March Madness: 3 stars who will impress at tournament

USA Nowadays Sports’ Paul Myerberg tells us which names we require to know as the action gets underway in the NCAA Men’s basketball tournament.

SportsPulse, USA Nowadays

The madness is totally underway.

The 1st complete day of the men’s NCAA Tournament started Thursday with some dramatic upsets, with No. 13 seed Furman scoring the day’s 1st upset when the Paladins shocked No. four Virginia. Then, No. 15 Princeton busted brackets everywhere by upending No. two Arizona immediately after trailing most of the game – and marking the third straight year a No. 15 seed sophisticated to the second round. 

We are halfway via the 1st day of the 1st round, with games like No. 1 Houston vs. No. 16 Northern Kentucky and No. two UCLA against No. 15 North Carolina-Asheville highlighting a evening slate that will not quit till about midnight Eastern. 

Feel you have what it requires to beat your close friends? Test your college basketball capabilities (or luck) right here with USA TODAY’s Survivor Pool. Keep up with all the scores and schedules, and bookmark our brackets web page, also! 

A No. 15 seed took out a No. two seed early Thursday with Princeton’s win more than Arizona, but that wasn’t the case for Texas. The Longhorns sophisticated with a decisive, 20-point win more than the Colgate Raiders. 

Texas shot 53.four% from the field and went 13-for-23 from 3. Sir’Jabari Rice completed with 23 points off the bench, followed by Dylan Disu’s and Marcus Carr’s 17 points every single.

Keegan Records and Ryan Moffatt had a group higher 13 points for the Raiders, who weren’t in a position to get it carried out on the defensive finish, either. Colgate was outrebounded by Texas 34-24.

Boise State was in a position to close the Wildcats’ lead to 4 prior to Northwestern pulled away for a 75-67 win. 

Boo Buie scored a game-higher 22 points, 5 rebounds and 5 assists. Chase Audige also exploded for the Wildcats, scoring 13 of his 20 points in the second half to finish the Broncos off. 

Boise State’s Marcus Shaver Jr. returned in the second half with a taped ankle and a noticeable limp immediately after leaving the 1st half early with a twisted appropriate ankle. Max Rice led the Broncos with 17 points, 4 rebounds, 4 assists, with Chibuzo Agbo adding 12 points and Shaver recording ten. But the Broncos weren’t in a position to produce adequate offense to get previous Northwestern, who led the entirety of the game.   

Houston got a win prior to the Cougars even tipped off in the 2023 NCAA Tournament: Marcus Sasser is back.

Sasser is the Cougars’ top scorer at 17.1 points, and also chips in three.two assists and two.eight rebounds per game. The AAC player of the year, he got hurt late in the 1st half of Houston’s conference tournament semifinal, slipping on the floor and hurting his groin. He did not play in the AAC tournament championship, which Houston lost 75-65 to Memphis. Houston coach Kelvin Sampson stated earlier this week that Sasser would be a game-time choice Thursday. 

In a potent offense — all 5 Cougar starters typical 9 points or much more — Sasser is the important. A six-foot-two, 195-pound combo guard, he is UH’s 1st 1st-group All-American considering that Hakeem Olajuwon and a probably second round choose in the 2023 NBA draft. 

– Lindsay Schnell

Jon Scheyer’s 1st NCAA Tournament win as head coach at Duke was a breeze.  

The No. five Blue Devils jumped out to a 15- lead and by no means looked back as they cruised previous Oral Roberts and into the second round. Jeremy Roach led the way with a game-higher 23 points.

Duke dominated the boards, finishing with a 47-32 benefit. Very-touted freshman Dereck Lively II paced the field with 12 rebounds. Oral Roberts shot poorly, just 30.two% from the floor and an even-poorer 25% from three. 

It feels odd to take into consideration Duke a dark horse, but with a No. five seed and with out Mike Krzyzewski on the sideline the Blue Devils surely weren’t the favorites to win this tournament. But they are playing just about as nicely as any group in the nation, now winners of ten straight games, like a run to the ACC tournament title.

