will be locked up Saturday, while the women’s tournament finishes up the first round.
Furman and Princeton took the sports world by storm Thursday with upsets of No. 4 Virginia and No. 2 Arizona, respectively. Both were in action again. The 13-seeded Paladins started the men’s action with a loss to No. 5 San Diego State. But the 15-seeded Tigers advanced to the Sweet 16 with a win against No. 7 Missouri.
On the women’s side, No. 1 seed Indiana was in action after top seeds South Carolina, Virginia Tech and Stanford took care of business on Friday. The Hoosiers kicked off Day 2 of the women’s first round with a 77-47 win against No. 16 seed Tennessee Tech, which beat Monmouth in a First Four game on Thursday.
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MEN’S TOURNAMENT: Complete scores and schedule
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WOMEN’S TOURNAMENT: Complete scores and schedule
Ryan Langborg led the way with a game-high 22 points.
Princeton is just the fourth No. 15 seed to reach the men’s Sweet 16, joining 2013 FGCU, 2021 Oral Roberts and 2022 Saint Peter’s, which made it all the way to the Elite Eight last year before falling to national runner-up North Carolina.
The Ivy League’s Tigers will play the winner of Sunday’s Baylor-Creighton game.
Musselman, one of the most high-energy coaches in college basketball – which is saying something – pulled his polo up over his head and twirled it before “Calling the Hogs” with celebrating Arkansas fans. Photos showed him embracing players and coaches sans-shirt.
This isn’t the first time the 58-year-old’s shirt has come off on the court or locker room. Musselman was known to rip his shirt off in celebration during his previous stop at Nevada from 2015-2019.
The Razorbacks are into the Sweet 16 for the third consecutive year. We imagine if they break through to the Final Four, we will see more of Musselman’s midriff this March.
Big Ten freshman of the year Cotie McMahon had 18 before fouling out to lead four Buckeyes in double figures. Ohio State also got a big game from Jacy Sheldon, who was playing just her fourth game – and making her first start – after missing much of the last three months with a foot injury. Sheldon had 17 points, nine assists and four steals.
The loss continued the streak of futility for 14 seeds in the women’s tournament.
– Nancy Armour
The Aztecs advance to the South Regional in Louisville, Kentucky to face the winner of Alabama and Maryland, making their first Sweet 16 appearance since 2014.
Micah Parrish had 16 points for San Diego State, who shot 50 percent and outrebounded Furman by 16 as the Paladins had no answer for the Aztecs and their inside game. Darrion Trammell had 13 points, Lamont Butler scored 12, and Matt Bradley chipped in with 10.
Jalen Slawson, the Southern Conference Player of the Year, had eight points and two rebounds before fouling out with 10 minutes left. Mike Bothwell led Furman with 15 points. The Paladins shot 32 percent, including 6-26 from three-point range.
The SEC player of the year, who has been in the headlines because of his involvement in a capital murder case, was held out of live practice drills Friday, Alabama coach Nate Oats said. “I think knowing Brandon and how tough he is, physically, mentally, I think he’ll be ready to go tomorrow.”
— Nick Kelly, The Tuscaloosa News
If there’s a winner besides current Fairleigh Dickinson players and first-year head coach Tobin Anderson — not to mention every single FDU graduate and fan — it’s probably Virginia coach Tony Bennett, who is now not the only coach to lose to a No. 16 seed. Yikes. Talk about a club you don’t want to join.
But perhaps the biggest winners are fans of college hoops. That we’ve now seen two 16-seeds beat 1-seeds in the last five years is proof that parity continues to grow in men’s college basketball, which makes the NCAA Tournament more unpredictable and ultimately, more fun.
— Lindsay Schnell and Paul Myerberg
Thursday’s reunion at the team hotel marked the first time the sisters have seen each other since Yarden visited Stillwater, Oklahoma over winter break.
“I’m really excited to watch her play,” said Lior, who averages 11 points and shoots 43% off the bench.
As for the possibility of an Indiana-Oklahoma State second-round matchup — and Lior was quick to point out they still have 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 game shortly before Lior left for the United States.
— Brian Haenchen, Indianapolis Star
Maybe this wasn’t exactly like when the Tigers pulled off a memorable upset of UCLA in 1996, when they were seeded 14th and beat the third-seeded and defending champion Bruins 43-41. There was more offense and given how common upsets are now, it probably didn’t shock as many people. But it’s still a big deal. And it’s the just the second tournament win for Princeton since that game. The Tigers beat UNLV in the first round in 1998.
— Lindsay Schnell
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 in attendance on the court of Charlemagne, or Charles the Great, in the 8th century.
— Jordan Mendoza
The athletics director issued a statement at halftime. The most scrutinized 20-year-old in basketball couldn’t make a shot before eventually going to the bench to rest a sore groin. The walk-on nobody had heard of before Wednesday night threatened to sue the New York Times. And the coach is losing his mind on every dribble for two straight hours of a game he didn’t come close to losing.
In other words, it was just another day in Alabama basketball.
— Dan Wolken
Just five days after Marcus Sasser strained his groin in the American Athletic Conference tournament semifinals, he was back in the Cougars’ starting lineup Thursday night. For a first-round game against a No. 16 team.
In a surprise to pretty much no one, Sasser didn’t even make it to halftime. Now top-seeded Houston might not make it to the second weekend, let alone to the Final Four in its hometown.
— Nancy Armour
Houston entered the NCAA Tournament with the No. 1 ranking in the USA TODAY Sports coaches poll, despite its loss in the American Athletic Conference championship game just prior to the unveiling of the brackets on Sunday.
The Cougars, who were playing without leading scorer Marcus Sasser in the loss to Memphis, retained 21 of 32 No. 1 votes to stave off second-ranked Alabama. The Crimson Tide received eight firsts after winning the SEC title in impressive fashion on Sunday.
Houston handled Northern Kentucky in its first-round game, while Alabama routed Texas AM Corpus Christi in its tournament opener. The Cougars clash with No. 9 seed Auburn on Saturday, while the Crimson Tide take on 8-seed Maryland.
— Eddie Timanus
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