 p.m.: Kentucky having trouble in the half-court offense the last few minutes. Wichita State is pressuring on the ball and taking the Wildcats out of what they want to do. Offensively, Cleanthony Early has been a huge issue for Kentucky. He creates matchup problems across the board, and he's also beating Kentucky's frontcourt players down the court. Wichita State up seven with 3:12 left in the first half. -- Jeff Borzello
3:40 p.m.: Shots fired. -- Jeff Borzello
Congrats to @Stanford on a fine NCAA Tournament win!— Mizzou (@Mizzou) March 23, 2014
3:38 p.m.: Kentucky made perimeter shots early against Wichita State, which has changed defenses multiple times: token pressure, man-to-man, zone. But the Shockers forced back-to-back turnovers for easy baskets, which is a key going forward. Kentucky's transition defense isn't great, and Wichita State can beat them down the court. The Shockers lead at the under-eight timeout. 24-21. -- Jeff Borzello
3:16 p.m.: The biggest keys to the game will be the battle on the glass -- Kentucky is arguably the nation's best offensive rebounding team, while Wichita State is among the nation's best defensive rebounding team. Moreover, the Wildcats have to find gaps against Wichita State's defense; can the Shockers' physicality contain them off the bounce?
Wichita State is up 7-6 at the first media timeout. -- Jeff Borzello
3:00 p.m.: Wichita State vs. Kentucky might be the most anticipated Round of 32 game ever. It starts in a few minutes. WATCH LIVE. -- Jeff Borzello
2:54 p.m.: Kansas fan not happy with the proceedings.
2:50 p.m.: This is how Andrew Wiggins ended his career in a Kansas uniform. -- Jeff Borzello
Andrew Wiggins was a non factor for Kansas in its loss today pic.twitter.com/Spf3fByhd8— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) March 23, 2014
2:45 p.m.: Here's our quick post off the Stanford win over Kansas. -- Jeff Borzello
2:40 p.m.: FINAL: Stanford 60, Kansas 57. The 10th-seeded Cardinal take down No. 2 Kansas to advance to the Sweet 16 -- setting up a matchup with 11th-seeded Dayton. Yes, we will have a double-digit seed in the Elite Eight in the South region. -- Jeff Borzello
2:27 p.m.: Kansas hasn't been able to get anything going in the final minutes. Stanford still looks shaky breaking the press, but the Cardinal are hitting their free throws. Up seven with 32.4 seconds left. -- Jeff Borzello
2:15 p.m.: Stanford clinging to a 51-49 lead with 3:43 remaining. Dwight Powell has come up with big back-to-back baskets for the Cardinal. Cardinal still struggling to break the press, but Kansas isn't finishing around the basket at the other end. -- Jeff Borzello
2:10 p.m.: The Kansas pressure is getting to Stanford. Chasson Randle is basically the only ball-handler for the Cardinal, and the Jayhawks are starting to force turnovers and get points in transition. Kansas deficit is down to one. 5:25 left. -- Jeff Borzello
2:00 p.m.: A 44-37 Stanford lead. You can only go for so long if you're Kansas, thinking the run will come. Serious urgency has to factor in here. Wiggins and Wayne Selden are way too quiet. -- Matt Norlander
1:53 p.m.: OK, so the game's still in doubt and Stanford's got a 40-33 lead with 11:21 to go. But more appreciation for the Stanford band/its sousaphone player who's got Calvin and Hobbes art on the bell/horn of his instrument. SALUTE, SIR! -- Matt Norlander
1:44 p.m.: OK, now Powell's out. He picks up his fourth, and offensive foul at the 13:58 point due to a hook on a spin move. It's 36-32, Stanford. Let's see what plays out from here. Powell probably will have to sit until at least the 7:45 mark. -- Matt Norlander
