The first eight bids for the Sweet 16 in the men’s NCAA Tournament will close on Saturday, while the women’s tournament ends the first round.
Furman and Princeton took the sports world by storm Thursday with victories over No. 4 Virginia and No. 2 Arizona, respectively. Both are in action again with the 13-seeded Paladins kicking off men’s action against No. 5 San Diego State at 12:10 p.m. ET (CBS). The 15-seeded Tigers will face Tigers of a different stripe in No. 7 Missouri at 6:10 pm ET (TNT).
On the women’s side, No. 1 seed Indiana is in action after top seeds South Carolina Virginia Tech and Stanford took over business on Friday. The Hoosiers kick off Day 2 of the women’s first round at 11:30 am ET (ESPN2) with a game against No. 16 seed Tennessee Tech, which beat Monmouth in a First Four game on Thursday.
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MALE TOURNAMENT: Complete scores and calendar
Follow the madness: Latest NCAA Men’s Tournament College Basketball Scores and Schedule
FEMALE TOURNAMENT: Complete scores and calendar
Bill Self out again
Kansas head coach Bill Self will not coach in the team’s second-round game against Arkansas on Saturday, the school announced. Self continues to recover from a cardiac catheterization, which caused him to miss the Big 12 tournament. Self, 60, attended Jayhawks practice Friday, but for the most part he sat and watched.
Assistant Norm Roberts will once again serve as Kansas’ interim head coach. He led the Jayhawks to a 96-68 victory over Howard in the first round.
The defending national champions will take on the Razorbacks at 5:15 p.m. at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines, Iowa.
Classification of Saturday’s matches
Saturday’s winners earn a spot in the Sweet 16, and the eight games feature some of the best teams and players in college basketball. Three No. 1 seeds are in action, and the spotlight is on first-team All-Americans Jalen Wilson of Kansas and Alabama forward Brandon Miller, and potential Houston guard Marcus Sasser.
Here’s the list of Saturday’s eight games ranked by how watchable they are.
- No. 4 Tennessee vs. No. 5 Duke (2:40 p.m. ET)
- No. 1 Alabama vs. No. 8 Maryland (9:40 p.m.)
- No. 7 Missouri vs. No. 15 Princeton (6:10 p.m.)
- No. 1 Kansas vs. No. 8 Arkansas (5:15 p.m.)
- No. 1 Houston vs. No. 9 Auburn (7:10 p.m.)
- No. 2 UCLA vs. No. 7 Northwest (8:40 p.m.)
- No. 2 Texas vs. No. 10 Penn State (7:45 p.m.)
- No. 5 San Diego State vs. No. 13 Furman (12:10 p.m.)
Did that really happen?!?!
In case you missed it on Friday night (although we can’t imagine how), Purdue became the second men’s No. 1 seed to drop to 16 since the group expanded to 64 teams in 1985, when Fairleigh Dickinson stunned the nation with an upset 63-58.
If there’s a winner besides the current players of Fairleigh Dickinson and first-year head coach Tobin Anderson, not to mention all the FDU grads and fans, it’s probably Virginia coach Tony Bennett, who now isn’t the only coach. to lose to a No. 16 seed. Oh! Talk about a club you don’t want to join.
But perhaps the biggest winners are college basketball fans. The fact that we have now seen two 16 seeds beat 1 seeds in the past five years is proof that parity continues to grow in men’s college basketball, making the NCAA Tournament more unpredictable and ultimately more fun.
—Lindsay Schnell and Paul Myerberg
The sisters could meet in the second round with Saturday’s victories
The initial excitement for Lior Garzón during Sunday’s selection show was Oklahoma State receiving the No. 8 seed in the NCAA Women’s Tournament against No. 9 Miami (Fla.). It took the junior forward less than a minute to realize that the Cowgirls weren’t just dancing, they were headed to Bloomington, Indiana, where his younger sister, Yarden Garzón, is a freshman guard for the No. 1 seed. from Indiana.
At their respective schools in Ra’anana, Israel, the Garzón sisters never discussed the possibility of ending up in the group together before Sunday, but they knew it could at least be up for grabs. Indiana kick off against Tennessee Tech at 11:30 a.m. ET, followed by Oklahoma State-Miami at 2 p.m.
Thursday’s meeting at the team hotel marked the first time the sisters had seen each other since Yarden visited Stillwater, Oklahoma over winter break.
“I’m very excited to see her play,” said Lior, who is averaging 11 points and shooting 43% off the bench.
As for the possibility of a second-round matchup between Indiana and Oklahoma State, and Lior was quick to point out that they have yet to win their first-round games, it would mark the first time the sisters have gone head-to-head since they played in a club match shortly before Lior left for the United States.
— Brian Haenchen, Indianapolis Star
Partying like it’s 1996 Princeton
No. 15 seed Princeton dominated on the inside and plunged the South Region into chaos with a win over Arizona.
Perhaps this wasn’t exactly like when the Tigers pulled off a memorable win over UCLA in 1996, when they were the 14th seed and beat the third seed and defending champion Bruins 43-41. There were more offenses and given how common surprises are now, it probably didn’t surprise as many people. But it’s still a big problem. And it’s the second tournament win for Princeton since that game. The Tigers beat UNLV in the first round in 1998.
What is a paladin?
Princeton might have pulled off the biggest upset Thursday, but Furman’s loss to No. 4 Virginia, the 13th seed, was a fun start (unless you’re a Cavaliers fan, of course) to the Men’s National Team Tournament. 2023 NCAAs.
It’s been a long wait for Paladins men’s basketball fans. It’s been over 40 years since Furman last entered the tournament, and over 45 years since his last March Madness victory.
The American Heritage College Dictionary defines a paladin as a “paragon of chivalry” or “a heroic champion.” A paladin was also one of the 12 legendary peers or knightly champions present at the court of Charlemagne, or Charles the Great, in the eighth century.
— Jordan Mendoza
Alabama’s biggest opponent may be exhaustion from endless chaos
The athletic director issued a statement at halftime. The most scrutinized 20-year-old in basketball couldn’t make a shot before going to the bench to rest a sore groin. The walk-on that no one had heard of before Wednesday night threatened to sue the New York Times. And the coach is losing his mind with every dribble for two straight hours of a game he didn’t come close to losing.
In other words, it was just another day at Alabama basketball.
Houston ruins title hopes by playing Marcus Sasser before he was ready
That failed spectacularly.
Just five days after Marcus Sasser strained his groin in the semifinals of the American Athletic Conference tournament, he returned to the Cougars’ starting lineup Thursday night. For a first round game against a No. 16 team.
To almost no one’s surprise, Sasser didn’t even make it to halftime. Now, top-seeded Houston might not make it to the second weekend, let alone the Final Four in his hometown.
— Nancy Armor
USA TODAY Final Poll of Sports Coaches
Houston entered the NCAA Tournament ranked No. 1 in the USA TODAY Sports Coaches Poll, despite its loss in the American Athletic Conference championship game just before the bracket presentation Sunday.
The Cougars, playing without leading scorer Marcus Sasser in the loss to Memphis, retained 21 of 32 No. 1 votes to prevent second-ranked Alabama. The Crimson Tide received a first eight after winning the SEC title in impressive fashion on Sunday.
Houston beat Northern Kentucky in their first round game, while Alabama defeated Texas A&M Corpus Christi in their tournament opener. The Cougars meet No. 9 seed Auburn on Saturday, while the Crimson Tide take on eighth seed Maryland.