NCAA Tournament Live Updates: Cinderella-Furman hopeful kicks off Madness action on Saturday in March

The first eight bids for the Sweet 16 in the men’s NCAA tournament will be locked up on Saturdaywhile the women’s tournament finishes the first round.

Furman and Princeton took the sports world by storm on Thursday with upsets from No. 4 Virginia and No. 2 Arizona, respectively. Both are back in action, with the 13-man Paladins beginning men’s action against No. 5 San Diego State at 12:10 p.m. ET (CBS). The 15 seed Tigers will be at 6:10 p.m. ET (TNT) in No. 7 Missouri versus tigers of another race.

On the women’s side, No. 1 seed Indiana is in action after top seeds South Carolina, Virginia Tech and Stanford took care of business on Friday. The Hoosiers begin Day 2 of the women’s first round at 11:30 a.m. ET (ESPN2) with a game against Tennessee Tech, the No. 16 seed who defeated Monmouth in a first-four game on Thursday.

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Furman Paladins head coach Bob Richey (left) and forward Jalen Slawson watch Thursday’s first-round game against the Virginia Cavaliers.

MEN’S TOURNAMENT: Complete scores and schedule

WOMEN’S TOURNAMENT: Complete scores and schedule

Bill Self out again

Kansas head coach Bill Self will not practice in the team’s second-round game against Arkansas on Saturday, the school said. Self continues to recover from a cardiac catheterization that caused him to miss the Big 12 tournament. Self, 60, attended Jayhawks practice Friday but mostly sat and watched.

Assistant Norm Roberts will once again serve as assistant head coach for Kansas. He coached the Jayhawks to a 96-68 win over Howard in the first round.

The defending champion will take on the Razorbacks at 5:15 p.m. at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines, Iowa.

Ranking of Saturday’s games

Saturday’s winners earn a spot in the Sweet 16, and the eight games feature some of college basketball’s best teams and players. Three No. 1 seeded players are in action, and the spotlight will be on first-team All-Americans Jalen Wilson of Kansas and Alabama forward Brandon Miller and possibly Houston’s jack-of-all-trades Marcus Sasser.

Here’s the list of Saturday’s eight games, ranked by how worth seeing they are.

  1. No. 4 Tennessee vs. No. 5 Duke (2:40 p.m. ET)

  2. #1 Alabama vs. #8 Maryland (9:40 p.m.)

  3. No. 7 Missouri vs. No. 15 Princeton (6:10 p.m.)

  4. #1 Kansas vs. #8 Arkansas (5:15 p.m.)

  5. #1 Houston vs. #9 Auburn (7:10 p.m.)

  6. No. 2 UCLA vs. No. 7 Northwestern (8:40 p.m.)

  7. No. 2 Texas vs. No. 10 Penn State (7:45 p.m.)

  8. No. 5 San Diego State vs. No. 13 Furman (12:10 p.m.)

– Scooby Axson

Did that really happen?!?!

In case you missed it on Friday night (though we can’t imagine how), Purdue became just the second men’s No. 1 to fall to 16 since the group expanded to 64-teams in 1985 Fairleigh Dickinson shocked the nation with a 63-58 win.

When there’s a winner besides the stream Fairleigh Dickinson player & First-year head coach Tobin Anderson — not to mention every single FDU grad and fan — it’s likely Virginia coach Tony Bennett who now isn’t the only coach to lose to a No. 16. whoops Talk about a club you don’t want to join.

But maybe the biggest winners are fans of college hoops. That we’ve seen two 16-seeds beat 1-seed over the past five years is evidence that parity in men’s college basketball continues to increase, making the NCAA tournament more unpredictable and ultimately more entertaining.

— Lindsay Schnell and Paul Myerberg

The sisters could face off in the second round with Saturday wins

Lior Garzon’s initial excitement during Sunday’s selection show was the fact that Oklahoma State was tied for #8 in the NCAA women’s tournament against #9 Miami, Fla. It took the junior less than a minute to realize that the Cowgirls were not only dancing, but heading to Bloomington, Indiana, where her younger sister Yarden Garzon is a freshman guard for Indiana’s No. 1.