Charles Barkley is certainly satisfied. His alma mater, Auburn, is moving on to the second round of the NCAA Tournament following an 83-75 win more than the Iowa Hawkeyes.

Johni Broome (19 points, 12 rebounds, 5 blocks) and Allen Flanigan (ten points, ten rebounds, 4 assists) completed with double-doubles, whilst 4 other Tigers reached double-digit points. 

Payton Sandfort led the Hawkeyes with 21 points off the bench, but it wasn’t adequate to mount a comeback.

The Longhorns led by as several as 17 points in the 1st half, but the Raiders reduce it to a single-digit lead going into halftime. Texas jumped to an early lead by way of the three-point line, shooting 53.three% from beyond the arc. Sir’Jabari Rice has 15 points, two assists and 4 rebounds off the bench for Texas. 

But the Raiders closed the half on a 14-six run to remain inside striking distance. Ryan Moffatt leads Colgate with six points, a single steal and a single help. 

The Wildcats entered halftime with a six-point lead more than the Broncos, getting led the whole game and by as several as ten points. Guard Boo Buie is the only Wildcat in double figures with 11 points, 3 assists and 3 rebounds. Chase Audige added seven points and Ty Berry recorded six. Northwestern only committed 4 turnovers and fouls in the half. 

Broncos guard Marcus Shaver Jr. went down immediately after twisting his appropriate ankle with two:33 left in the 1st half. He was helped back to the locker area and couldn’t apply stress to his ankle. It is not clear if he will return. Chibuzo Agbo leads the Broncos with ten points, a single help and 3 rebounds.

The Blue Devils got out to a dominant get started in their 1st-round matchup, jumping out to a commanding early lead.

Duke had two players finish the half with double-digit points. Jeremy Roach posted 13 and Dariq Whitehead added ten off the bench. Dereck Lively II was a force on the glass, pulling down nine rebounds.

Oral Roberts, meanwhile, struggled to locate momentum. Max Abmas led the group with eight points in the 1st 20 minutes.

All round, the Blue Devils shot an impressive 50% from the field and 40% from three-point variety. The Golden Eagles shot just 26.five% from the field and shot 20% from beyond the arc. Duke won the rebound battle 25-15.

The ninth-seeded Tigers spread the scoring about, finishing the 1st half with 4 players tallying at least 5 points. Nine players scored for Auburn all round.

Each Johni Broome (eight points, six rebounds) and Allen Flanigan (six points, seven rebounds) are on double-double watch for the Tigers. Iowa’s Filip Rebraca led all scorers with ten points at the break.

Each teams struggled from three-point variety. Auburn connected on just 1 of 9 shots from beyond the arc whilst Iowa missed all nine of its attempts.

President Joe Biden shared his brackets for the men’s and women’s NCAA Tournaments on Twitter ahead of Thursday’s tip-off of the men’s action and, nicely … his bracket is just as busted as the rest of us. 

The commander in chief picked Arizona to win the entire point. Halfway via the day’s action, the No. two seed Wildcats had been eliminated, shocked by No. 15 Princeton in the 1st round. 

Great luck to just about every group in this year’s NCAA tournament.

I’ve got Arizona in the men’s tournament and Villanova in the women’s – and as you know, in this household, Villanova generally wins.

— President Biden (@POTUS) March 16, 2023

To make matters worse, the president had Arizona squaring off with No. four Virginia in the Elite Eight. The Cavaliers had been also upset Thursday, falling to No. 13 Furman in jaw-dropping style. Not wonderful to currently have an whole area basically eliminated on Day 1, but we think about Biden has larger items to be concerned about. 

Regardless of Illinois’ torrid comeback try, No. eight Arkansas held on for a 1st-round victory more than the ninth-seeded Fighting Illini. 

Ricky Council IV was a force for the Razorbacks, tallying 18 points and ten rebounds. Teammate Davonte Davis added 16 points.

