When NCAA tournament business ends on Sunday, the men’s Sweet 16 will be decided, while half of the women’s Sweet 16 field will be decided.
Two No. 1 seeders have already been eliminated in the men’s, highlighted by No. 1 Purdue’s stunning loss to No. 16 Fairleigh Dickinson. Now, the FDU aims to do what no 16 seed has ever done: reach the Sweet 16.
The Knights will look to make it Sunday (7:45 p.m. ET, truTV) against Florida Atlantic, a strong mid-major who is 32-3 in the year after his dramatic win over Memphis. But first, Pitt #11 and Xavier #3 get the party started at 12:10 p.m. ET on CBS.
Women’s action begins with the defending champions as No. 1 South Carolina attempts to go 34-0 against South Florida (1 p.m. ET, ABC). Iowa star Caitlin Clark then takes the national stage in the next game on ABC, which pits her No. 2 Hawkeyes against No. 10 Georgia.
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Sunday action is running
The first game of the day, a men’s group matchup between No. 11 Pittsburgh and No. 3 Xavier, took place just after noon on Sunday. And if the offensive pace at the start is any indication of what’s to come for the rest of the day, the goals are displayed.
The Musketeers have been the leading team in the Big East this season, parting ways with Pittsburgh midway through the first half and opening a 28-18 lead. Xavier broke a 14-3 run and shot 57.1% from the field on 12 of 21 attempts. Guard Colby Jones and forward Jack Nunge each have eight points to lead the Musketeers.
Pittsburgh shoots 7 of 16 from the field, with a 46.7% clip.
The matchup also offers an interesting bit of nostalgia and familiarity, as Xavier head coach Sean Miller was a guard for the Panthers from 1987 to 1992, where he started 124 of the 128 games he played in.
This men’s tournament is really up for grabs
All season long, this promised to be the most open NCAA men’s tournament in a generation. The blue bloods weren’t that blue. The top teams had obvious flaws. The combination of an extra year of COVID for older players, a runaway transfer environment, and a group of freshmen largely unready for prime time meant teams’ fortunes were eroding from game to game, week to week, jo- Jo swayed.
Now here we are, almost done with the first weekend of March Madness, and there’s an important question to ask: who will win the national championship?
Maybe it would be better to say it differently. If you’re still alive in this crazy tournament on Sunday night, dare to dream. Even you, Princeton. This is really available.
– Then clouds
double trouble? Indiana and Miami face off in the men’s and women’s game
No, you don’t see double.
Indiana and Miami will face off in the second round of both the men’s and women’s tournaments. The men’s game takes place in Albany, New York on Sunday night, while the women’s teams compete in Bloomington, Indiana on Monday.
“That’s great. I mean, what a great situation,” said Katie Meier, Miami women’s coach. “I know our athletic director also flew back and forth on a plane with someone from Indiana.”
The NCAA has no record of how many times schools have played each other in each of the tournaments, let alone in the same round. But suffice it to say it hasn’t happened often. Meier had been asked about the potential for the double dip ahead of Saturday’s game, but she declined to answer, jinxing herself. Good thing because the Hurricanes fell back 17 before rallying to hit Oklahoma State.
Top seeded Indiana had rolled earlier in the day, while the men’s teams of IU and Miami both secured their spots on Friday.
“We’re looking forward to playing Indiana,” Meier said, “and hopefully the ‘Canes’ will win in two games.”
– Nancy armor
Princeton men, women win first-round games same year, make Ivy history
This was a tournament that the Ivy League will long remember before Princeton’s men advanced to the second round.
This is the first year that Ivy’s teams have won first-round games at both tournaments. A day after the Princeton men stunned Arizona, the 10th seeded Princeton women upset NC State with a 3-pointer with seven seconds remaining on Friday night.
“We watched (the men) in the dressing room right before practice,” Julia Cunningham said on Friday night. “Seeing them, all the media coverage they’re getting, was so well deserved. We looked at each other and thought we’re next, now it’s our turn.
“It’s special,” she added. “A special week to be a tiger.”
– Nancy armor
Ranking of Sunday’s games
How many teams will you have in your Sweet 16? We’ll know who goes ahead after Sunday’s eight-game slate with some of the highest seeds still standing after a crazy and unpredictable start to the NCAA men’s basketball tournament.
But we’ll all be paying close attention to the breakaway as No. 16 Fairleigh Dickinson looks to build on the historic excitement of No. 1 Purdue on Friday night with a second-round matchup against No. 9 Florida Atlantic.
But remember: Of the eight games played on Sunday, six feature the highest possible seeds – No. 6 vs. No. 3, No. 5 vs. No. 4 and No. 7 vs. No. 2.
Here’s a list of Sunday’s games, sorted by viewability:
1. No. 16 Fairleigh Dickinson vs. No. 9 Florida Atlantic (7:45 p.m. ET)
2. #5 Saint Mary’s vs. No. 4 Connecticut (6:10)
3. #6 Kentucky vs. No. 3 Kansas State (2:40)
4. #3 Baylor vs. No. 6 Creighton (7:10)
5. #3 Gonzaga vs. No. 6 TCU (9:40)
6. #7 Michigan State vs. No. 2 Marquette (5:15)
7. #5 Miami vs. No. 4 Indiana (8:40)
8th. #3 Xavier vs. No. 11 Pittsburgh (12:10)
– Paul Meyerberg
Merrimack coach endorses Fairleigh Dickenson
With his excitement from No. 1 seed Purdue, the Knights gave the Northeast Conference their first first-round win in the NCAA men’s tournament in four decades. But the Knights wouldn’t be here without Merrimack, who won the conference title but was ineligible because of his move to Division I. NCAA rules state that a school must be on hiatus four years after such a transition.
So Merrimack coach Joe Gallo and the rest of the team stayed home and watched Fairleigh Dickenson pick Purdue – and the big man Zach Edey – apart. So is there jealousy among his enemies in the Northeast?
“To quote my 6-year-old: ‘Dad, we beat them, so we want them to win'” Gallo to CBS Sports. “People have been tough in our league all year too, so I’m happy to win.”
– Heather Tucker
UMBC finds a friend on Twitter
The UMBC Twitter account finally has a best friend. It is the Twitter account of the Farleigh Dickinson men’s basketball team. What do they have in common? Both thrive on creating absolute chaos and blasting brackets.
The UMBC Twitter account celebrated Fairleigh Dickinson’s victory over Purdue, which likely destroyed many men’s NCAA tournament brackets. The FDU Twitter account got wind of it and announced their new mutual friendship.
It was always difficult for UMBC to find someone who understood. After all, it’s not often that you get a 16 seed upsetting a 1 seed. UMBC was the first men’s program to do so when it knocked off the #1 spot in Virginia in 2018. But if there’s anyone who gets the feeling, it’s the FDU.
— Mike D. Sykes II, For the Victory
Latest USA TODAY Athletic Coach Poll
Houston entered the NCAA tournament ranked No. 1 by USA TODAY athletic coaches, despite his loss in the American Athletic Conference championship game just before the brackets were unveiled last Sunday.
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 received eight firsts after impressively winning the SEC title.
Houston defeated Northern Kentucky in their first round game and Auburn in their second round game, while Alabama defeated Texas A&M Corpus Christi in their tournament opener. The Crimson Tide knocked out 8th seed Maryland late Saturday.
– Eddie Timanos
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: March Madness Live Bracket Updates: Xavier, Pittsburgh starts the action
Source : sports.yahoo.com