1) Kris Dunn could not get in a rhythm
Kris Dunn picked up an early Flagrant 1 on an inadvertent elbow, and added his second foul on a reach-in shortly after that. Although he did re-enter the game in the first half, Dunn was not able to assert himself in any way. The Dayton ball pressure really bothered Dunn, as he turned the ball over seven times. As usual, he showed flashes of his great talent, but to win in March your best players must be on top of their game, and Dunn simply was not.
2) Dayton's defense was too much for the Friars
Providence did not look comfortable at any point of the game. LaDontae Henton had a hand in his face everywhere he went, as even his makes were contested. Kris Dunn and Kyron Cartwright were bothered by intense ball pressure from Scoochie Smith and Kyle Davis, and Ben Bentil was not able to get anything going inside. Ed Cooley's flex offense was not able to get the Friars any decent looks, as the Dayton defensive pressure was too much for Providence to handle.
3) Archie Miller can flat out coach
While his older brother may get all the recognition, Archie Miller is making a name for himself at Dayton. After leading the Flyers to the Elite 8 in 2014, Miller has put on an even more impressive performance this year. After dealing with suspensions and injuries throughout the year, Miller lead his shorthanded Fylers team to an opening round victory. Dayton does not start a player over 6'6", yet they have been able to win two games in the tournament so far. Miller should be among the hottest coaching candidates this offseason.
4) St. John's missed Chris Obekpa
San Diego St exposed their interior advantage, as the Aztecs pulled down 13 offensive rebounds Friday night. Steve Fisher's crew was ignited by J.J. O'Brien's four offensive rebounds, part of his 18 point performance. San Diego St recorded 16 second chance points, including 12 in the first half.
5) Aztecs shut down St. John's transition game
Sir'Dominic Pointer was able to get St. John's running early, but the Aztecs eventually adjusted by committing to send multiple defenders back on missed shots. Despite the fact that San Diego St started with a gameplan of dominating the offensive glass, they were able to use their long wing players to defend in transition. On top of that, they were able to limit their turnovers, as they were able to extend their lead from one to eleven on a 12 minute stretch without a turnover. Not letting St. John's establish a rhythm in transition allowed San Diego St to control the pace of this game.
6) Fred Van Vleet was too much for Indiana
Indiana's pace gave Wichita State everything they could handle for the first 25 minutes, until Fred Van Vleet decided it was time to take over the game. The Shocker's Point Guard made play after play for his team, seemingly able to get to the basket at will. Van Vleet finished the game with 27 points on 9 of 18 shooting, as his steady play down the stretch was able to give Wichita the edge over the Hoosiers.
7) 5 Seeds bust brackets
For the first time since 2007, everyone's favorite round of 64 upset did not happen. 5 seeds went a perfect 4-0 in the round, as Northern Iowa and West Virginia both won Friday to complete the sweep. Northern Iowa's defense was able to slow down Wyoming, as they held the Mountain West tournament champ's to 54 points. Seth Tuttle and the Panthers extended there lead to 21 points just after halftime, when they were able to withstand Larry Nance Jr's 15 second half points to advance.
West Virginia had a comfortable lead for most of their up and down affair against Buffalo. In typical tournament fashion, Bobby Hurley's Bulls were able to erase a ten point deficit, bringing the game within two in the final minute. After Justin Moss missed a game tying layup attempt, Juwan Staten found Tarik Phillip for a back breaking three, only his sixth of the season.
8) ACC Powers Survive
Duke won easily, however both Virginia and Louisville struggled as heavy favorites on Friday. Belmont gave Virginia an early scare, as they came out of the gates strong with three point shooting and tempo. Virginia eventually wore out the Bruins, despite Craig Bradshaw's extended banking hours. Louisville survived a battle of the trenches against UC Irvine, as the Cardinals had to deal with 7'6" Mamadou Ndiaye all game. Louisville never looked comfortable in this low scoring game, as they were only able to score the go ahead free throws after a loose ball foul. The old adage is survive and advance, but Virginia and Louisville did not show anything promising in their first round games.
9) Denzel Valentine has Sparty rolling
Speaking of Virginia, the Hoos cant be excited about their second round opponent. Tom Izzo always has his team playing their best ball in March, but Denzel Valentine gives Michigan St a very unique weapon. While Valentine does not overwhelm you with his athleticism, he is big and long. Combine that with his basketball smarts and skill, and Michigan St has a very nice point forward. On Friday, Valentine led the Spartans with 16 points, 6 rebounds, 6 assists, and 3 steals. When Georgia was threatening with a last minute comeback attempt, Valentine nailed 6 consecutive free throws to ice the game.
10) Gonzaga primed for a run
Gonzaga handled a strong North Dakota State team, fending off a few late runs. Kyle Wiltjer lead Gonzaga with 23 points, while Kevin Pangos contributed with 18 of his own. The Gonzaga offense continues to impress with their efficiency, as the Bulldogs combined their size and outside shooting to defeat the Bison. This may be Mark Few's best opportunity to reach a final four, with Iowa St and SMU no longer in Gonzaga's path.