Welcome to CBS Local Sports’ NCAA Tournament Upset Tracker. We’ll be following every single game of the tournament’s opening rounds, religiously tracking all of the action and monitoring those dreaded 12-5 matchups for devastating, bracket-busting upsets. Keep it tuned here for the latest upsets throughout the entirety of the Rounds of 64 and 32.
First, some ground rules. What constitutes an upset/a team being on upset alert?
- Must be at least a 10-7 matchup or greater.
- Lower seed must have lead in second half, OR, a double-digit lead at any point in time.
- Upset Watch: Lower seeded team is threatening to pull off an upset.
- Upset Warning: Lower seeded team has an excellent chance of pulling off said upset.
- Upset Alert: Lower seeded team has upset a higher seeded team.
Sunday, March 19th- (All Times EST)
10:04 p.m.- No. 3 Baylor vs. No. 11 USC- Baylor avoids the upset by knocking down their free throws down the stretch and they advance to the Sweet 16 with a 82-78 win. The Bears will draw the winner of the Duke-South Carolina game.
9:46 p.m.- No. 3 Baylor vs. No. 11 USC- The Bears have regained control thanks to a personal 8-0 run for guard Manu Lecomte. Lecomte had a four point play, stole the ball, hit a pair of free throws, then went coast-to-coast for a lay-up all in the span of about 46 seconds to give Baylor a six point edge.
9:35 p.m.-UPSET WATCH- No. 3 Baylor vs. No . 11 USC- The Trojans have taken the lead, 63-59, with under eight minutes to go in the game. The Trojans hot shooting from deep has been the key as they’ve knocked down nine of their 16 attempts. Four USC players have recorded double-digit points led by forward Bennie Boatwright.
9:20 p.m.- UPSET AVOIDED- No. 3 Oregon vs. No. 11 Rhode Island- Ducks guard Tyler Dorsey hit a huge three with just under 30 seconds left to give Oregon a 75-72 win. They advance to face Michigan in the Sweet 16.
9:17 p.m.-UPSET WATCH- No. 3 Oregon vs. No. 11 Rhode Island- The Ducks and Rams are tied at 72 with 1:09 left and the Rams in possession.
9:10 p.m.- UPSET WARNING- No. 3 Oregon vs. No. 11 Rhode Island- A putback bucket from Stanford Robinson has given the Rams a four point lead, 74-70 with just over two minutes left in the game. In the other 3/11 match-up going on, the No. 11 USC Trojans have tied the game against Baylor at 36 in early in the second half.
8:57 p.m.- UPSET WATCH- No. 3 Oregon vs. No. 11 Rhode Island- The Rams are still in the lead as the clock is now down under seven minutes remaining. However, Oregon’s Dillon Brooks was fouled on a three point attempt and will shoot three free throws out of the commercial break to try and cut into the 66-60 Rams lead.
8:35 p.m.- UPSET WATCH- No. 3 Oregon vs. No. 11 Rhode Island- After leading 46-38 at the half, the Rams have continued to maintain a lead to start the second half. They lead 56-47 with a little over 13 minutes left in the contest.
8:16 p.m.- North Carolina avoids the upset by forcing Arkansas to go scoreless over the last 3:30 of the game. The Tar Heels pick up a 72-65 win, and they advance to face the 4-seed, Butler, in Memphis later this week.
8:14 p.m.- No. 1 North Carolina vs. No. 8 Arkansas- Moses Kingsley missed a pair of free throws that would have drawn the Razorbacks within one. However, Tar Heels guard Joel Berry missed the front end of the one and one on the other end. Then, Arkansas jacked up a quick three that missed and the Tar Heels cleared the rebound and hit a free throw to go up four with one more still to come and 10 seconds left.
8:11 p.m.-No. 1 North Carolina vs. No. 8 Arkansas- The Tar Heels have taken a late three point lead, 68-65 with 35.7 left in the game. A couple of questionable calls from the officials have gone UNC’s way in the last two possessions.
8:01 p.m.- UPSET WATCH- No. 3 Oregon vs. No. 11 Rhode Island- The Rams went on a 14-2 run to close the first half with an eight point lead 46-38. Danny Hurley’s team is 20-4 this season when leading at halftime. Dana Altman’s Ducks are definitely on upset watch as we get ready for the second half.
No. 1 North Carolina trails No. 8 Arkansas 65-62 with under three minutes remaining on TNT.
