The Latest on the second full day of the men’s NCAA Tournament, including games being played in St. Louis; Spokane, Washington; New York; and Oklahoma City (All times EDT):
With 11:13 left in the second half, West Virginia and Stephen F. Austin had combined for 23 made field goals and 23 turnovers.
–Ralph Russo, reporting from New York
Oklahoma guard Buddy Hield was surprised when he heard that Michigan State lost to Middle Tennessee State in first-round action Friday.
While Michigan State was struggling, Hield was busy scoring 27 points to help his Sooners get past Cal State Bakersfield. He had an idea that things weren’t going well for the Spartans, who beat the Sooners in the Sweet 16 last year.
“I heard the rumors,” Hield said. “I knew it was a tight game, but I don’t know who lost.”
Once a reporter told Hield about the upset, Hield said he felt for Denzel Valentine, one of Hield’s toughest challengers for AP Player of the Year, and Lourawls Nairn, who like Hield, is from The Bahamas.
“I really like watching those guys,” Hield said. “They’re my friends. That’s tough.”
–Cliff Brunt, reporting from Oklahoma City
Oregon is finally standing up for the Pac-12.
The No. 1 seed in the West Region, the Ducks are leading 43-25 over No. 16 seed Holy Cross at halftime.
It’s been a miserable start to the NCAA Tournament for the Pac-12 with five teams eliminated. Utah is the only Pac-12 school to advance so far and Oregon appears on its way to joining the Utes in the round of 32.
Chris Boucher is leading the way for Oregon. The 6-foot-10 forward has 11 points, including three lob dunks and a 3-pointer.
__ Tim Booth reporting from Spokane, Washington
Perhaps Wisconsin should have watched a few minutes of Middle Tennessee State.
The Blue Raiders seemingly scored at will in their 90-81 upset of Michigan State on Friday, shortly before the Badgers took the floor against Pittsburgh.
Wisconsin proceeded to miss 13 of its first 15 shots and struggled to reach double-digits before settling into a 22-16 halftime deficit.
This is clearly not the same Wisconsin as last year’s national runners-up, when Frank Kaminsky and Sam Dekker provided instant offense. But at the Badgers still play defense and it’s keeping them in the game.
— Dave Skretta, reporting from St. Louis.
Go back to fantasizing about Powerball — the dream of the perfect men’s bracket is no more for 2016.
Michigan State losing the eighth 15-2 upset in NCAA Tournament history dismantled millions of brackets, leaving no perfect brackets for players who submitted entries through CBS Sports, Yahoo and ESPN.
Users on ESPN were so sure the Spartans would win, more picked No. 1 seeds North Carolina, Oregon, or Virginia to lose in the first round even though a top seed has never been taken down in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.
Yale and Penn might be Ivy League rivals, but the Elis’ stunning victory over Baylor in the men’s NCAA Tournament sure got the Quakers’ women’s team excited.
After all, it’s not very often that anyone from their conference makes noise at the Big Dance.
During the drive south to Maryland, where the 10th-seeded Penn’s women face No. 7 Washington on Saturday, “the girls were in the back of the bus, cheering for Yale,” Quakers coach Mike McLaughlin said.
When No. 12 Yale finished off No. 5 Baylor 79-75 on Thursday for the school’s first NCAA win — in its first appearance in more than a half-century — Penn’s players “were celebrating like they won,” according to McLaughlin.
“They knew, around the country, people would be talking about the Ivy League, which means talking about them,” he explained. “And I think that’s a good thing.”
Ivy League women’s teams have a total of two wins in the NCAAs — by Harvard (as a No. 16 seed in 1998) and by Princeton (with President Barack Obama’s niece on the roster last year).
— Howard Fendrich reporting from College Park, Maryland.
Quenton Decosey made what were probably the biggest free throws of his life. Decosey was fouled shooting a 3 by Anthony Clemmon with 2.1 seconds left in the game and Iowa up by 3.
Decosey made the first two and Iowa called timeout. He stepped up and made the last one to tie the score at 63. Iowa threw the ball away with a long pass and the Owls had one more shot with 1.3 seconds left but did not get a shot off.
— Ralph Russo reporting from Brooklyn
If Michigan State losing isn’t enough to prove the wackiness of this March, digest this: Lower-seeded teams are 11-9 in the NCAA Tournament through the first 20 games.
The Spartans’ loss busted national title picks in roughly one-quarter of brackets picked by Yahoo! and ESPN users.
Brackets busted: 27.3 percent of brackets in Yahoo! pools and 22.3 percent in ESPN pools had Michigan State winning it all. Only Kansas was a more popular choice.
With Hawaii upsetting California, the Pac-12 fell to 1-5 in the first round with Oregon still left to play. The Ducks are a 1 seed facing Holy Cross, which made the field with a losing record as Patriot League Tournament champions.
Utah is the only Pac-12 team to advance so far. The league’s seven representatives were tied for the most of any conference in the 68-team field.