Meanwhile, Illinois’ Terrence Shannon Jr. led all scorers with 20 while teammates Coleman Hawkins and RJ Melendez added ten points apiece.

The Fighting Illini had been hampered by turnovers, providing away 17 possessions compared to Arkansas’ 11 turnovers in the game. Each teams shot much less than 40% from the field, but the Razorbacks won the rebound battle 42-34 and sophisticated to the round of 32.

Most significant upset of the tournament? The No. 15-seeded Tigers erased a double-digit deficit in the second half to knock off the second-seeded Wildcats. 

Arizona was out-rebounded 39-37 and fell victim to six blocked shots in the loss. Princeton’s Tosan Evbuomwan paced the group with 15 points, seven rebounds and 4 assists.

The Wildcats received a 22-point work from Azuolas Tubelis and got a double-double from Oumar Ballo (13 points, 12 rebounds) but could not close out the 1st-round matchup.

Princeton, which shot just 16% from three-point variety (four-for-25), did just adequate to pull off an unforgettable upset. The Tigers completed the game on a 9- run.

Furman kicked off the madness by knocking off No. four Virginia thanks to a clutch three-point shot from JP Pegues in the final seconds.

It marked the 1st tournament win considering that 1974 for the private college with an enrollment of 2,500.

Understand about the college that was thrust into the NCAA Tournament spotlight, like, what is a Paladin? 

— Jordan Mendoza

The Aztecs survived in a single of the closest games of the day. Matt Bradley led all scorers with 17 points and also added seven rebounds and 4 assists. Jaedon LeDee pulled down ten rebounds and contributed eight points.

Charleston got up an impressive overall performance by Ante Brzovic, who posted 12 points and eight rebounds. Jaylon Scott chipped in with nine points and seven rebounds.

Charleston took a whopping 24 attempts from beyond the arc but created just 5 of them (20.eight%). The Cougars had been a disappointing 31.five% all round from the field. San Diego State, meanwhile, shot 42.9% from the field and out-rebounded Charleston 44-34 to advance to the round of 32.

The Azetcs, who will play No. 13 seed Furman in the second round on Saturday, final won an NCAA tournament game in 2015 more than St. John’s.

Talented freshman Brandon Miller was held scoreless, but the major-seeded Crimson Tide received lots of scoring in a blowout victory more than the No. 16 seed.

Nick Pringle led all scorers and posted a double-double with 22 points and 14 rebounds, whilst Mark Sears added 15 points and Jahvon Quinerly chipped in with 13.

The Islanders had been led by Isaac Mushila, who went for a double-double with 15 points and 15 rebounds. Trey Tennyson had a group-higher 20 points.

Alabama was deadly from three-point variety, connecting on 15 of 33 attempts (45.five%). The Crimson Tide also shot 47.eight% from the field.

Miller, who contributed 5 rebounds and 3 assists, had not been held to fewer than eight points all season.

The Razorbacks had been dominant in the 1st half. Ricky Council IV led all scorers with ten points and added six rebounds. Anthony Black chipped in with seven points and 4 rebounds.

Meanwhile, the Fighting Illini had been paced by Terrence Shannon Jr. (eight points) and Luke Goode (six points).

Illinois shot just 27.six% from the field and went just three of 11 from three-point variety. They had been out-rebounded 27-19.

Arizona came alive in the final minutes of the half to take a a single-pointn lead more than Princeton. The Wildcats had been paced by Azuolas Tubelis, who scored 14 points and added 3 rebounds and an help in the 1st 20 minutes.

Tosan Evbuomwan led the Tigers with eight points and 4 assists. Zach Martini placed himself on double-double watch with seven points and 5 rebounds.

Princeton created just two three-pointers out of 12 attempts. It also did not try a 1st-half free of charge throw. The Tigers, nevertheless, out-rebounded the Wildcats 22-17 to hold the game close.