7:54 p.m.- UPSET WATCH- No. 1 North Carolina vs. No. 8 Arkansas- Arkansas has continued to keep it a tight contest with the Tar Heels as the two engage in a back-and-forth affair in the second half. The Razorbacks are up 63-60 with 4:50 left in the game.
Meanwhile, No. 11 Rhode Island has cut it down to a two point game at the final media timeout of the first half against No. 3 Oregon.
7:36 p.m.- UPSET WATCH- No. 1 North Carolina vs. No. 8 Arkansas- The Razorbacks have taken a lead in the second half, 50-48, with just 11:31 remaining. However, as they went to the under 12 timeout, a UNC player was fouled on the fast break, so the Tar Heels will shoot a pair after the break. Nonetheless, keep an eye on this one on TNT.
7:27 p.m.- No. 1 Kansas vs. No. 9 Michigan State- The Jayhawks salted this game away thanks to a late spurt by Frank Mason and Josh Jackson. They move on to the Sweet 16 to face Purdue in Kansas City this week.
No. 8 Arkansas is battling back against No. 1 North Carolina trailing 44-42 early in the second half. No. 11 Rhode Island trails No. 3 Oregon 17-10 in the first half and one of our last opportunities for an upset with the No. 11 USC Trojans taking on the No. 3 Baylor Bears gets underway in just about 15 minutes.
7:06 p.m.- No. 1 North Carolina vs. No. 8 Arkansas- The Razorbacks closed the half on a 16-6 run to cut it to a five point game at the break. Daryl Macon has been big off the bench for Arkansas with 12 points and 2 assists.
No. 1 Kansas has started to pull away from the Spartans, extending their lead out to ten on the back of a 13-4 run.
6:50 p.m.- No. 1 Kansas vs. No. 9 Michigan State- Tom Izzo’s squad continues to hang around as they’ve been able to cut a five point halftime deficit down to just one point, 54-53 with 12:14 left in the game. Elsewhere, the Tar Heels are putting some distance between themselves and No. 8 Arkansas with a 15 point lead at the under four minute mark of the first half.
6:11 p.m- No. 1 Kansas vs. No. 9 Michigan State- The Jayhawks go into the halftime break with a five point lead 40-35. The final one seed to take the floor in the Round of 32 is North Carolina who just got their game against Arkansas started with a 6-0 run.
5:56 p.m.- No. 1 Kansas vs. No. 9 Michigan State- The day of close games has continued into our third match-up of the afternoon as the top seed in the Midwest region, Kansas, is locked in a battle with Tom Izzo’s Spartans in the first half. The Jayhawks hold a 33-27 lead with just under four minutes left in the half. We saw an eight seed upend a one seed yesterday, will we see another big upset coming today from the Spartans?
4:55 p.m.- No. 2 Kentucky vs. No. 10 Wichita State- Malik Monk comes up huge for the Wildcats. After Kentucky had an empty possession, the Shockers had the ball with the chance to take the lead. Monk got a block on an attempted shot by Markus McDuffie and then proceeded to knock down two big free throws to help Kentucky survive the upset bid 65-62.
4:52 p.m.- No. 2 Kentucky vs. No. 10 Wichita State- The Shockers aren’t going away. They’ve closed the gap to just one point with 55.7 seconds to go. Landry Shamet has been massive for the Shockers with 20 points including the three that just cut the deficit to one.
4:45 p.m.- No. 2 Kentucky vs. No. 10 Wichita State- The Wildcats have started to distance themselves late in the game with a seven point lead and just four minutes remaining.
4:20 p.m.- UPSET WATCH- No. 2 Kentucky vs. No. 10 Wichita State- The Shockers are looking for revenge for a loss to the Wildcats two years ago in the tournament that ended their perfect season. So far, they’ve gotten John Calipari’s group to play at their pace with the game tied at 41 with just under 12 minutes left in the game. The defense for both teams has been strong as neither squad is shooting above 40% in the game.
2:24 p.m.- UPSET ALERT- No. 2 Louisville vs. No. 7 Michigan- The Wolverines pulled off the upset to start Day 4 of the tournament with a 73-69 win over the Cardinals. Four Michigan players scored in double figures and more importantly, they turned the ball over just six times, which is crucial against Rick Pitino’s Louisville squad. Michigan makes it three Big Ten teams that have advanced to the Sweet 16 along with 8-seed Wisconsin and 4-seed Purdue.
