John Fanta’s 2023 March Madness response: Recap of the motion on wild Day 1

It’s among the finest days within the sports activities — the opening of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament — and I’ll be right here to observe each single sport with reside evaluation, movies and extra.

But first, be sure you try just a few key gadgets: our NCAA Tournament bracket, NCAA Tournament schedule, 50 causes to be excited for March Madness and prime performs of the primary spherical.

Let’s get to it.

15. Princeton 59, 2. Arizona 55

Exclusive: Interview with Princeton star: Tosan Evbuomwan

“We never give up, we never count ourselves out,” mentioned Evbuomwan in an unique interview after the Tigers’ gorgeous upset.

In addition to discussing how the Tigers held Arizona scoreless within the last 4 minutes of the sport, Evbuoman additionally talked about his uncommon origin story, because the 22-year-old from England did not begin enjoying basketball till he was “about 14.”

Check out the total interview right here:

Breakdown of Princeton’s victory:

In 1996, Mitch Henderson was considered one of Pete Carril’s starters because the Thirteenth-seeded Princeton Tigers knocked off defending nationwide champion and 4th-seeded UCLA within the Hall of Famer’s last season. 

On Thursday afternoon in Sacramento, Henderson was on the sidelines teaching his alma mater when it once more surprised the faculty basketball world. 

In the March Madness following Carril’s passing, Princeton has captured the magic of the game, overcoming a 10-point deficit with eight minutes left and gorgeous 2nd-seeded Arizona. 

The Tigers, who superior within the NCAA Tournament for the primary time in 25 years, made it three consecutive seasons {that a} 15-seed has defeated a 2-seed within the large dance, and a second straight 12 months that the 15 has hailed from New Jersey (Saint Peter’s).

How did Princeton pull off the shocker? 

With elite protection within the house stretch, because the Tigers held the Wildcats scoreless within the last 4:43 and closed the sport on a 9-0 run. With Princeton down 55-52, senior guard Ryan Langborg rose to the event in his house state of California, notching back-to-back buckets to tug the Tigers forward with two minutes on the clock. That protection didn’t waver, holding Arizona’s perimeter trio of Courtney Ramey, Kerr Kriisa and Pelle Larsson to 6-for-20 from the ground and the Wildcats as a workforce to 3-for-16 from downtown. 

This wasn’t the everyday upset the place David beats Goliath behind red-hot 3-point capturing or one thing out of the extraordinary. It was a easy case of the Tigers out-defending Arizona and forcing them to robust pictures on the perimeter.

Plus, the Tigers had essentially the most impactful participant on the ground: Tosan Evbuomwan.

The senior from England, who didn’t begin studying the sport of basketball till he was 13, willed Princeton all through the day, scoring 15 factors to associate with seven rebounds and 4 assists. 

Evbuomwan has gone from being completely off the recruiting map on the age of 17, to his coach sending blind emails to totally different faculties throughout the nation that specialised in excessive teachers, to profitable an NCAA Tournament sport for an Ivy League college.

The Tigers placed on the newest nice show of March, whereas Arizona ended the season with a thump after profitable the Pac-12 Tournament. 

It’s a disappointing finish for a Wildcats squad that spent a lot of the season within the prime 5 of the AP ballot, however there’s additionally an even bigger image to think about — the massive winner right here is Alabama, as 2-seed Arizona and 4-seed Virginia have been bounced within the South Region. The 3-seed, Baylor, is in motion on Friday however shall be one other workforce on upset alert with a harmful UC Santa Barbara workforce standing of their means.

The Crimson Tide’s path appeared straightforward on paper, and it’s positive enjoying out that means already.

10. Penn State 76, 7. Texas A&M 59

The Tenth-seeded Nittany Lions might have been seeded too low. 

The Big Ten Tournament runner-up capped off a strong 3-2 day for the convention, operating Texas A&M off the ground for Penn State’s first NCAA Tournament win since 2001.

If there is a takeaway on this sport, it is clear: Penn State University athletic director Patrick Kraft and his board ought to again up the Brinks truck for Micah Shrewsberry, who’s being courted by Georgetown, Notre Dame and others on the top teaching carousel. 

The Nittany Lions did not simply win on Thursday night time. They dominated the Aggies, and did it with Bucknell fifth-year switch Andrew Funk, who went off for a season-high 27 factors and hit eight of Penn State’s 13 triples within the rout.

On the defensive finish, the Nittany Lions shut down Texas A&M star Wade Taylor IV, who was held to simply 2-for-15 from the ground. 