The Aztecs rode a 15-five run to end the half. San Diego State guard Matt Bradley paced all scorers with nine points to go along with 4 rebounds and two assists.

Charleston attempted 11 3-pointers and created just 3 of them. San Diego State shot 49% from the field. The Aztecs committed 11 turnovers to locate themselves in an early hole but responded in the final ten minutes of the half.

The Crimson Tide rolled to a massive halftime lead more than the Bison. Mark Sears led all scorers with 13 points to pace Alabama. Teammate Noah Clowney added ten points and 4 rebounds.

Alabama star freshman Brandon Miller was held scoreless in the 1st half. Miller played 13 minutes in the half, going of three from the field and of two from three-point variety. He added 5 rebounds and an help. Miller’s common-season low was eight points against Houston. 

Isaac Mushila led Texas A&ampM-Corpus Christi with nine points and 5 rebounds. The Islanders are attempting to develop into just the second No. 16 seed to upset a major seed in tournament history. University of Maryland Baltimore County posted a 74-54 win more than No. 1 Virginia in the 1st round of the 2018 tournament.

Jalen Wilson, a 1st-group All-America choice, scored 20 points and added seven rebounds as the Jayhawks began their national title defense. Kansas had small problems dispatching Howard, which was generating just their third NCAA tournament look. 

Gradey Dick added 19 points, 11 rebounds, 5 assists, and 3 steals for the Jayhawks, who hit 52 % of their shots and led by as several as 24. 

The Jayhawks played the game with out head coach Bill Self, who is nonetheless recovering from a overall health challenge that brought on him to miss the Major 12 Conference tournament. The Jayhawks, who had all 5 starters score in double figures, will play the winner of Illinois and Arkansas on Saturday.

Howard freshman forward Shy Odom had 15 points and eight rebounds in the game, which was attended by Vice President Kamala Harris, a Howard University alum. 

Kobe Brown hit 3 3-pointers in the second half, on the way to a private 12- scoring spurt, to break open a close game and lead the Tigers to a 76-65 victory more than Utah State in the 1st round of the South Area. 

Brown completed with 19 points for Missouri, who which will take on the winner of Arizona and Princeton on Saturday. D’Moi Hodge led the way with 22 points, hitting 5 3-pointers of his personal.

Utah State had a 49-47 lead in the second half but could not sustain it due to poor shooting and turnovers. The Aggies had been led by Taylor Funk’s 16 points and seven rebounds. 

The South’s No. eight seed Maryland employed a late spurt to pull away with a 67-65 victory more than No. 9 West Virginia, in a game that featured nine ties and 11 lead adjustments. The Terrapins now move on to play the winner of Alabama and Texas A&ampM-Corpus Christi on Saturday. Maryland lost to Alabama in the second round in their final NCAA tournament look in 2021.

The Mountaineers had a opportunity to win the game but Kedrian Johnson’s final-second three-point try was quick.

Julian Reese led 4 Terrapins, who had been down by 13 points in the 1st half in double figures with 17 points, nine rebounds, 3 assists, and 3 blocks. Hakim Hart added 15 and Donta Scott had 11 points and eight rebounds. 

West Virginia was led by Johnson, who scored 27 points.

Virginia guard Kihei Clark threw away a pass that was intercepted by Furman’s Garrett Hien, top to JP Pegues drilling a three-pointer with two.four seconds left to give No. 13 seed Furman the 1st upset of the tournament more than the fourth-seeded Cavaliers. 

The Paladins, who rallied from a 12-point second-half deficit, will play the winner of Charleston and San Diego State on Saturday.

Immediately after Hien created two free of charge throws with 12 seconds left to reduce the Virginia lead to two, Furman trapped Clark, who attempted to throw it to a teammate exactly where it was picked off by Hien close to midcourt. Reece Beekman’s 3-point try at the buzzer missed, setting off a wild celebration by Furman. 

Jalen Slawson led the Paladins, who created their 1st trip to the NCAA Tournament in 43 years, with 19 points, ten rebounds and 4 assists and was a single of 4 Furman players in double figures.