1:39 p.m.: This is a game of swings. Stanford now leads 36-30, after trailing by five earlier this half. Powell's foul trouble not the issue; Kansas has already been hit with five team fouls this half. Everyone waiting for Wiggins to take over. He'll need to, or at least show some gumption -- and soon. -- Matt Norlander
1:32 p.m.: Trouble for Stanford: with 17:47 to go, Dwight Powell just picked up foul No. 3 on a chase for a rebound. But Johnny Dawkins is electing to keep his star big man on the court. Stanford sticks with the 1-3-1. Kansas has a 28-26 lead. -- Matt Norlander
1:19 p.m.: The Stanford band is terrific. -- Matt Norlander
Interesting tidbit from Scottrade Center security: Had an issue with Stanford band members sneaking booze in with their tubas.— rickbozich (@rickbozich) March 23, 2014
1:05 p.m.: Conner Frankamp just drained a 3 at the buzzer to give Kansas its first lead of the game, a 24-22 advnatage. Frankamp is just a freshman, and the perfect kind of name to finally bloom in March. Stanford's size has helped, but will it be able to hit some perimeter shots in the second half? It'll need to in order to win. A fun one in St. Louis. -- Matt Norlander
12:55 p.m.: Kansas just hit its first 3 of this NCAA Tournament, cutting the Stanford lead to 21-19. The Cardinal look exceedingly able against KU. I still don't think they're going to win, but I love when this matinees are must-see. Kansas has the fan contingent but Stanford's unfazed. Three minutes remaining in the first half. -- Matt Norlander
Perry Ellis not playing well and looks like he might not be feeling well. Bent over and really breathing hard in this timeout. Out of lineup— Pat Forde (@YahooForde) March 23, 2014
12:35 p.m.: Chasson Randle is handling himself quite well. Has six points and a steal. Stanford out in front 14-11, and the size is an issue for KU down low. No Embiid showing as a factor early. Stanford also tossing some 1-3-1 at Kansas, but I'm not sure if that will last long. KU has the playmakers to beat it over the long-term. -- Matt Norlander
12:22 p.m.: At the 14:49 mark, it's 6-all. Stanford's vets going to be able to keep pace? I think the world's ready for another big-time Wiggins performance. -- Matt Norlander
12:10 p.m.: OK, I'm in the catbird seat for the first game of the day. If you need it, here's your online live stream/mobile link to watch Kansas-Stanford. -- Matt Norlander
11:30 a.m.: In just about 12 hours, the field will be dwindled to 16 teams. All eyes will be on Wichita State vs. Kentucky at 2:45 p.m., but it's another loaded day of games. Here's a Viewer's Guide.
Also, here's a quick video to start your day -- Wisconsin celebrating its win over Oregon. Barry Alvarez makes an appearance. -- Jeff Borzello
12:50 a.m.: We're going to close up shop on this here live blog tonight. A slow start to Saturday, but a pretty solid ending, all told. That Nova loss was the least-surprising 7-over-2 upset, perhaps ever. And that's nothing against Villanova, it just felt more like a No. 3 vs. No. 5. Shabazz Napier had a big-time game, one of the best of his career. We'll end with this pretty scoop, via the Reddit college hoops forums. -- Matt Norlander
12:20 a.m.: FINAL: Connecticut 77, Villanova 65. The Huskies are heading to Madison Square Garden on the back of Shabazz Napier, who finished with 25 points and three assists despite missing more than 12 minutes in the first half due to foul trouble -- and being sidelined for a couple minutes in the second half with a shin injury. Five players finished in double-figures for Connecticut. Ryan Arcidiacono had 18 points and six assists for Villanova, but the Wildcats were 11 of 31 from 3-point range and went cold for long stretches in both halves.