2:10 p.m.- UPSET WARNING- No. 2 Louisville vs. No. 7 Michigan- The Wolverines hold a four point lead, 67-63, with just a minute left. Sophomore center Moritz Wagner has shown up in a big way, hitting on 11-of-14 attempts including 3-of-6 from three for a total of 26 points.
Saturday, March 18 – (All Times EST)
7:51 p.m. – UPSET WARNING – No. 3 Florida State vs. No. 11 Xavier – Xavier is cruising against the Seminoles in this one. The Musketeers have led for much of the night and have extended their lead to 20-plus, putting Florida State on the verge of elimination. Trevon Bluiett has been stellar putting up 15 points thus far and leading his team against a long and strong Florida State squad.
7:05 p.m. – UPSET WATCH – No. 3 Florida State vs. No. 11 Xavier – Florida State — one of the highest scoring teams in college basketball this year — was held to just 34 points in the first half and they trail Xavier 44-34.
Xavier upset No. 6 Maryland to get to the Round of 32 but clearly aren’t ready to go home with just one upset under their belt. The Musketeers have led most of the evening and have Florida State on the ropes with just 20 minutes left to play.
5:16 p.m. – UPSET ALERT – Wisconsin No. 8 vs. No. 1 Villanova – STUNNER. Wisconsin has knocked off the top overall seed Villanova 65-62 and are on to the Sweet 16. The Badgers went toe-to-toe with the Wildcats all afternoon and Nigel Hayes delivered the final blow to Villanova’s hopes at a repeating as national champions.
Hayes finished the game with 19 points and eight rebounds to lead the team in both categories (along with Ethan Happ, who also registered eight boards.
What. A. Finish.
5:09 p.m. – Wisconsin’s Nigel Hayes with the dominant take to give Wisconsin the a two-point lead over the top-ranked Villanova Wildcats. ‘Nova ball, 11.4 remaining.
5:07 p.m. – No. 8 Wisconsin vs. No. 1 Villanova – This… is what March Madness is all about. Badgers ball, 23 seconds left, 14 seconds left on the shot clock, TIE GAME. Here. We. Go.
5:02 p.m. – UPSET WATCH – It’s coming down to the wire in Buffalo between No. 8 Wisconsin and No. 1 Villanova, with Wisconsin ahead by the slimmest of margins as we enter the game’s final minute.
4:00 p.m. – UPSET WATCH – No. 8 Wisconsin vs. No. 1 Villanova – When we say No. 1 Villanova, we mean NUMBER 1. The Wildcats are the No. 1 team in the nation and the No. 1 overall seed. While in terms of seeding this looks like a major upset brewing, Wisconsin is one of the most underrated teams in the nation. A fall from grace at the end of the season and a lackluster Big Ten tournament showcase dropped their seeding in the eyes of the committee, but the Badgers can play with anyone as they’re proving this afternoon.
On the positive side for Villanova, they’re only down by four and Kris Jenkins and Jalen Brunson are a combined 1-10 from the field. If those two get going in the second half, they’ll be just fine, but Wisconsin is outplaying the Wildcats right now and could spring the upset.
Friday, March 17 – (All Times EST)
11:59 p.m. – No. 7 South Carolina just EXPLODED in the second half to make a mockery of our early upset warning. The Gamecocks outscored the Golden Eagles by 21 points in the second half thanks to Sindarius Thornwell, who put up 29 points and 8 rebounds in his team’s first NCAA Tournament win since 1973.
Congrats to the Gamecocks and their fans on a massive win on the heels of a massive second half. For those of you hoping for some upsets, tomorrow is another day.
Next up for the Gamecocks is No. 2 seeded Duke Blue Devils on Sunday.
10:48 p.m. – No. 10 Marquette leads No. 7 South Carolina by one heading into half, but the telling detail here is that they’ve put up 40 on a South Carolina defense that rarely allows more than 60-65 points per game. Surprisingly, the Gamecocks have found a way to score with Marquette, but if they need to bear down on defense to avoid being upset here, because they can’t score with the Golden Eagles forever.
10:07 p.m. – UPSET WARNING – No. 10 Marquette vs. No. 7 South Carolina – Hey, it might be early, but we’re kinda desperate for upsets at this point if you haven’t noticed. Pretty much every top seed (outside Wichita State, but you know the rules ^^^) has held serve since Rhode Island took down Creighton but South Carolina is seeing the three-point prowess of Marquette early on. Could this be the one? We’ll see. Stay tuned.