Virginia exits the tournament early after once more, reminiscent of their 2018 upset at the hands of UMBC. The Cavaliers had been paced by Kadin Shedrick who had 15 points and 13 rebounds.

The Cavaliers have led by as a lot as ten more than Furman, but the Paladins are maintaining it close and trail 32-27 at halftime, in spite of shooting only 34 %, including 4-14 from three-point variety. They are also getting outrebounded by eight.

Reece Beekman is pacing the Cavaliers with ten points and 4 rebounds and Jalen Swanson leads Furman with eight. Major scorer Mike Bothwell, who averages 18 points a game, has 5 points, but also has 3 private fouls. 

The Terrapins located themselves down 13 points early against the Mountaineers but closed sturdy to take a 32-30 halftime lead. Jahmir Young and Hakim Hart led a balanced Maryland attack with seven points every single, whilst Kedrian Johnson of West Virginia leads all scorers with ten. Maryland is shooting 58 % from the field.

The 1st games of March Madness are underway as a pair of South Area games kick off the action.

West Virginia and Maryland are going back in forth in their eight-9 matchup in Birmingham, Alabama as the 1st half winds down, whilst the 1st game in Orlando pits No. four seed Virginia and No. 13 seed Furman.

Kansas coach Bill Self will not be on the sideline when the major-ranked Jayhawks take on No. 16 seed Howard on Thursday.

Norm Roberts will continue to serve as acting head coach in spot of Self, who is deemed day to day.

Self returned to practice this week immediately after getting discharged from the University of Kansas Overall health Method, exactly where he had two stents inserted to treat blocked arteries in his heart.

Kansas requires on Howard at 2 p.m. ET.

It is tough to spend consideration to just about every group in college basketball all through the lengthy season that began way back in November, when everyone was nonetheless focused on football. And, even when the gridiron action is carried out, the hardwood teams from massive-name conferences snag most of the marquee Television slots. So a lot of you may well not know about these so-known as mid majors that are about to swoop in and grab their share of the spotlight, if only for a couple of days, or even the occasional energy conference group that limps in as a double-digit seed but hits its stride at the appropriate time. We’re right here to assist. Right here are 5 candidates to take into consideration strongly to pull off a 1st-round upset.

 Eddie Timanus

Regardless of whether it is at household, at a bar or at perform, millions of Americans will be tuning in to watch teams make or break their bracket. 

CBS and Turner Sports have the broadcasting rights to the men’s NCAA Tournament and broadcast games on 4 channels. 3 of them – CBS, TNT and TBS – you could know from broadcasting dozens of other sporting events every single year, but the remaining channel, truTV, is a single that generally eludes basketball fans every single year. 

Here’s exactly where to locate TruTV, based on your cable provider or streaming service, and what games will be on the network:

TruTV can be located on numerous cable providers, and has the very same channel quantity nationwide on some of the providers. Right here are the channels:

AT&ampT U-Verse: 164/1164

FIOS: 183/683

Cox: Varies by location 

DISH: 242

DirecTV: 246

Spectrum: Varies by place

Xfinity: Varies by place

For streaming, truTV is also obtainable on: YouTube Television, iOS App Retailer, Google Play, Amazon App Retailer, Chromecast, Apple Television, Amazon Fire Television, Roku and Android Television.

Which March Madness games will be on truTV?

Eight games will be broadcast on truTV in the 1st rounds of March Madness. Here are the games that will be on truTV, as nicely as tip-off occasions (in ET):

  • No. four Virginia vs. No. 13 Furman (Thursday, 12:40 p.m.)
  • No. five San Diego State vs. No. 12 College of Charleston (Thursday, three:ten p.m.)
  • No. 7 Northwestern vs. No. ten Boise State (Thursday, 7:35 p.m.)
  • No. two UCLA vs. No. 15 UNC Asheville (Thursday, ten:05 p.m.)
  • No. three Xavier vs. No. 14 Kennesaw State (Friday, 12:40 p.m.)
  • No. six Iowa State vs. No. 11 Pittsburgh (Friday, three:ten p.m.)
  • No. three Gonzaga vs. No. 14 Grand Canyon (Friday, 7:35 p.m.)
  • No. six TCU vs. No. 11 Nevada/No. 11 Arizona State (Friday, ten:05 p.m.)