Connecticut advances to face the winner of Iowa State vs. North Carolina. -- Jeff Borzello
11:29 p.m.: Connecticut has opened up a 42-36 lead. Shabazz Napier did pick up his third foul, but not until he scored seven points in the first seven minutes of the second half. Villanova is going as far as its 3-point shooting can take it. James Bell and Ryan Arcidiacono were hitting them to start the half, but they have since cooled off. 11:48 remaining. -- Jeff Borzello
11:21 p.m.: The University of Dayton President. -- Jeff Borzello
President Curran, carried down Kiefaber as students shout "Dan! Dan! Dan!" pic.twitter.com/ZGmHw36dkj— William Garbe (@wgarbe) March 23, 2014
10:59 p.m.: FINAL: Michigan State 80, Harvard 73. It was a valiant effort from the Crimson, but they get bounced in the Round of 32 for the second striaght season. Michigan State just had a bit too much at the end, taking all that Harvard had before laying one final punch. Branden Dawson was fantastic for Michigan State, finishing with 26 points and nine rebounds. Gary Harris had 18 points, five assists and four steals on the perimeter. Harvard kept coming and coming, though, and Wesley Saunders's 22 points led four players in double-figures.
Michigan State advances to the Sweet 16 to play the winner of Virginia and Memphis.
Great stat: Tom Izzo has won 11 straight games against teams seeded eight or lower. -- Jeff Borzello
10:45 p.m.: President Barack Obama likes what he sees from Dayton. -- Jeff Borzello
Congrats to the @DaytonFlyers on a huge upset win! Devin Oliver, I may need to take you up on that pick-up game one of these days. -bo— The White House (@WhiteHouse) March 23, 2014
10:32 p.m.: Lame ending to a great game. Jason Calliste pushes Traevon Jackson to the floor after an Oregon prayer 3 doesn't foul. FINAL: Wisconsin 84, Oregon 77. It was a really good game. Oregon players gotta feel sick for the way they let Wisconsin shoot its way back into this game. Game was tied at 72, but Badgers go on a 13-5 run ... and cover the spread in the process. The line closed at -6. -- Matt Norlander
10:28 p.m.: Harvard was down by 16 with 16 and a half minutes left, but a 17-3 run has cut the lead to two with just under 10 minutes remaining. Adreian Payne and Branden Dawson have been quiet for the Spartans, while Wesley Saunders continues score for Harvard. It's getting interesting in Spokane. -- Jeff Borzello
10:20 p.m.: Oregon fouls with 31.1 to go and trailing 77-75. Traevon Jackson sinks both. ... Jason Calliste -- off the bench -- has scored 20. 79-77 with 22.8 to go. This has been the best game of the day, and really a top-five game of the tourney so far. Maybe top three. -- Matt Norlander
10:11 p.m.: Wisconsin vs. Oregon has been one of the most entertaining games of the tournament so far. Both teams making shots, playing well down the stretch. It's tied at 72 with just over three minutes left. -- Jeff Borzello
9:44 p.m.: Joy. -- Jeff Borzello
9:14-9:27 p.m.: Jordan Sibert just canned a big 3 ... and Tyler Ennis convers a 3-point play. He's scored nine straight for Syracuse. ... OK, THAT looked like a travel by Vee Sanford. He gets the timeout, though. Boeheim three shades shy of his Cameron meltdown. ... Devin Oliver at the line with 37.8 to go. Misses the front end of a one-and-one. Ennis fouled on a take. I'm gripped here. This has been a bady game but a close and exciting one. ... Ennis sinks both foul shots, Syracuse trails 52-51 with 24.8 to go. No timeouts for the Flyers ... Dyshawn Pierre at the line and cooly sinks both. Now a 3-poitn game with 22.4 left. ... Syracuse forces the turnover! Out of bounds on the trap. But Ennis missed the go-ahead shot. Pierre on the line for two, 6.5 to go. He sinks both. No timeouts, this'll be Ennis. He puts up a 3 .... no good. Dayton wins! First Sweet 16 in 30 years for that program. Wow, oh wow. Syracuse bows out a year after making the Final Four. -- Matt Norlander
9:06 p.m.: Oregon having its way on offense, leading Wisconsin 49-37 at the break. Everybody zoned in on TBS with Syracuse and Dayton in a squeeze. This very much looks like a last-possession kind of game. -- Matt Norlander
8:59 p.m.: Got this feeling Syracuse-Dayton is going to be an ugly mini-classic. It's been a hard watch, but SU now on a 10-2 run and the building sounds much more alive. And I'm biased toward a Raftery call. He's due for a big call here. -- Matt Norlander
8:37 p.m.: Everybody LOVING Oregon-Wisconsin. Both teams above 1.2 points-per-possession's pace. It's 30-28 at the 7:22 mark. Dayton-Syracuse is 27-24 with 14 to go in the second half. -- Matt Norlander
8:16 p.m.: FINAL: San Diego State 63, North Dakota State 44. The Bison's run as a 12-seed comes to an end. San Diego State's defense was simply stifling all game, holding North Dakota State to 30.6 percent shooting from the floor and 18.2 percent from 3-point range. NDSU star Taylor Braun was 2 of 14 and finished with seven points.