At their respective schools via Ra’anana, Israel, the Garzon sisters never discussed the possibility of ending up in the bracket together before Sunday, but they knew it could at least be in the game. Indiana tip against Tennessee Tech at 11:30 a.m. ET, followed by Oklahoma State-Miami at 2 p.m

Thursday’s reunion at the team hotel marked the first time the sisters have seen each other since Yarden visited Stillwater, Oklahoma over the winter break.

“I’m really looking forward to seeing them play,” said Lior, who averages 11 points and shoots 43% from the bench.

As for the possibility of a second-round matchup between Indiana and Oklahoma State — and Lior was quick to point out they have yet to win their first-round games — it would mark the first time the sisters have faced each other since they played in a club game just before Lior left for the United States.

– Brian Hanchen, Indianapolis Star

Princeton celebrates like it’s 1996

No. 15 seeded Princeton dominated inside and out plunged the southern region into chaos with a flurry of Arizona.

Maybe it wasn’t quite like when the Tigers staged a memorable riot at UCLA in 1996 when they were seeded 14th and beat third-ranked and reigning champion Bruins 43-41. There was more insult and given how common upsets are now, it probably didn’t shock as many people. But it’s still a big deal. And it’s only Princeton’s second tournament win since that game. The Tigers defeated UNLV in the first round in 1998.

– Lindsay Schnell

What is a paladin?

Princeton may have thrown up the most excitement on Thursday, but the 13-man Furman’s win over No. 4 Virginia was a fun start to the 2023 NCAA men’s tournament (unless you’re a Cavaliers fan, of course).

Paladins men’s basketball fans have been waiting for this for a long time. It has been more than 40 years since Furman was last in the tournament and over 45 years since his last March Madness victory.

The American Heritage College Dictionary defines a paladin as “the epitome of chivalry” or “a heroic champion”. A paladin was also one of the 12 legendary peers or knightly champions present at the court of Charlemagne or Charlemagne in the 8th century.

— Jordan Mendoza

Alabama’s greatest adversary may be exhaustion from the endless chaos

The athletics director made a statement at halftime. The most tested 20-year-old in basketball failed to get a shot before eventually going to the bench to rest a sore groin. The Walk-On, which no one had heard of before Wednesday night, threatened the New York Times with a lawsuit. And for two hours the coach loses his mind every time he dribbles a game he didn’t even come close to losing.

In other words, it was just another day in Alabama basketball.

– Dan clouds

Houston ruins title hopes by playing Marcus Sasser before he was ready

That backfired spectacularly.

Just five days after Marcus Sasser pulled his groin in the semifinals of the American Athletic Conference tournament, he was back on the Cougars starting lineup Thursday night. For a first round match against a No. 16 team.

To a surprise to almost no one, Sasser didn’t even make it to halftime. Now, top-seeded Houston may not make it to the second weekend, let alone the Final Four in his hometown.

– Nancy armor

Latest USA TODAY Athletic Coach Poll

Houston entered the NCAA tournament with the Ranked #1 in the USA TODAY Sports Coaches polldespite his loss in the American Athletic Conference championship game just prior to Sunday’s unveiling of the brackets.

The Cougars, who were without top scorer Marcus Sasser in the loss to Memphis, retained 21 of 32 No. 1 votes to hold off second-place Alabama. The Crimson Tide earned eight firsts after impressively winning the SEC title on Sunday.

Houston defeated Northern Kentucky in their first-round game, while Alabama defeated Texas A&M Corpus Christi in their tournament opener. The Cougars meet No. 9 Auburn on Saturday while the Crimson Tide meet No. 8 Maryland.

– Eddie Timanos

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: March Madness Live Bracket Updates: Cinderella-Hopeful Furman vs. SDSU

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