Penn State attracts Texas on Saturday, and I’d not be shocked one bit if the Nittany Lions are on this sport. The Longhorns have been rolling, however perimeter capturing is the place the system begins to knock them off. 

2. UCLA 86, 15. UNC Asheville 53

No Bona? No Clark? No downside.

“We don’t take losing lightly.”

Those have been the phrases of fourth-year UCLA head coach Mick Cronin on Thursday night time throughout his in-game TV broadcast interview on Thursday night time. 

The Bruins have been decided, rocking 15-seed UNC Asheville 86-53 to advance to the second spherical of the NCAA Tournament, the place they may meet Northwestern in Sacramento on Saturday. 

With Jaylen Clark carried out for the 12 months and Adem Bona nonetheless out with a shoulder damage, there have been some considerations with UCLA heading into the NCAA Tournament. 

Thursday night time, the Bruins have been all enterprise, displaying {that a} Pac-12 championship sport loss to Arizona might have been a great factor for this workforce to refocus. Jaime Jaquez Jr. and Amari Bailey every had 17 factors whereas Tyger Campbell went for 10 assists within the dominant efficiency. 

With Bona nonetheless out, Kenneth Nwuba and Mac Etienne mixed for 20 factors on 9-for-9 from the ground. UCLA might use Bona again on Saturday, and he was a game-time determination on Thursday night time. I’d count on we see him in some capability this weekend. 

The Bruins play a gritty Northwestern workforce, however one which they need to have a great likelihood of getting by due to their defensive capabilities and the duo of Jaquez and Campbell. The rise of Bailey has come into play as a variable that provides them a Final Four ceiling as nicely. 

1. Houston 63, 16. Northern Kentucky 52

Houston survived and superior, however as a 1-seed, there can’t be optimism surrounding the Cougars heading into Saturday’s matchup with 9-seed Auburn in Birmingham. 

Kelvin Sampson elected to play Marcus Sasser, however he reinjured his groin and solely performed 14 minutes in Thursday night time’s win over Northern Kentucky. Without a wholesome Sasser, the Cougars are lacking an All-American expertise and their chief. They simply don’t have the identical pop, and though they wore down the Norse, they turned the ball over 17 occasions.

The positives: Potential NBA Draft lottery decide Jarace Walker had 16 factors and 6 rebounds in his March Madness debut whereas his classmate Emanuel Sharp hit back-to-back key triples to push the cushion to 9 with simply over 10 minutes left. J’wan Roberts posted his eighth double-double of the season within the victory. 

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The situation? Johni Broome and Auburn await after a commanding efficiency over Iowa. If Sasser continues to be in ache and never full go, the Cougars might wrestle vs. the Tigers’ top-30 protection. If NKU compelled 17 turnovers, it does pose a priority for Sampson’s workforce on Saturday in what is going to primarily be a street sport.

The level? Whether it’s them, I imagine a 1-seed is falling this weekend and the possibilities for Auburn simply elevated primarily based on what we noticed tonight.

4. Tennessee 58, 13. Louisiana 55

We noticed each side of Tennessee on Thursday night time, why they’re are a pest to play, and why they can not actually be trusted within the NCAA Tournament.

Rick Barnes’ workforce led Sun Belt Conference champion Louisiana by 18 with 12:50 on the clock. Credit to the Ragin’ Cajuns, as a result of they proceeded to go on a 16-3 run to tug inside 5 of the Vols at 48-43 with 7:29 left. 

But sophomore Jahmai Mashack stepped up late, ending with 11 factors, and Tyreke Key led the way in which with 12 as Tennessee gutted out a 3-point victory. The Vols superior to the second spherical for the fourth time within the final 5 NCAA Tournaments. 

The dangerous information for Tennessee: Duke, which has received 10 straight video games and rolled previous Oral Roberts, awaits the Vols on Saturday.

A giant key for the Vols: Santiago Vescovi has to play higher on Saturday after being held to simply three factors by Louisiana. The Zakai Zeigler ACL damage for this group has been troublesome to beat, and I see their run ending Saturday. 

5. Duke 74, 12. Oral Roberts 51

Duke is enjoying a lot better than a typical 5-seed

The Duke Blue Devils are peaking on the good time, and enjoying nearer to the likes of a 1-seed versus the 5-line the place they reside.

Duke dominated in Jon Scheyer’s NCAA Tournament debut, surging out to a 15-0 lead and by no means trying again in a blowout of Oral Roberts. 

