2016 NCAA Tournament: The Best Of Day One

Bryan Altman, CBS Local Sports

If you haven’t learned by now to expect the unexpected once March Madness tips off, then I just don’t know what to tell you at this point. Every year upsets abound, Cinderella stories emerge and moments, plays, and players provide memories that we’ll remember for a lifetime.

Day 1 of the NCAA Tournament was one of those days that fills you with joy as a college basketball fan, but also fills you with rage when you take a look at all of the red that has now overrun what you thought might have been your perfect bracket.

But let’s focus on the positives here and take a look back at some of the most magical moments from Day 1 of the tournament.

The Upsets – Bad Day To Be A No. 5 Seed:

No. 12 Yale stuns No. 5 Baylor, 79-75

Yale – the champions of the Ivy League Conference, stunned the entire world by beating the Bears 79-75 to claim their first NCAA Tournament win in school history. Considering the enormity of their accomplishment, I’d say their raucus celebration was justified. 

On the other side of the coin, you have to feel for Baylor. That’s two years in a row they’ve been upset/ousted in the first round by a Cinderella team. Last year, as you might remember, it was R.J. Hunter and Georgia State that did them in. 

No. 12 Arkansas-Little Rock shocks No. 5 Purdue, 85-83

Baylor’s loss to Yale was certainly a shock, but not on the same level as Purdue’s loss to Arkansas-Little Rock, especially after Purdue played No. 2 seed and tournament favorite Michigan State so tightly in the Big 10 Conference Championship game. But a heroic – dare I say, Hunter-esque – shot from Josh Hagins sent the game to overtime where Little Rock would prevail in the second overtime.

Hagins scored 31 points for Little Rock and as the NCAA Tournament tends to do, has put the small program on the map. 

Bad Day To Be A No. 6 Seed As Well:

No. 11 Wichita State bests No. 6 Arizona, 65-55 

Sean Miller’s Arizona Wildcats have faltered in the tournament in recent years under big expectations, but this year, even though they were the higher seed they were beaten by the better team. The Wichita State Shockers – lead by senior guards Fred VanVleet and Ron Baker – are a much better squad than their No. 11 ranking suggests and they’ll give any team they face in this tournament a fair amount of trouble. 

No. 11 Gonzaga bests No. 6 Seton Hall, 68-52

Seton Hall rolled into the tournament after stunning both Villanova and Xavier to take the Big East Conference Championship but Gonzaga put an early halt to their magical March run. In fact, it wasn’t even that close of a contest. The Zags won handily, showing that perhaps the Pirates used up all of their magic en route to the tourney. 

Good Day To Be A Bulldog – No. 11 Gonzaga, No. 12 Yale and No. 9 Butler were all underdogs heading into their first round matchups but each emerged victorious. Each school’s mascot also happens to be the Bulldog. Coincidence? Yeah, probably, but still pretty neat. 

The Romps

The upsets garnered most of the headlines yesterday, but some notable teams had their way with lesser opponents.

No. 1 UNC beats No. 16 Florida Gulf Coast, 83-67 

The Tar Heels overcame a sluggish first half performance and dominated the second half for the win, thanks largely to Brice Johnson.

No. 4 Kentucky cruises past No. 13 Stony Brook, 85-57

Unfortunately for the Sea Wolves, but unsurprisingly for most, Stony Brook couldn’t spring the upset on the Wildcats, who remain a favorite to win it all. 

No. 5 Indiana crushes No. 12 Chattanooga, 99-74

Many see Indiana as a dark horse to win it all and they proved they’re not messing around yesterday. But now they have the Herculean task of taking down the Kentucky Wildcats in the round of 32. That should be a fun watch. 

Today’s Schedule (3/18 – All Times ET)

No. 10 Syracuse vs. No. 7 Dayton – Scottrade Center (St. Louis, MO) – 12:15 p.m. (CBS)

No. 15 UNC-Ash. vs. No. 2 Villanova – Barclays Center (Brooklyn, NY) – 12:40 p.m. (truTV)

No. 10 VCU vs. No. 7 Oregon St. Chesapeake Energy Arena (Okla. City, OK) – 1:30 p.m. (TNT)

No. 13 Hawaii vs. No. 4 – California Spokane Memorial Arena (Spokane, WA) – 2:00 p.m. (TBS)

No. 15 Middle Tenn. vs. No. 2 Michigan St. – Scottrade Center (St. Louis, MO) – 2:45 p.m. (CBS)

No. 10 Temple vs. No. 7 Iowa – Barclays Center (Brooklyn, NY) – 3:10 p.m. (truTV)

No. 15 Cal-Baker. vs. No. 2 Oklahoma – Chesapeake Energy Arena (Okla. City, OK) – 4:00 p.m. (TNT)

No. 12 S. Dak. St. vs. No. 5 Maryland – Spokane Memorial Arena (Spokane, WA) – 4:30 p.m. (TBS)

No. 10 Pittsburgh vs. No. 7 Wisconsin – Scottrade Center (St. Louis, MO) – 6:50 p.m. (TNT)

No. 14 SF Austin vs. No. 3 W. Virginia – Barclays Center (Brooklyn, NY) – 7:10 p.m. (CBS)

No. 14 Green Bay vs. No. 3 Texas A&M – Chesapeake Energy Arena (Okla. City, OK) – 7:20 p.m. (TBS)

No. 16 Holy Cross vs. No. 1 Oregon – Spokane Memorial Arena (Spokane, WA) – 7:27 p.m. (truTV)

No. 15 Weber St. vs. No. 2 Xavier – Scottrade Center (St. Louis, MO) – 9:20 p.m. (TNT)

No. 11 Michigan vs. No. 6 Notre Dame – Barclays Center (Brooklyn, NY) – 9:40 p.m. (CBS)

No. 11 N. Iowa vs. No. 6 Texas – Chesapeake Energy Arena (Okla. City, OK) – 9:50 p.m. (TBS)

No. 9 Cincinnati vs. No. 8 Saint Joe’s – Spokane Memorial Arena (Spokane, WA) – 9:57 p.m. truTV

Bryan Altman is, for some reason, an unabashed fan of the Rangers, Jets and Mets. If he absolutely had to pick a basketball team it would be the Knicks, but he’d gladly trade them for just one championship for any of his other three teams.

Questions or comments? Feel free to follow Bryan on Twitter or send him an email

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