6:46 p.m. – UPSET ALERT – No. 11 Rhode Island is movin’ on! The Rams have become the second No. 11 seed to win their opening round matchup today and will be moving on to face the Oregon Ducks in the Round of 32. This is Rhode Island’s first NCAA Tournament win in nearly 20 years (1998) when the made the Elite 8.
The Rams were paced by freshman guard Jeff Dowtin, who put up 23 points in his first NCAA Tournament appearance.
6:32 p.m. – UPSET WATCH – No. 6 Creighton vs. No. 11 Rhode Island – Is today the day of the No. 11 seed? It sure looks like it as Rhode Island has extended its lead to 12 with just four minutes left to play between Creighton and Rhode Island in the second half. Rhode Island has led pretty much all afternoon and seems poised to be the second No. 11 seed today to know off a No. 6. Time is ticking, and now is the time if Creighton’s going to step up to the plate and keep their once promising season alive for at least one more game.
5:16 p.m. – UPSET ALERT – No. 11 USC has done it. They’ve defeated No. 6 SMU to advance to the round of 32 for a date with the Baylor Bears. USC was fearless in the final minutes of the game, answering every SMU score with one of their own. Now, they have the chance to advance to their first Sweet 16 in 10 years and if they do, it’ll be one of the best stories of the college basketball season.
USC trailed Providence by 15 points in their first four play-in game on Wednesday night but rallied as they have all season to pull out the victory and make it into the big dance.
They’ll face Baylor on Sunday afternoon in what should be another great game.
5:06 p.m. – No. 6 SMU vs. No 11 USC – USC will NOT go away. The Trojans have answered everything SMU’s thrown their way and have kept this within a possession either way. We’re entering the final minute of play here, and it’s going to be a good one.
4:29 p.m. – UPSET WATCH – No. 11 USC vs. No. 6 SMU – Things are tight right now in the Midwest Region showdown between USC and SMU as USC is putting tons of pressure on SMU in their push for yet another comeback victory.
The Mustangs currently lead the Trojans 42-40 with just over 15 minutes left to play in the second half.
2:31 p.m- No. 7 Michigan vs. No. 10 Oklahoma State- The Wolverines survive by just one point 92-91 after Jawun Evans hit a three as time expired. Michigan got a superb game from Derrick Walton Jr. who put up 26 points, 11 assists and 5 rebounds in the game. The Wolverines also had four other players with 16 or more points as they advance to face the winner of Louisville-Jacksonville State on Sunday.
Elsewhere, No. 3 Baylor has pulled away from New Mexico State, Arkansas and Seton Hall are tied at 37 at the half, and No. 3 Oregon is leading Iona in the first half.
2:30 p.m.- No. 7 Michigan vs. No. 10 Oklahoma State – Michigan holds a four point advantage with just 3.7 seconds left.
2:11 p.m.- No. 7 Michigan vs. No. 10 Oklahoma State – The Wolverines hold a late five point lead, 82-77 over the Cowboys thanks to red-hot shooting from behind the three point line in the second half. Michigan has hit 11-of-14 attempts from deep.
No. 3 Baylor has begun to pull away from No. 14 New Mexico State. The 8/9 game between Seton Hall and Arkansas is close late in the first half and No. 3 Oregon has an early lead on No. 14 Iona.
2:05 p.m.- UPSET WATCH REMOVED – No. 3 Baylor vs. No. 14 New Mexico State- Trailing 40-38 at the half, Scott Drew’s team burst out of the break with a 16-5 run to take a 54-45 lead.
1:52 p.m.- No. 7 Michigan vs. No. 12 Oklahoma State – If you’re not watching this game, you may want to get to a TV. The Wolverines and Cowboys are locked in a tigh battle, tied at 64 with a little over 10 minutes left. Game is being broadcast on CBS.
1:30 p.m.- UPSET WATCH – No. 3 Baylor vs. No. 14 New Mexico State – Scott Drew’s squad finds themselves in an uncomfortably familiar position as they are trailing the Aggies at the half 40-38. After exiting early in the past couple years, the Bears were hoping to reverse that trend this year. However, the Aggies have other ideas currently hitting six of their 14 three point attempts including a fadeaway three to end the first half and give them the lead.