The man who powered Duke to the Final Four final season was greater than prepared for a return to the dance flooring, as Jeremy Roach led the Blue Devils with 23 factors, three assists and only one turnover.

Scheyer’s workforce dictated the sport defensively and on the inside, outscoring the Eagles 40-22 within the paint and profitable the rebounding battle 46-32. Max Abmas, the ORU star who led this system to the Sweet 16 two years in the past, wanted 15 shot makes an attempt to succeed in 12 factors.

The large revelation for the Blue Devils: Dariq Whitehead is choosing up steam. The nation’s No. 2 recruit and prime Duke prospect out of highschool has handled foot and leg accidents however is discovering his kind on the proper time. He posted 13 factors off the bench in a sixth-man position that he appears to be snug in.

The Blue Devils have received 10 in a row and are 19-1 with their full complement of gamers. Could a Duke workforce truly be flying below the radar? Maybe … possibly not … however I’ll proclaim it proper now: This workforce is my decide to return out of the East Region. The Blue Devils defend, have a playmaker in Roach and a supporting forged that retains getting higher. 

9. Auburn 83, 8. Iowa 75

Dangerous 9-seed Auburn books potential date with Houston

When Bruce Pearl misplaced Jabari Smith and Walker Kessler to the NBA Draft, the moment query for the Tigers was how they’d have the ability to discover manufacturing on the inside. 

So Pearl did what anyone would do as of late: he hit the switch portal. He discovered Johni Broome from Morehead State, and on Thursday in Birmingham, the junior large man dictated the Tigers’ first-round win over Iowa. The 6-foot-10 star put up 19 factors, 12 rebounds and 5 blocks within the win. With the win, Auburn moved to 10-0 all-time within the first spherical of the NCAA Tournament.

Auburn superior to the second spherical, and the Tigers bought a pleasant draw with doubtlessly a house sport towards 1-seed Houston on Saturday in Birmingham, simply 110 miles away from the Tigers campus. 

While it’s been an up-and-down season for the Tigers, they nonetheless personal a top-30 protection. And when Pearl’s group takes care of the basketball, good issues can occur. Auburn dedicated simply seven turnovers towards Iowa, whose season ends with three straight losses and a 19-14 document. 

Wendell Green tallied 15 factors whereas Allen Flanigan supplied a bit of little bit of every part with 10 factors, 10 rebounds and 4 assists as six scored in double-figures.

How else did Auburn win it? They held Iowa star Kris Murray to 5-for-18 from the ground, swarming the Hawkeyes with sturdy protection from the leap and holding them in verify from downtown at 7-for-27 from deep. 

With Houston star Marcus Sasser’s standing up within the air with a groin damage, it additionally opens the door for Auburn to have extra of an opportunity than they beforehand would have had he been absolutely wholesome. 

This shall be a sport to observe on Saturday. 

7. Northwestern 75, 10. Boise State 67

College basketball’s largest shock story forges to the Round of 32 

Northwestern was chosen second-to-last within the Big Ten preseason ballot final November.

Those identical Wildcats are actually considered one of 32 groups remaining in faculty basketball, as Chris Collins’ workforce wore down Boise State to advance to the second spherical of the NCAA Tournament. Collins, who entered the season on the new seat, was already deserving of a contract extension after Northwestern completed tied for second within the Big Ten standings and punched a ticket to this system’s second-ever large dance.

Now, Collins and the Cats have a pair of match victories of their program historical past. How did they beat the Broncos? With the dynamic duo of Boo Buie and Chase Audige, who mixed for 42 factors on 13-for-26 from the sphere. Twice within the final 10 minutes, when the Broncos reduce the lead first to 52-50, then to 60-56, Buie stepped up with large buckets to provide the Wildcats extra separation. He has had that knack for playmaking and shutting for this workforce, including 5 rebounds and as many assists to only one turnover. Audige, who’s one of many prime defenders within the nation, helped lead an effort to carry Boise State to simply 6-for-23 from downtown. Broncos star Max Rice tallied 17 factors however wanted 19 pictures to get there.

It was a poised effort by Northwestern, which booked a date with the winner of UCLA and UNC Asheville on Saturday. While the Bruins shall be favored, the Wildcats have choices and sufficient playmaking within the backcourt together with a gritty protection to hold in with UCLA. The type they play makes Collins’ group a candidate to be in that sport if they’ll include Jaime Jaquez and Tyger Campbell. The season-ended damage to Jaylen Clark additionally hurts the Bruins’ probabilities on this match usually, though Cronin’s group nonetheless does have sufficient to make the Final Four.

