The first day of the 2018 NCAA Tournament included easy wins for favorites like Villanova, Duke and Kansas, while plenty of brackets got busted thanks to Buffalo beating Arizona and Loyola-Chicago stunning Miami.
#16 Radford 61 #1 Villanova 87: Nothing stood in the way of the Wildcats advancing to the round of 32, as they opened up a 21 point lead in half time against the Highlanders. Six players scored in double figures, led by Jalen Brunson with 16. They’ll face Alabama next.
#14 Montana 47 #3 Michigan 61: The red hot Wolverine’s stuttered a bit in the first half, but things went much more smoothly in the final 20 minutes, holding Montana to just 19 points. Charles Matthews, with 20 points and 11 rebounds, led the charge. They’ll play Houston next.
#13 Buffalo 89 #4 Arizona 68: A rare upset due to the one-sidedness of the affair. Wes Clark and Jeremy Harris combined for 48 points, holding Arizona to 11.1% from beyond the arc. Deandre Ayton didn’t impress in his final game for the Wildcats. Buffalo meet Kentucky next.
#14 Stephen F. Austin 60 #3 Texas Tech 70: Things were difficult for the Red Raiders in the first half, but Keenan Evans came up big from the line with 10-for-10, finishing with a team high 23 points to take Texas Tech into the Round of 32 for the first time since 2005. They’ll play Florida next.
#12 Davidson 73 #5 Kentucky 78: Davidson didn’t go off from three, Kentucky didn’t make a single one, but they did get to the line again and again, making 12 more FT’s than Davidson. Kevin Knox led Kentucky with 25 points. They’ll face Buffalo next.
#11 San Diego State 65 #6 Houston 67: A close one in the West went the Cougars way in their first tourney appearance since 2010. Rob Gray exploded for 39 points, leading Houston to face Michigan in the round of 32.
#9 Alabama 86 #8 Virginia Tech 83: A high scoring affair went the Crimson Tide’s way, making the round of 32 for the first time since 2006. Both teams hardly missed. Alabama just shot a bit better, carried by the play of Collin Sexton (25 points) and John Petty (20 off the bench.). Villanova awaits.
#11 St. Bonaventure 62 #6 Florida 77: The First Four win was the last for Bonnies, who couldn’t really dent the Gators defense. Israel’s Egor Koulechov led Florida with 20 points, straight to a rendezvous with Texas Tech.
#16 Penn 60 #1 Kansas 76: Devonte Graham led the Jayhawks to an easy win over the Quakers, scoring 29 points as he begins his final NCAA Tournament run. The Jayhawks will play Seton Hall next.
#13 UNC Greensboro 64 #4 Gonzaga 68: The Zags nearly let this one slip away, but a big three by Zach Norvell Jr. put them past the feisty Spartans. Johnathan Williams led Gonzaga with 19 points, en route to a game against Ohio State.
#15 Iona 67 #2 Duke 89: Not a lot of surprise here, as Marvin Bagley led the Blue Devils with 22 points to an easy win against the Gaels. It’s Rhode Island coming up next.
#14 Wright State 47 #3 Tennessee 73: The Vols return to the tournament and the round of 32 after a 4-year absence. Lamonte Turner led them from the bench with 19 points. Next up? Loyola-Chicago.
#12 South Dakota State 73 #5 Ohio State 81: Despite many people looking at this as a potential upset, the Buckeyes pulled through against a tough team with Keita Bates-Diop, Kam Williams and C.J. Jackson all scoring over 20 points, combining for 66. Next comes Gonzaga.
#11 Loyola-Chicago 64 #6 Miami 62: A massive upset as the Ramblers, in only their 6th NCAA Tournament, send Miami packing after a huge Donte Ingram tre to put them ahead. It’s their first round of 32 since 1985, with now some dreaming of their historic championship run of 1963. Tennessee is next.
#10 Oklahoma 78 #7 Rhode Island 83: The scoring of Trae Young (28 points) wasn’t enough, and the Rams beat the Sooners in overtime behind 16 points from E.C. Matthews. Duke awaits.
#9 North Carolina State 83 #8 Seton Hall 94: An impressive performance by the Pirates, not letting the 36 points from Allerik Freeman get to them. Khadeen Carrington led Seton Hall with 26 points towards a meeting with Kansas.