The first day of the NCAA Tournament is in the books. And what a freaking chaotic and crazy day it was. Here are a few things we learned from Day 1 of the Tourney.
SETON HALL FINALLY GETS A W IN THE TOURNEY
Before Thursday, the last time the Seton Hall Pirates got a win in the NCAA Tournament was March 18, 2004. On that day, they defeated the Arizona Wildcats in Raleigh. Well, we no longer have to say that. Because the Pirates grabbed the elusive Tournament win they’d been seeking for over a decade. Seton Hall soundly defeated the North Carolina State Wolfpack 94-83 in Wichita. Khadeen Carrington and Myles Powell were both superb, and so was Desi Rodriguez, who scored 20 off the bench. Hall fans can exhale, as this terrific 2014 class can leave school with at least one Tourney win. They get the Kansas Jayhawks on Saturday, and who’s to say they can’t grab another?
VILLANOVA MADE IT LOOK EASY
The Villanova Wildcats bowled through the Radford Highlanders, winning 87-61. Six different players got into double figures, none scoring more than 16 points. Jalen Brunson had those 16 and missed a grand total of two shots from the field. They shot 68 percent inside, 51.9 percent outside, and 78.6 percent at the free throw line. Which, really, just sounds about right. They’ll face Collin Sexton and the Alabama Crimson Tide on Saturday.
ARIZONA GOT BULL-DOZED
Sorry. I had to. The Arizona Wildcats were beat down by the Buffalo Bulls in Boise. Despite most of the nation clamoring for a UofA-Kentucky Wildcats Round of 32 matchup, that won’t be happening now. It’s the second-worst loss a 4 seed has EVER taken by margin of defeat (21) and all things considered, it was incredibly embarrassing, too. Whether you thought Deandre Ayton was going to singlehandedly lead them to a title or not, you could conceivably at least think they’d get through the first round. All credit to Buffalo though, who played an INCREDIBLE game. We’ll see if they have enough juice in them against the Wildcats — of the blue variety — on Saturday.
THE MADNESS RETURNED QUICKLY
The first game of the day between the Rhode Island Rams and Oklahoma Sooners was a precursor to what would follow the rest of the afternoon and evening. The Loyola-Chicago Ramblers won in DRAMATIC fashion as Donte Ingram hit a buzzer-beater from the frickin’ LOGO to down the Miami Hurricanes. Then, the San Diego State Aztecs and Houston Cougars traded HAYMAKERS later on in the night, eventually leading to Rob Gray’s go-ahead shot in the final seconds. The Cougs star had THIRTY-NINE points in the victory.
We quickly remembered why this whole dang Tournament is the best thing going.