2. Texas 81, 15. Colgate 61

Some thought {that a} 15-over-2 upset might probably come from Matt Langel and Colgate, which was making its fourth consecutive look on the massive dance flooring and was assembly a Texas workforce that would overlook them.

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Think once more. The Longhorns held a Raiders workforce that averages eight 3s per sport to simply 3-for-15 from downtown, whereas three gamers scored 17-plus factors as Rodney Terry’s workforce rolled previous Colgate. 

Two takeaways:

  • Texas has a sixth man in Sir’Jabari Rice who’s enjoying in addition to any reserve within the nation proper now. A New Mexico State switch who was a part of an upset victory over UConn final 12 months, Rice’s profitable expertise has proven on this Longhorns workforce. He led the way in which with 23 factors, six rebounds and three assists in Thursday’s win, and he’s averaging 17 factors per sport during the last 15 contests. As a lot as Marcus Carr and Dylan Disu impressed on Thursday, the Horns are particular as a result of they’ve actual depth and expertise.
  • At this level, Texas AD Chris Del Conte ought to give Rodney Terry the top teaching job in Texas. Terry took over after Chris Beard’s authorized issues, and he’s 20-7 in Austin since doing so. I get profitable over a hiring cycle and that Terry hasn’t had as a lot success at earlier stops, however he’s proved one thing below robust circumstances.

13. Furman 68, No. 4 Virginia 67

Exclusive: Interview with Furman coach Bob Richey 

Richey joined us to debate the Paladins’ gorgeous upset of Virginia, talking partially about his workforce’s resilience after shedding on a 35-footer in final season’s convention championship sport.

“It started with everybody staying together,” he mentioned. “Two fifth-year seniors that we know could have gone anywhere in the country, they decided to stay at Furman because they love Furman and they love their teammates. We all stayed together and it was a huge part of it.” 

Check out the total interview right here:

Breakdown of Furman’s win:

Madness. Fur-Madness … Absolute insanity in all of its glory. 

Day 1 of the NCAA Tournament wasted no time in displaying why it’s the most effective Thursday of the sports activities calendar 12 months.

Just two video games into the afternoon, now we have seen the sudden already occur.

In Orlando, Virginia clung to a 67-63 lead regardless of livid makes an attempt by SoCon champion Furman to tug off the upset. Just when it appeared just like the Cavaliers have been going to hold on to keep away from the favored upset decide getting into the dance … the Paladins struck for an WILD closing sequence to earn their first NCAA Tournament victory since 1974! 

After a pair of free throws by Garrett Hien with 12 seconds left reduce the result in two, the Cavaliers had bother on the in-bounds move, with Kihei Clark hurling the ball into the air. Hien picked off the move at halfcourt. He discovered sophomore JP Pegues, who was 2-for-8 from the ground on the day and 0-for-3 from downtown. 

Peques wasn’t losing this second, drilling a cold-blooded triple that turned out to be the game-winner as a Reece Beekman heave on the buzzer sailed lengthy. 

It was utter absurdity within the last seconds, however take into consideration this: Virginia led by 12 with lower than 12 minutes to play in Orlando. Against Tony Bennett’s type, that will really feel like greater than only a dozen for many opponents. But not for Furman.

Mike Bothwell and Jalen Slawson, a pair of seniors who had their hearts damaged within the SoCon championship sport a 12 months in the past by Chattanooga, determined to return again for one final journey in Greenville, S.C. 

They kicked the door down with revenge over the Mocs, and getting their large dance alternative, they’re a part of historical past and a second for Furman University that shines a light-weight on what makes the massive dance so nice. 

Beyond the gamers, 39-year-old head coach Bob Richey has been thought to be a rising star within the trade. He simply caught the eyes of the nation, and one can count on he’ll be receiving calls within the not-so-distant future.

The large image: Furman could make the Sweet 16. Taking down a 4-seed in Virginia, the Paladins are getting the winner of San Diego State and College of Charleston. While each groups are absolutely succesful themselves, the Aztecs haven’t received an NCAA Tournament sport since 2015. The Cougars haven’t superior since 1997. 

Slawson (19 factors, 10 rebounds, 4 assists) confirmed towards Virginia that he may be the most effective participant on the ground. The 6-foot-7 senior is an actual matchup nightmare and a sneaky prospect who might get some flyers taken on him off this run. Beyond that, Furman knocked down 10 three-pointers. The Paladins have a system to make the second weekend. 