1:25 p.m.- UPSET WATCH – No. 3 Baylor vs. No. 14 New Mexico State – The Aggies are leading the Bears 35-34 late in the first half.
1:07 p.m.- No. 7 Michigan vs. No. 10 Oklahoma State – The offenses started to heat up late in the half as the pace picked up substantially. The Cowboys have gotten a strong performance out of star guard Jawun Evans, who has put up eight points, three rebounds and five assists in the first half. For the Wolverines Muhammad Abdur-Rahkman leads the way with 11 points. Michigan holds a one point lead at the half, staving off the upset watch for now, 41-40.
12:44 p.m.- No. 7 Michigan vs. No. 10 Oklahoma State – It’s still fairly early, so we won’t put the upset watch on just yet, but the Cowboys have gotten off to a good start with a 24-18 lead over the Wolverines with just under 8 minutes left in the first half.
Not much doing on Day 1 in the way of upsets with just Middle Tennessee and Xavier pulling off wins. As we look at the schedule for Day 2, there doesn’t seem to be much in the way of opportunities for upsets, but, that’s generally when they happen. The games I’ve highlighted for the day are match-ups that could likely provide some upsets.
Day 2 Upset Watch
No. 7 Michigan vs. No. 10 Oklahoma State
- I know, the Wolverines are the hottest team coming into the tournament, they recovered from a plane crash to win the Big Ten tournament. That’s a fantastic story line and one of the reasons we love sports. But, Michigan faces a Cowboys team today led by Jawun Evans that brings in the nation’s most efficient offense according to Ken Pomeroy (124.8 points per 100 possessions). Michigan is good in its own right, rating 5th, but that means we could be in for some fireworks today and high-scoring games tend to go in favor of the team with the better star player and Evans could turn this game.
No. 6 Cincinnati vs. No. 11 Kansas State
- The reason for this pick actually has more to do with history of the tournament than anything else. Since the First Four started, at least one of the team’s has won their first round game to advance to the weekend of the tournament. Kansas State, after beating Wake Forest to earn the right to play Cincinnati, qualifies for that.
No. 6 SMU vs. No. 11 USC
- I don’t think this upset will happen. Let’s start there. Full disclosure, I like SMU to make a run. But, for the same reasons as above, USC could pull the upset. They came back from down big against Providence in the First Four to win and that kind of win could give them the confidence needed to propel them into the Round of 32.
Thursday, March 16 – (All Times EST)
12:01 a.m.- No. 5 Iowa State vs. No. 12 Nevada- The Cyclones survive a late second half run and hit their free throws down the stretch to wrap up a 84-73 win and advance to face Purdue in the Round of 32. Senior point guard Monte Morris led the way for Iowa State with 19 points eight rebounds and eight assists. Meanwhile, No. 2 Arizona is pulling away from No. 15 North Dakota 76-61 with under nine minutes to go.
11:57 p.m.- No. 3 Florida State vs. No. 14 Florida Gulf Coast- The Seminoles hang on in a wild final few minutes to win 86-80 over the Eagles. They’ll face the 11-seed in the West region, Butler, on Saturday. Dwayne Bacon led the way with 25 points and nine rebounds for the Seminoles.
11:48 p.m.- Both FGCU and Nevada have cut into the leads for Florida State and Iowa State respectively, but the Cylcones still hold a 10 point lead, while the Seminoles hold a six point lead with 33.3 seconds left.
11:16 p.m.- The high seeds trying to make sure that we have no upset watches or alerts in this final session of games. No. 5 Iowa State, No. 3 Florida State, and No. 2 Arizona all lead by at least six points, with the Cyclones and Wildcats leading by double-digits.
10:50 p.m.- No. 5 Iowa State vs. No. 12 Nevada- The Cyclones made sure to try and quash any Wolfpack dreams of an upset in the first half by shooting nearly 59% from the field to take a 41-27 edge to the halftime break. In the final game of the night, No. 15 North Dakota is hanging around with No. 2 Arizona, down 26-19 with about eight minutes left in the first half.
10:25 p.m.- No. 3 Florida State vs. No. 14 Florida Gulf Coast- The Seminoles answered back with a 12-7 stretch to end the first half with a 40-36 lead.