On the other side, Xavier Thames was the hero for San Diego State. He was unguardable off ball-screens, hitting long-range shots, mid-range jumpers, and getting to the rim off the bench. Thames finished with 30 points and six assists. NDSU had no answer for him. -- Jeff Borzello
7:35 p.m.: Over on TBS, Verne Lundquist is talking about how he enjoys The Killers. It's tremendous, and I'd figure him more toward the Wilco side of things. Oh, Dayton is up 14-8 with 9:30 to go. -- Matt Norlander
7:33p.m.: FINAL: Michigan 79, Texas 65. A classic 2-beats-a-7 that no one will remember by Tuesday. Nothing against Texas, but the team had no identity this year. At least Rick Barnes was able to easily save his job (if in fact it would have been in danger by not making the NCAAs) and get back to the Big Dance. Last year's final two teams are both into the Sweet 16, and both in this bracket, the Midwest. -- Matt Norlander
7:09 p.m.: San Diego State went on a 15-3 run to end the half, and the Aztecs go into the break with a 30-23 lead on North Dakota State. The Aztecs started getting out in transition a little bit more, with Dwayne Polee creating issues with his length and athleticism. Xavier Thames has 16 points at the break. North Dakota State came into the game as one of the most accurate and efficient offensive teams in the country, but the Bison are shooting just 28.6 percent from the field. If the shots start falling, this one will be tight down the stretch. -- Jeff Borzello
6:07 p.m.: I'm getting lonely without my buddy Jeff updating the blog here. It's been more than three hours. He's about to get back into the mix, as tonight's schedule starts to pick up. It's 43-30 Michigan at the half. -- Matt Norlander
5:58 p.m.: Michigan 38, Texas 21. -- Matt Norlander
— Longhorn Network (@LonghornNetwork) March 22, 2014
5:14 p.m.: FINALLY FINAL: Louisville 66, Saint Louis 51. The game is over? The game is over!
GIF via Jason McIntyre.
4:56 p.m.: I refuse to say the game's over because -- well -- we all saw what SLU did to N.C. State Thursday night. But Louisville is holding a 52-42 lead with 3:19 to go. It's going to take a lot of missed free throws to get this interesting again. The Cardinals shoot 66.3 from the line on the season, making them one of the worst foul-shot teams in the NCAAs. -- Matt Norlander
4:27 p.m.: It's 4:27. Meaning it took 45 minutes of real time for Louisville to score a field goal since its last field goal. Louisville missed its first 10 shots of the second half. -- Matt Norlander
3:09 p.m.: Some big news on the home front. CBS/Turner announced Saturday afternoon that the first two days of the NCAA Tournament averaged 8.5 million total viewers, making it the most-watched tourney since 1991. Friday alone had a 6-percent increase in viewership from a year ago. -- Matt Norlander
2:35 p.m.: The Virginia Tech website accidentally put up the wrong picture of a bald former Marquette coach. The man below is actually Scott Monarch, who served on Buzz Williams' staff for a few years but was ultimately fired because he lied to investigators regarding a recruiting probe. Funny but also facepalm-y as well. The Internet had its fun with this for a good half-hour Saturday. Hat tip for first discovery to Andre Greska. -- Matt Norlander
2:22 p.m.: FUN FACT: Pittsburgh scored 46 points in the first half against Colorado on Thursday. The Panthers finished with 45 on Saturday.