On the opposite facet of this consequence, it’s the newest heartbreak for a Virginia workforce that had some struggles over the ultimate month and alter of the season. For Clark, it’s the sharpest type of distinction from what he did in 2019 towards Purdue en path to a nationwide title. The Hoos have seen each type of this match within the final 5 years. 

8. Maryland 67, 9. West Virginia 65

Exclusive: Interview with Maryland coach Kevin Willard

Following the Terrapins’ gritty victory over the Mountaineers, coach Kevin Willard stopped by to speak concerning the significance of the victory to Maryland basketball, how the Terps saved combating after falling behind early, and the problem forward towards Alabama within the second spherical.

He additionally gave me a tough time for not choosing Maryland, saying: “The great thing about you going 0-1 is I saved a lot of money going to your wedding here in September. So now I don’t have to worry about traveling up and buying a nice gift.”

Watch all the interview right here:

Breakdown of Maryland’s win:

Ten minutes into Thursday’s NCAA Tournament opener in Birmingham, it appeared like it will be an anticlimactic begin to the massive dance. Bob Huggins’ West Virginia workforce led Maryland 19-6 and the Mountaineers have been giving the Terrapins turnover suits.

But this can be a totally different Maryland workforce, and a brand new period this 12 months in College Park. Thursday afternoon was the best reflection of what Kevin Willard has dropped at the fold moderately instantly for the Terps, as they turned the tables on the sport behind Julian Reese and took a 32-30 lead into halftime. 

Even after giving up a 16-0 run at one level within the second half to fall behind 47-38, the Terps responded with a 14-4 surge highlighted by Donald Carey, Hakim Hart and Reese to take the lead again.

With 5 minutes left, trailing by a trio, Scott and Hart delivered 5 straight to provide Maryland the 61-59 lead that they’d hold on to for a 67-65 victory. 

For Scott and Hart, gamers who caught by this system via an unpleasant ending to the Mark Turgeon period and a interval of transition for Willard, Thursday afternoon provided the reward for getting via these battles.

The large image: Maryland has the Big Ten off to a 1-0 begin to a vital match for the convention. Nobody might have seen the Terps being a match workforce initially of the 12 months, nor alone a workforce within the Round of 32. An uphill climb towards Brandon Miller and Alabama is forward, however simply having that chance alone provides this system an opportunity that’s forward of schedule to shock the world. 

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Willard has carried out a exceptional job in Year 1.

7. Missouri 76, 10. Utah State 65

Missouri wins first NCAA Tournament sport in 13 years 

If you’re an athletic director at a faculty that’s sitting at house proper now and never dancing, you’re inspecting your program carefully. Why? Because turnarounds can occur shortly within the age of the switch portal in faculty basketball. 

That’s evidenced by Missouri, which went 12-21 a 12 months in the past and was celebrating its first NCAA Tournament victory in 4,745 days on Thursday afternoon with a 76-65 victory over Utah State.

Dennis Gates, who took over a troublesome Cleveland State job and put the Vikings on the map, is now doing it in simply his first 12 months on the helm of the Tigers. He introduced 4 of his gamers from CSU over with him to the SEC, and on Thursday, Vikings switch D’Moi Hodge led the way in which with 23 factors. Senior Kobe Brown, the lone influence participant who caught round for the teaching change, had 19 factors and eight rebounds because the Tigers shot 7-for-14 from past the arc within the second half.

Mizzou will get the winner of Arizona/Princeton in a sport that I imagine could possibly be nearer than most, but when it’s the Wildcats, it could possibly be difficult for the Tigers to go up towards the nation’s fourth-best offense. 

That mentioned, for now, it’s a day for Gates, AD Desiree Reed-Francois and the Missouri board to rejoice bringing him to the college within the first place. A supply near Georgetown advised me that if that they had been a 12 months sooner in firing Patrick Ewing, Gates would have been their man. Now, he’s put Missouri again on the map.

Meanwhile, for Utah State, it’s the newest case of NCAA Tournament downfall within the Mountain West, which has misplaced 11 straight within the dance and has not received a sport since 2018.

5. San Diego State vs. 12. Charleston

Aztecs avenge final 12 months, alternative knocks for Sweet 16 ticket

A 12 months in the past, San Diego State was up by 9 on Creighton with 3:48 left. What ensued was a heartbreaking collapse and time beyond regulation loss that sat with the Aztecs all through the final 12 months. 