10:15 p.m.- No. 3 Florida State vs. No. 14 Florida Gulf Coast- The Eagles have ridden a 10-0 run in the latter half of the first to take their first lead of the game 29-28 with under 4 minutes left. Elsewhere, No. 5 Iowa State and No. 12 Nevada are underway with the Cyclones holding an early 11-7 lead.
9:52 p.m.- No. 7 St. Mary’s vs. No. 10 VCU- The Gaels held off the Rams desperate late comeback attempts by hitting their free throws down the stretch. They advance to the Round of 32 where they’ll face the winner of the No. 2 Arizona vs. No. 15 North Dakota match-up.
9:37 p.m.- Purdue finished off the Catamounts 80-70 to move on to the Round of 32. They will face the winner of the last game of the day, Iowa State-Nevada, on Saturday. No. 7 St. Mary’s leads VCU 79-68 with 2:17 left and is well on its way to advancing. Finally, the first game of the late-night session, No. 3 Florida State vs. No. 14 Florida Gulf Coast is now underway.
9:18 p.m.- No. 4 Purdue vs. No. 13 Vermont- The Boilermakers have used an 8-2 run to put some breathing room between themselves and the Catamounts. It’s an 11 point game, 76-65 with under two minutes to go.
9:13 p.m.- No. 7 St. Mary’s vs. No. 10 VCU- The Gaels have fought off a comeback attempt by Will Wade’s crew. At one point, the Gaels led by 17, before VCU cut it to four. Since, St. Mary’s has extended the lead back out to seven, 63-56, with 7:54 left in the game.
Meanwhile, No. 4 Purdue is still struggling to separate itself from No. 13 Vermont. The Boilermakers hold just a five point lead, 68-63, with 4:27 left.
9:02 p.m.- UPSET COMPLETED- No. 6 Maryland vs. No. 11 Xavier- The Musketeers continued to hit their free throws down the stretch and they pull off the upset 76-65 over Maryland. Xavier will play the winner of the Florida State-Florida Gulf Coast match-up set to take place in about a half hour.
8:57 p.m.- Maryland has started to play the foul game late, but the Musketeers continue to hit their free throws. They hold a 73-63 lead with 1:10 left.
8:50 p.m. UPSET ALERT- No. 6 Maryland vs. No. 11 Xavier- Despite an 8-4 spurt for the Terrapins, Xavier is hanging on to a late lead. Both teams are in the bonus, the Musketeers just got a pair of clutch free throws from their freshman guard Quentin Goodin to give them a 67-59 lead with two minutes left. The game is on TNT.
8:35 p.m.- UPSET WATCH REMOVED- No. 1 Villanova vs. No. 16 Mt. Saint Mary’s- The Wildcats have put together a 16-4 run to open up the second half and turn a one point halftime lead into a twelve point advantage, 46-33.
8:29 p.m.- UPSET ALERT- No. 6 Maryland vs. No. 11 Xavier- The Musketeers have ridden a 14-0 run over the last five minutes of game time to a 61-50 lead over the Terps. There’s about 8:20 left in the game. Flip over to TNT.
8:15 p.m.-UPSET WATCH- No. 4 Purdue vs. No. 13 Vermont- The Catamounts have made it tough on the Boilermakers in the first half and they trail by one, 37-36 at the break. Vermont is shooting 40% from deep, and they are perfect from the free throw line so far.
8:02 p.m.- UPSET WATCH- No. 1 Villanova vs. No. 16 Mt. Saint Mary’s- No 16-seed has ever upset a 1-seed, but don’t tell the Mountaineers. They trail the defending national champions by just one at the half 30-29. The Mount held ‘Nova to 12/30 (40%) shooting from the field and 1/9 (11%) shooting from three.
No. 13 Vermont is entering watch territory leading No. 4 Purdue by one, 29-28 with under five minutes left in the first half. No. 6 Maryland and No. 7 St. Mary’s both hold leads.
7:36 p.m.- No. 1 Villanova vs. No. 16 Mt. Saint Mary’s- Too early to go full upset watch, but the Mountaineers lead ‘Nova 16-11 with under eight minutes left in the first half. Xavier still holds a lead over Maryland 35-33. VCU is up early on St. Mary’s and Vermont has a 10-7 early lead on Purdue.
7:20 p.m.- No. 6 Maryland vs. No. 11 Xavier- Too early to put the Terps on full upset watch, but Xavier holds a 24-16 lead with under eight minutes left in the first half. The only other game going on currently is Villanova-Mt. Saint Mary’s and the Mountaineers lead 5-0 early.