2:20 p.m.: FINAL: Florida 61, Pittsburgh 45. The Gators dominated the final 20 minutes, turning it over just one time -- on a shot-clock violation with four seconds left in the game. Scottie Wilbekin was dominant down the stretch, providing separation and making shots whenever it looked like Pittsburgh was making a run. He finished with 21 points, while Michael Frazier (10 points) was the only other Florida player in double-figures. Pittsburgh's offensive droughts were too much to overcome, with Florida suffocating them with both full-court pressure and half-court man-to-man.
Florida is the first team in the Sweet 16. The Gators move on to play the winner of UCLA and Stephen F. Austin. -- Jeff Borzello
2:07 p.m.: Scottie Wilbekin is an absolute killer for Florida. Pittsburgh made a run to cut the lead to eight, Wilbekin came back and made two buckets to extend the lead to 12, stopping the Panthers' momentum. His ability to get into the lane at the end of the shot clock and the end of the game gives the Gators a go-to-guy and finisher at key moments. Every championship team needs that sort of player. -- Jeff Borzello
12:58 p.m.: Bill Belichick on hand to support his boy Billy Donovan. -- Jeff Borzello
The Hoodie. In a visor. Belichick a Gators fan? And I spot chest hair! pic.twitter.com/IhfdqUQ3AX— Matt Norlander (@MattNorlander) March 22, 2014
11:45 a.m.: Also, I love this. The radial NCAA Tournament bracket, via Reddit's Dylan Buell. -- Matt Norlander
1:26 a.m.: We're shutting down the live blog tonight, leaving you with the Lumberjacks' locker room jamboree. Saturday, please try your best to keep this all going.
12:28 a.m.: Late-breaking, bracket-altering news coming out of San Antonio. Iowa State's Elite Eight chances just took a massive hit. Niang is a huge piece. -- Matt Norlander
Georges Niang has a foot fracture and will miss the remainder of the season.— Cyclone Basketball (@CycloneMBB) March 22, 2014
Niang's injury is a 5th metatarsal fracture on his right foot.— Cyclone Basketball (@CycloneMBB) March 22, 2014
12:21 a.m.: FINAL: Kentucky 56, Kansas State 49. Kansas State made it interesting down the stretch, but Kentucky controlled most of the game. This sets up the most intriguing Round of 32 matchup in this year's tournament: Wichita State vs. Kentucky. If the Shockers lose, we'll probably hear a lot of "I told you so" from the doubters. If Kentucky loses, well, that will be a very disappointing season. Lots to prove on both sides. I'm already excited. -- Jeff Borzello
12:07 a.m.: FINAL: Iowa State 93, NCCU 75. Cyclones move on, but this is the image of the day, in my opinion. What you don't see, but can obviously assume: those two players are crying in their coach's arms.
NCCU coach LeVelle Moton consoles two players. Hell of a March image pic.twitter.com/X1krus6OOA— Matt Norlander (@MattNorlander) March 22, 2014
12 a.m.: FINAL: Virginia 70, Coastal Carolina 59. For awhile, the Cavaliers looked like they could be the first No. 1 seed to ever go down to a No. 16 seed -- and then they woke up at both ends of the floor. They dominated the final 10 minutes of the game, although the lead wasn't safe until Evan Nolte scored eight straight Virginia points to put the Cavaliers up eight with under six minutes remaining. -- Jeff Borzello
This 81-year-old woman in the ER wouldn't let doctors begin fixing her collapsed lung until Memphis game ended. pic.twitter.com/EQmKfHELNw— Geoff Calkins (@geoff_calkins) March 22, 2014
Largest HT lead by 16over1: Princeton 8 over G'town in 89. Last 16 lead at half: UNCA-Cuse in 12. ETSU led OU by 17 '89 for biggest deficit— David Worlock (@DavidWorlock) March 22, 2014
10:59 p.m.: A sad GIF of VCU's JeQuan Lewis, who committed the eventual tying foul in regulation and missed the winning 3 in overtime. -- Jeff Borzello
10:41 p.m.: FINAL: Stephen F. Austin 77, VCU 75. In overtime.