On Thursday afternoon, Brian Dutcher tasted his first NCAA Tournament victory, and it comes with added fortune: San Diego State attracts a 13-seed, Furman, for a spot within the Sweet 16 on Saturday.

The Aztecs used their defensive tenacity to carry a 31-win College of Charleston workforce to 5-for-24 from past the arc, pulling away within the last stretch behind Matt Bradley’s 17 factors and a trio going for eight apiece. 

With the sport tied at 53 at 2:30 to play in Orlando, Bradley drove and slammed house a dunk. The fifth-year senior, who got here again for this very second, notched his first match win. After a cease, the Aztecs hit simply considered one of 4 triples on the day, courtesy of Micah Parrish. 

The win for SDSU ends the Mountain West’s worst nightmare. The convention had misplaced 11 in a row following Nevada’s First Four loss to Arizona State and Utah State’s defeat to Missouri. 

That streak might get washed away in 48 hours, as a result of the Aztecs have a treasured alternative on Saturday towards Thirteenth-seeded Furman, which knocked off Virginia with a miracle on Thursday. 

The Aztecs final made the Sweet 16 below Steve Fisher in 2014, after they went 31-5 and earned a No. 4 seed within the NCAA Tournament.

1. Kansas 96, 16. Howard 68

Jalen Wilson had 20 factors and 7 rebounds for No. 1 seed and defending nationwide champion Kansas, which allowed absent and recovering coach Bill Self to relaxation a bit extra comfortably throughout a 96-68 victory over Howard on Thursday in a West Region first-round sport.

Self is recovering from a coronary heart process.

Gradey Dick had 19 factors and 11 rebounds within the freshman’s first NCAA Tournament sport, his first profession double-double. Kansas, which has received 16 consecutive first-round video games, is aiming to turn into the primary repeat nationwide champion in 16 years.

1. Alabama 96, 16. Texas A&M-CC 75

Alabama buried Texas A&M-Corpus Christi below an early 3-point onslaught, launching the NCAA Tournament’s prime seed to a romp even with star freshman Brandon Miller going scoreless.

The Crimson Tide (30-5) put aside their off-court distractions and buried 10 first-half 3s in a predictably straightforward win over the Sixteenth-seeded Islanders (24-11) at Legacy Arena, lower than an hour from campus.

Miller, the 6-foot-9 All-American who has been beset by questions on his presence on the scene of a deadly capturing, sat out the ultimate 14 minutes and missed all 5 subject aim makes an attempt whereas coping with a groin damage. His earlier low was eight factors towards Houston on Dec. 10.

8. Arkansas 73, 9. Illinois 63

Arkansas‘ protection is an excessive amount of for Illinois as Illini finish a irritating season

A dunk by RJ Melendez reduce the Arkansas result in 5 with 2:30 left, however a Coleman Hawkins turnover led to a Ricky Council IV dagger bucket as Arkansas beat Illinois within the West Region matchup. 

The Razorbacks’ ball strain was the theme of the day, forcing 17 turnovers and holding Matthew Mayer with out a made subject aim. Council, who’s taken on the lead position for this workforce after transferring in from Wichita State, stepped up with 18 factors and 10 rebounds whereas veteran Devo Davis added 16. The Hogs solely shot 3-for-11 from downtown, however they received it the Eric Musselman means, with physicality and quickness.

Arkansas will get Kansas on Saturday and could have a legit likelihood in that sport if it might probably strain Jayhawks level guard Dajuan Harris.

Kansas blew away Howard 96-68 earlier behind 20 factors from Jalen Wilson and a double-double by Gradey Dick. The standing of head coach Bill Self is up within the air as he continues to get better from a well being situation. 

As for Illinois, Brad Underwood had some of the irritating seasons in faculty basketball. The Illini have been chosen second within the Big Ten preseason ballot, and whereas they did win 20 video games, they have been in the course of the pack within the league and by no means performed constant basketball.

In six years on the helm, Underwood has accounted for simply two NCAA Tournament wins in Champagne. This Illini workforce ought to have been higher than a one-and-done exit after hitting some house runs within the switch portal final offseason. 

John Fanta is a nationwide faculty basketball broadcaster and author for FOX Sports. He covers the game in quite a lot of capacities, from calling video games on FS1 to serving as lead host on the BIG EAST Digital Network to offering commentary on The Field of 68 Media Network. Follow him on Twitter @John_Fanta.

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