6:21 p.m.- UPSET COMPLETED- No. 5 Minnesota vs. No. 12 Middle Tennessee State- Led by the trio of Jacorey Williams, Reggie Upshaw Jr. and Giddy Potts, the Blue Raiders pulled off the upset for the second consecutive year in the first round. This time it was a 81-72 win over Minnesota. MTSU advances to face No. 4 Butler on Saturday in the Round of 32.
6:04 p.m.- UPSET ALERT- No. 5 Minnesota vs. No. 12 Middle Tennessee State- The Blue Raiders have withstood a Minnesota run and hold a 69-61 lead with 3:40 to play. They will come out of the last media timeout with the ball. Game coverage is on TNT.
5:52 p.m.- UPSET WATCH- No. 5 Minnesota vs. No 12 Middle Tennessee State- MTSU leads by thirteen, 62-49, with under nine minutes to go in the game. If you’re not watching, you may want to flip over to TNT to watch the stretch run of this one.
5:37 p.m.- No. 4 Florida vs. No. 13 East Tennessee State- The Gators downed the trendy upset pick 80-65 with some hot shooting in the second half. Junior forward Devin Robinson put out a stellar effort with 24 points and seven rebounds to lead the way for Mike White’s team. So far, that makes the higher seeds 6-0 on the afternoon. A very chalky start to the bracket proceedings thus far.
5:16 p.m.- No. 4 West Virginia vs. No. 13 Bucknell- The Mountaineers were able to stave off a late attempt at a comeback by the Bison winning 86-80. West Virginia got 16 points from Big 12 sixth man of the year Tarik Phillip to lead the way in the win. In the other games, No. 4 Florida has put some distance between themselves and No. 13 East Tennessee State 62-51 with about six minutes left in the game.
5:03 p.m.- UPSET WATCH: No. 5 Minnesota vs. No. 12 Middle Tennessee State- The Blue Raiders hold a six point lead, 37-31, at the half led by eight points from junior Brandon Walters. MTSU has nine players that have recorded points in the first half.
4:46 p.m.- UPSET WATCH REMOVED: No. 4 Florida vs. No. 13 East Tennessee State- The Gators have extended their lead out to seven with under 15 to go in the game. Meanwhile, Bucknell has creeped closer to West Virginia down just 5, 65-60. UPSET WATCH: No. 5 Minnesota vs. No. 12 Middle Tennessee State- The Blue Raiders have taken a 26-22 lead with 4:30 left in the first half.
4:16 p.m.- UPSET WATCH: No. 4 Florida leads No. 13 East Tennessee State by just 1, 33-32, at the half. In the other games, N0. 4 West Virginia holds a nine point lead over Bucknell and No. 5 Minnesota is up 7-0 early over No. 12 Middle Tennessee State.
3:50 p.m.- No. 4 Butler breezed to an easy win, 76-64 over No. 13 Winthrop. The Bulldogs got 18 points from Avery Woodson to lead the way and were able to get some nice plays in transition like this alley oop to Tyler Wideman.
Meanwhile, No. 13 Bucknell is hanging in there with No. 4 West Virginia at the half down by nine, 42-33. Meanwhile, Gonzaga has officially pulled away from SDSU with an 17 point lead with just 4:30 left in the game. The final game that’s on is No. 4 Florida against No. 13 East Tennessee State and the Gators hold just a seven point lead 21-14 nearly midway through the first half.
3:33 p.m.- Gonzaga is starting to pull away from the 16-seeded South Dakota State Jackrabbits 44-33 with 12 minutes to go in the second half. No. 4 Butler is easily handling Winthrop, up by 14 with under two minutes remaining. Finally, No. 4 West Virginia is struggling to separate itself from No. 13 Bucknell as the Mountaineers lead by just 4, 33-29 with under seven minutes left in the first half. No. 4 Florida vs. No. 13 East Tennessee State is just underway.
2:53 p.m.- No. 5 Virginia vs. No. 12 UNC Wilmington – It certainly wasn’t easy, but the Cavaliers got the job done. Spurred by a 19-3 run at the end of the first half, Virginia rallied from a 15-point deficit to hold off a tenacious Seahawks squad that pressed the Cavaliers right up until the final buzzer.
Virginia now moves on to face the winner of No. 4 Florida and No. 13 East Tennessee State. FINAL – 76-71, Virginia.
