The field is set, the brackets are ready: Holy Cross and Michigan join Florida Gulf Coast and Wichita State to complete the round of 64 with First Four teams, which means the 2016 NCAA Tournament can officially begin.
#16 Holy Cross 59 #16 Southern 55: Robert Champion knocking down a three pointer to give Holy Cross a 55-52 lead with 56 seconds left on the clock put the Crusaders in front for good, after a game filled with twists and turns, in which Holy Cross started out well, building a double digit lead in the early goings before losing the lead and then getting it back with less than a minute to go, in probably the game with the least quality in it during the First Four run, but plenty of drama.
Southern shot just 3-of-20 from beyond the arc, as Adrian Rodgers did a little bit too much himself. He led the team with 14 points, but shot just 6-of-18 from the field. Holy Cross looked a bit more team oriented in their offense (not that it meant a whole lot of points), shooting 45% from the field and 36% from beyond the arc. Grabbing 9 offensive rebounds to Holy Cross’ unimpressive 2 helped Southern stay in the game, but they’re not the one about to play Oregon.
#11 Tulsa 62 #11 Michigan 67: A bad season for the Wolverines put them in a spot of rectifying what went wrong. Everyone said Tulsa didn’t deserve to be in this position, but it wasn’t until Zak Irvin hit a three-pointer with 52 seconds on the clock, putting Michigan up 62-60, that the Wolverines had the game in control. After losing two important seniors during the season, it’s nice to see them bounce back and still find a way to put themselves in the dance.
It was a rough shooting performance from both teams, hitting just 9-for-40 from beyond the arc (22.5%). Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman almost sank Michigan with his misses (6-of-18 from the field), but luckily he had Irvin on his side. The Junior finished with 16 points, like Abdur-Rahkman, but without the misses. Tulsa had Shaquille Harrison with 23 points and basically it, with three more lineup players scoring 9 points, as fellow senior James Woodard must be kicking himself for all of his missed and bad shots during the night.
Day 1, Round 1 of the NCAA Tournament
#13 UNC Wilmington vs #4 Duke (West)
#9 Butler vs #8 Texas Tech (Midwest)
#9 UConn vs #8 Colorado (South)
#13 Iona vs #4 Iowa State (Midwest)
#12 Yale vs #5 Baylor (West)
#16 Hampton vs #1 Virginia (Midwest)
#16 Austin Peay vs #1 Kansas (South)
#12 Arkansas Little-Rock vs #5 Purdue (Midwest)
#14 Buffalo vs #3 Miami (South)
#12 Chattanooga vs #5 Indiana (East)
#16 Florida Gulf Coast vs #1 North Carolina (East)
#14 Fresno State vs #3 Utah (Midwest)
#11 Wichita State vs #6 Arizona (South)
#13 Stony Brook vs #4 Kentucky (East)
#9 Providence vs #8 USC (East)
#11 Gonzaga vs #6 Seton Hall (Midwest)