Yancy Gates of the Cincinnati Bearcats dunks the ball against the Texas Longhorns during the first round of the 2012 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville (Jamie Squire/Getty Images).
Two Big East teams advanced in first round action of the NCAA basketball tournament Friday afternoon. The Cincinnati Bearcats topped the Texas Longhorns 65-59 and the Georgetown Hoyas beat the Belmont Bruins 74-59.
The Bearcats, seeded sixth in the East Region, saw a 19-point lead erode before rallying to seal the victory over the eleventh-seeded Longhorns at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville. The third-seeded Florida St. Seminoles, who narrowly defeated 14th-seeded St. Bonaventure, are next up for the Bearcats on Sunday.
Georgetown, seeded third in the Midwest Region, had lost its opening round game in each of the last two NCAA tournaments. They held a nine-point lead at halftime and used tight defense in the second half to stretch it to 15-point victory in Columbus.
The Hoyas face the 11th-seeded N.C. State Wolfpack, which upset the sixth-seeded San Diego St. Aztecs earlier today.
The victories mean that the Big East conference has seven teams still alive in the tournament. Still to play today are the Notre Dame Fighting Irish who face the Xavier Musketeers and the South Florida Bulls who take on the Temple Owls.
Stay tuned to Big East Coast Bias for more news on the tournament.