And here's our post on the game. -- Jeff Borzello
10:28 p.m.: Overtime between VCU and Stephen F. Austin! Down four, Desmond Haymon hit a 3-pointer with 3.6 seconds -- and got fouled. He hit the free throw to tie the game and send it to the extra session. -- Jeff Borzello
10:06 p.m.: To continue the Bryce Cotton love, I wrote a farewell post on his impressive yet disappointing finish. -- Jeff Borzello
Although it's already off to a weird start.
There's been a technical foul in warmups. A little-used player for Kansas State dunked. 2 shots then the jump ball. Haha— Jason Guerette (@JPGuerette) March 22, 2014
Congrats to providence on a great season and to Bryce Cotton on an unbelievable career— Doug McDermott (@dougmcd3) March 22, 2014
9:35 p.m.: FINAL: North Carolina 79, Providence 77. Tar Heels escape in what was a great game. Providence looked like it had it, then a few bad turnovers ruined it. Bryce Cotton's final game ends with a career-high 36 points, matching the most ever against UNC in its tournament history. He also had eight assists, five boards and two steals, including this one. This here is when I thought PC was winning this game.
GIF via Michael Shamburger
8:46 p.m.: Re: Tim Miles getting ejected today during Baylor-Nebraska. -- Matt Norlander
Confirmed that Trent Johnson was last coach to get ejected in tournament game. 3-22-08 in Stanford's OT win over Marquette, rd of 32 Anaheim— David Worlock (@DavidWorlock) March 22, 2014
8:25 p.m.: Some thoughts on Marcus Smart's college career likely coming to and end, and why Jabari Parker's should probably follow suit. -- Matt Norlander
8:10 p.m.: This was a filthy spin-and-dunk by J.P. Tokoto. -- Jeff Borzello
jp tokoto my god https://t.co/lc9wmNZzks— martin rickman (@martinrickman) March 22, 2014
7:32 p.m.: After 61 -- 61! -- fouls, it's a FINAL: Gonzaga 85, Oklahoma State 77. The 61 whistles were the most in an NCAA Tournament game, that did not go to overtime, since 1975. It was bad. Just really bad. Game took almost three and a half hours of real time to finish.
Fun fact: The listed tip time for VCU-SFA is right now. Only this game hasn't ended, and they still have to clear the arena for 2nd session— Stewart Mandel (@slmandel) March 21, 2014
7:01 p.m.: It's gotten increasingly difficult to watch Gonzaga-Oklahoma State. It's 67-58 Zags, but the officiating has been ticky-tack, bordering on personal. Just a weird pattern of whistles. And nobody is happy about this. Too bad. This game was marquee among the 8/9, 7/10s. Gonzaga is 5-0 all-time against OSU, all meetings have taken place in the past decade. Less than four minutes to go. -- Matt Norlander
6:44 p.m.: FINAL: Kansas 80, Eastern Kentucky 69. Kanas finishes strong and with, like, eight dunks in the final three minutes. Eastern Kentucky made it a lot of fun, though. Game was closer than the outcome indicated, and it's always great to get a 15 make in interesting. It will be KU-Stanford on Sunday afternoon. -- Matt Norlander
6:05 p.m.: OK. OK. OK. Eastern Kentucky 48, Kansas 45. We've got 12:51 to go on TBS and Colonels are on a 10-0 run. It sounds awesome out there in St. Louis. We do not get Thursdays and Fridays like this every year. -- Matt Norlander.