 Jordan Mendoza

The reality of the NCAA Tournament is that unpredictability and randomness typically trump a great script. And this year in specific, we need to all devote the subsequent 3 weeks embracing the thought that our picks are useless and our brackets will probably require to be thrown in the trash.

On paper, this has the prospective to be a single of the craziest tournaments we’ve ever observed. 

Why? Possibly simply because this has not been a dominant year for the massive, regular brands. Rather, we’ve observed Houston cruise via the American Athletic Conference whilst barely receiving a worthy test from any one in addition to Memphis. We’ve observed football schools Alabama and Texas A&ampM dominate the SEC whilst Kentucky comes into the tournament seeking like an underachiever.

We’ve observed Miami, a group constructed on veterans and transfers, rise to the major of the ACC whilst Duke went way beneath the radar most of the year and North Carolina missed the tournament completely. And the Major Ten just about felt like a random benefits generator at occasions with nine teams finishing inside two games of every single other in the standings behind Purdue, which ran off with the conference title.

 Dan Wolken

Houston enters the NCAA Tournament with the No. 1 ranking in the USA Nowadays Sports coaches poll, in spite of its loss in the American Athletic Conference championship game just prior to the unveiling of the brackets on Sunday.

The Cougars, who had been playing with out top 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 immediately after winning the SEC title in impressive style on Sunday.

 Eddie Timanus

The South Area is loaded. It starts at the major with the all round highest seed, but if Alabama is to make its 1st Final 4 in plan history, it will have to navigate a bracket filled with lots of achieved applications, like 4 applications with national championship banners hanging in their household arenas.

Two of the 3 most current NCAA champs are right here, Baylor and Virginia. Arizona, a powerhouse of the ‘90’s, is back in the title hunt. Then there’s Maryland, which reduce down the nets early this century and is hoping to make noise as a single of the Major Ten’s many representatives in the field.

— Eddie Timanus

Great news for the Jayhawks – they wouldn’t have to play Texas once more till the Final 4. Even improved news – Kansas head coach Bill Self is anticipated to rejoin the group. He was discharged Sunday from the hospital, exactly where he checked in final week with chest tightness and balance issues. According to medical doctors, Self had two stents placed in order to treat blocked arteries in his heart.

The No. two seed, UCLA, enters the tournament with injury problems. If UCLA hadn’t lost defensive whiz Jaylen Clark to injury in the common-season finale, there’s a very good opportunity the Bruins would have had a No. 1 seed and a path to the Final 4. 

— Josh Peter

Purdue is seeking to advance to the Final 4 for the 1st time beneath coach Matt Painter and the 1st time as a plan considering that 1980. The Boilermakers are constructed about 7-foot-four junior center Zach Edey, the favourite for national player of the year.

The East Area does not lack for star energy: Purdue is joined by No. two Marquette, No. three Kansas State and No. four Tennessee, followed by No. five Duke and No. six Kentucky.

— Paul Myerberg

How can you not like a regional bracket that – if the seedings hold kind – will have Texas meeting Texas A&ampM in the second round and wind its way to Houston, and Texas playing for a spot in a Final 4 getting held in Houston?

The very best 1st-round matchup in the Midwest?

The Texas A&ampM-Penn State game pairs teams that had wonderful runs last weekend and have tremendous guard play but each played Sunday and have to come back and play Thursday. (It also matches the sartorial splendiferousness of Aggies coach Buzz Williams and his suit vests against the quarter-zip-casual Micah Shrewsberry.)

— Steve Berkowitz

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