2:21 p.m. – UPSET AVOIDED – No. 5 Notre Dame vs. No. 12 Princeton – Deep, DEEP breaths Notre Dame fans. A last second heave by Princeton from three-point range that would have given Princeton their first lead of the game with just 0.4 seconds to play clanked off the rim and into Notre Dame’s hands.
The Irish are moving on to the Round of 32 where they’ll face the winner of No. 4 West Virginia vs. No. 13 Bucknell. FINAL – 60-58, Notre Dame.
2:17 p.m. – Princeton opted for the easy bucket and the press/foul game. They’ve cut the lead to just one point and trail 59-58, but will either need some clutch defense, or un-clutch free throw shooting from Notre Dame to pull off an upset in game one of the NCAA Tournament.
2:11 p.m. – No. 5 Notre Dame leads No. 12 Princeton by just three points with 19.7 left to play. Princeton has the ball and with no shot clock has the opportunity to tie this thing up.
2:10 p.m. – Butler is absolutely rolling, up 35-20 as the first half nears a close, but the dreaded 12-5 matchup is getting to Notre Dame and Virginia. Princeton and UNC Wilmington are both keeping things real within one possession as time continues to wind down. There’s about a minute left in Notre Dame vs. Princeton and just over 10 minutes to play in Virginia vs. UNC Wilmington. Hold on to your brackets!
1:49 p.m. – No. 4 Butler vs No. 13 Winthrop is now underway. Butler has taken an early lead and seem pretty keen on staying off of our upset tracker, but we’ll keep an eye on the Bulldogs.
Our other two games between our favorites, No. 5 Notre Dame and No. 5 Virginia are ahead in their respective matchups.
1:28 p.m. – A 19-3 run to end the first half has taken No. 5 Virginia from the danger zone to the driver’s seat as they now lead UNC Wilmington 30-29.
1:22 p.m. – UPSET WATCH REMOVED – No. 5 Virginia vs. No. 12 UNC Wilmington –Virginia has stormed back and cut the UNC Wilmington lead to just two points as the first half winds down. Things looked bleak for the Cavs as they were being out-rebounded badly and their defense was leaving Seahawks players wide open, but they’ve steadied the ship for now. Still work to be done.
1:04 p.m. – UPSET WATCH – No. 5 Virginia vs. No. 12 UNC Wilmington – UNC Wilmington has taken a 12-point lead over the Virginia Cavaliers, 23-11 early in the first half. The Cavaliers’ offense is struggling, and their defense is allowing open looks and as we said below, that’s a recipe for disaster for Virginia. We’ll be keeping a close eye on this one.
12:58 p.m. – No. 5 Notre Dame leaves the first half with a 36-30 lead over No. 12 Princeton, keeping them safe of the UPSET ALERT… for now.
12:31 p.m. – No. 5 Notre Dame vs No. 12 Princeton has tipped off and it is officially ON! Princeton’s keeping it tight early and Notre Dame hasn’t had more than a four-point lead at any point in time, but we’re a long way away from putting Notre Dame on UPSET ALERT. Stay tuned.
11:26 a.m. – Hold on tight to your brackets, folks. We’re less than an hour away from the official (no offense, first four) tip off of the NCAA Tournament!
After taking a quick look through the first part of today’s schedule, I can safely say there are more than a few games worth monitoring for potential upsets.
They’re on “Upset Watch” below.
Day 1 Upset Watch:
No. 5 Virginia vs. No. 12 UNC Wilmington
- Wilmington gave the Cavaliers everything they could handle, but 24 points from guard London Perrantes led the way for Tony Bennett’s squad in a 75-71 win.
No. 5 Notre Dame vs. No. 12 Princeton – 12:40 p.m. ET (TruTV)
- The Irish got 18 points and seven rebounds from Bonzie Colson and a Tigers’ chance to win rimmed out late as Notre Dame escaped with a 60-58 win.
No. 5 Minnesota vs No. 12 Middle Tennessee State – 4 p.m. ET (TNT)
- The Blue Raiders pulled off the upset, our first of the tournament with an 81-72 win.
No. 5 Iowa State vs. No. 12 Nevada
- The Cyclones pulled away late for an 84-73 win.
No. 6 Maryland vs. No. 11 Xavier – 6:50 p.m. ET (TNT)
- Xavier got a big second half from Trevon Bluiett to knock off the Terrapins.