5:45 p.m.: Monster coaching news breaking on this Friday: Virginia Tech targeted Marquette's Buzz Williams as its next head coach, and he has accepted. Here's our story from Gary Parrish. -- Jeff Borzello
5:44 p.m.: Interesting.
Tennessee hammers UMass, 86-67. A First Four team has made round of 32 all four years since tourney went to 68 teams. pic.twitter.com/1HjaZ5JxXS— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) March 21, 2014
5:25 p.m. WIGGINS ALERT is in full effect. KU went on an 18-9 run to tie the game at 32 at the half with Eastern Kentucky. It's getting fun again! Here's a few must-see Wiggy slams . -- Matt Norlander
5:19 p.m.: Awful news from Iowa: the thyroid tumor removed from Fran McCaffery's son was malignant. -- Jeff Borzello
4:38 p.m.: I'm not sure this will ease the frustration of any Nebraska fans -- or head coach Tim Miles. -- Jeff Borzello
Karl Hess put out a statement saying he was w/in his rights to T up Tim Miles, but that they missed a shot clock error leading up to it.— Jacob Padilla (@JacobPadilla_) March 21, 2014
3:45 p.m.: Chip Patterson was in Raleigh for Mercer's win over Duke -- and Kevin Canevari dropping the Nae Nae after the game. He wrote about both. -- Jeff Borzello
Coach K just came into Mercer locker room: "If we got beaten, at least we got beaten by a hell of a basketball team." pic.twitter.com/5vrkF4RQYR— Nicole Auerbach (@NicoleAuerbach) March 21, 2014
Duke is the only team in NCAA Tournament history with 5 losses to double digit seeds as a top 3 seed.— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) March 21, 2014
Well played, @MercerMBB.— FGCU Men's Hoops (@FGCU_MBB) March 21, 2014
2:33 p.m.: FINAL: Mercer 78, Duke 71. The Bears were in the NCAA Tournament for the first time in 29 years, and proceed to take down mighty Duke in the Round of 64. Mercer ended the game on a 20-8 run after it looked like the Blue Devils might pull away late in the game. Duke simply had no answer on the inside for Mercer's aggressiveness, and the Blue Devils became overly 3-point reliant as the game progressed. They attacked the offensive glass, but couldn't convert down the stretch -- and Mercer never stopped going against Duke's paltry interior defense. Moreover, Jabari Parker and Rodney Hood combined to shoot 6 of 24 from the field, with 20 points and seven assists. Duke can't win when its two best players are struggling like that.
This is the second season in a row that the Atlantic Sun has won at least one game in the NCAA Tournament. We all remember Dunk City -- will we need a nickname for head coach Bob Hoffman and Mercer? -- Jeff Borzello
English HS teacher I know. Duke-Mercer on the projector in the classroom. Teacher of the month pic.twitter.com/29o1upR4au— Matt Norlander (@MattNorlander) March 21, 2014
11:50 a.m.: Welcome back in, everyone. I'm not entirely ready for whatever's about to happen. But that's why these first two days are so great. Before we begin, Steve Fisher ranted against the NCAA's policy that forced New Mexico State to leave in the middle of the night -- after a loss -- late last night on the West Coast. This is spot-on and deserves a lot of attention. Fisher put a defense for NMSU, Marvin Menzies and that school. And he should have. Ridiculous that a losing team has to shuffle home in the cover of darkness. -- Matt Norlander
Oh hello March: pic.twitter.com/lHT8KF4ncG— Will Brinson (@WillBrinson) March 21, 2014
1:34 a.m.: FINAL: San Diego State 73, New Mexico 69. The night is over. And we're just hours from day two. Thank you for reading. If you're just coming to this in the early morning. Give it a scroll. What a memorable first day. Gotta be one of the best of the past two decades. Four OTs alone. The live blog will boot up again at noon on Friday. -- Matt Norlander
1:23 a.m.: OK, SDSU kind of wants this? It's too hard to tell. Eyes beginning to glaze. This might be setting a new record for longest first day of the NCAAs ever. What an introduction. -- Matt Norlander
1:08 a.m.: Ahahahahahaha!!! New Mexico actually just sent this thing into overtime. It's an NCAA Tournament record: four in one day.
@MattNorlander I had a son born this morning. I’ve seen parts of only four games. They’ve all gone to OT.— RyanHester (@footballbrackts) March 21, 2014
1:04 a.m.: FINAL: Louisville 71, Manhattan 64. Cardinals will play Saint Louis on Saturday. Pitino says on TV afteward: "That's one of the best coaching jobs I've seen in my 39 years. ... That's why I didn't want to play them. Right now, we won, I'm excited, but I feel sick inside. ... I'm on the edge of my bed when Travis Ford coaches, when Billy Donovan coaches, when Steve Masiello coaches. I don't sleep when they lose. Although I'm elated, it hurt me tonight, going against him." -- Matt Norlander
12:14 a.m.: Here was the video of Cameron Ridley's buzzer-beater. -- Jeff Borzello
Video: Texas wins at the buzzer https://t.co/0rodAggDo2— Matt Norlander (@MattNorlander) March 21, 2014
12:01 a.m.: FINAL: Texas 87, Arizona State 85. Cameron Ridley picks up a loose ball and lays it in as time expires for the win. -- Jeff Borzello
RIP Sun Devils pic.twitter.com/z2Bm1iYG26— Andrew DeWitt (@DeWittCBS) March 21, 2014
11:05 p.m.: And this is the GIF of the day, without question. North Dakota State's Saul Phillips. Via Michael Shamburger. -- Matt Norlander
10:58 p.m.: YES! Dance videos/GIFs have become a thing in the past two years, and we're totally OK with that. Love the BI-ZUN. GIF via @cjzero -- Matt Norlander
10:00 p.m.: FINAL: Saint Louis 83, N.C. State 80. Vomit-worthy for State Fan. That is an all-timer. -- Matt Norlander
9:49 p.m.: This is going to be an all-time meltdown by N.C. State if the Wolfpack lose. So many missed foul shots. Down 77-73 with 1:45 to go. It's been a miserable watch. -- Matt Norlander
7:44 p.m.: Some wild stats on Adreian Payne's 41-point performance. -- Jeff Borzello
3:51 p.m.: Put up a post on the biggest margin of victories ever in an 8/9 game. Pittsburgh-Colorado comes in at No. 2. -- Matt Norlander
3:22 p.m.: Aaron Craft's career coming to an end has brought about expected schadenfreude. Here's the only Craft meme from today worth sharing that I've seen so far. All others playing for second. We miss you, Huell. -- Matt Norlander
2:51 p.m.: A lot of heartbreak for the Buckeyes over the past several seasons. -- Jeff Borzello
According to @EliasSports, Ohio State's 6 straight NCAA Tourney losses by 5 points or fewer is the longest such streak all-time.— Jason McCallum (@ESPNJMac) March 20, 2014
2:10-18 p.m.: OK THIS IS FUN. Sam Thompson hits a go-ahead shot for Ohio State, but Shannon Scott just fouled Dyshawn Pierre while Pierre was taking a 3! At the line, 26.3 to go. He cans all three foul shots. Dayton up one, Ohio State ball. ... Timeout, Buckeyes. Let's do this. ... Craft with the go-ahead shot and wow was that a toughie. Timeout Dayton. ... Then Vee Sanford hits the winner! Craft's career ends on a missed shot, and No. 11 Dayton has beaten No. 6 Ohio State. The afternoon is already awesome. GIF below. -- Matt Norlander
Bottom GIF via The Big Lead.
12:15 p.m.: The ball is tipped, and the NCAA Tournament has begun in earnest. No better way than to start with Bill and Verne. I think Ohio State wins but wins close. Seems like the first game of the NCAAs almost every year is pretty close as it gets to the end. -- Matt Norlander
11:15 a.m.: Only an hour to go. Let's play this on a loop until then. -- Matt Norlander
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