Idaho is warming up before its first-round game in the women’s NCAA Tournament at No. 1 seed Baylor.
No surprise that the Vandals almost immediately are taking shots from long range.
Baylor and Idaho both have the same 37.1 shooting percentage on 3-pointers. But the Vandals have made more 3-pointers than the Big 12 champion Lady Bears have even attempted this season.
“They’ve made more 3s than I’ll probably ever let my team shoot in the time I’m at Baylor,” said coach Kim Mulkey, whose Lady Bears open NCAA play on their home court for the fourth year in a row.
Idaho is second nationally with 341 made 3-pointers this season, trailing only Sacramento State’s 386. Baylor is tied for 298th with its 118 made 3s.
— Stephen Hawkins reporting from Waco, Texas.
Temple and Villanova are part of Philadelphia’s storied Big Five in basketball, with La Salle, St. Joseph’s and Penn.
The prospects of a Big Five matchup between Temple and Villanova in Sunday’s second round had Wildcats coach Jay Wright feeling some mixed emotions.
“Growing up in Philly, every time I coach in one of those games, I’ve got to pinch myself that I’m in it,” he said after the first-round win against UINC Asheville. “In Philadelphia, that’s like an Auburn-Alabama — it’s like living in Alabama and playing an Auburn-Alabama football game. That’s what those games are like. But on the other side, the coaches are really good friends, and I hate coaching against my friends.”
Fran Dunphy and Temple were down 38-37 at halftime to Iowa.
— Ralph Russo reporting from New York
You’d think Michigan State’s Denzel Valentine would get a little respect these days.
Not from the public address announcer at the Scottrade Center.
He made a habit of calling the Big Ten player of the year “Darnell Valentine” in the first half of the second-seeded Spartans’ game against No. 15 seed Middle Tennessee State on Friday.
Either the man behind the mike was making an honest mistake or he was showing his age: Darnell Valentine was an All-American guard for Kansas in the 1970s and ’80s who went on to spend several years with the Trail Blazers, Clippers and Cavaliers before retiring from basketball.
Chances are Denzel Valentine will have an NBA future, too.
— Dave Skretta reporting from St. Louis.
California’s Jabari Bird is back on the Golden Bears’ bench for the second half after the school said he had back spasms during pregame warmups.
Bird was evaluated and received treatment in the locker room during the first half and rejoined his teammates after halftime.
California was already without starting point guard and leading scorer Tyrone Wallace after he broke his right hand in practice this week.
__ Tim Booth reporting from Spokane, Washington
Cal State Bakersfield’s Rod Barnes has no choice but to revisit one of his worst coaching memories.
He was an assistant coach at Mississippi in 1998, when Valparaiso’s Bryce Drew hit the famous 3-pointer to help the 13th-seeded Crusaders upset the 4th-seeded Rebels in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. Mississippi led 69-67 with 2.5 seconds left before Drew’s buzzer-beater.
That game was played at the Myriad, which is now the Cox Convention Center. Eighteen years later, Barnes’ 15th-seeded Roadrunners play across the street at Chesapeake Energy Arena against No. 2 seed Oklahoma.
Drew’s shot gets replayed whenever March Madness rolls around, and the location of this year’s game makes the memory even clearer for Barnes.
“Every year, you try to live it down,” Barnes said. “It’s kind of like pulling the scab off an injury __ it keeps coming right back. So hopefully, we can get here this year and have better memories, as far as the tournament goes.”
Barnes became head coach at Mississippi later that year and held that position until 2006. He was an assistant at Oklahoma for a year and led the Georgia State program from 2007 to 2011 before taking the job at Bakersfield.
Still, the memory of Drew’s shot has remained vivid.
“Man, my heart still hurts,” he said.
— Cliff Brunt, reporting from Oklahoma City.
California standout Jabari Bird is not on the Golden Bears bench and is apparently sick.
Bird was listed as a starter for the Bears, but was replaced in the lineup against Hawaii by Jordan Mathews. The television broadcast reported that Bird was in the locker room not feeling well. Bird averaged 10.4 points per game.
It’s another blow in an already tumultuous week for California that’s seen the Bears dismiss an assistant coach amid sexual harassment allegations and lose top scorer Tyrone Wallace for the season to a broken hand.
—Tim Booth reporting from Spokane, Washington.
This goes beyond brunch-time basketball.
Hawaii is used to playing at odd times during the season, but Friday’s NCAA Tournament opener against No. 4 seed California is early for even the most ardent hoops fan on the islands, with a scheduled tip of 8 a.m. in Honolulu. That’s 11 a.m. Pacific time.
While that is an adjustment for the Warriors fans back home, the team itself had no problem getting ready for the early tip. Hawaii’s been on the mainland since March 1 when it left for the final two games of the Big West regular season before winning the conference tournament in Anaheim, California, and then making the trip north to Spokane, Washington.
—Tim Booth reporting from Spokane, Washington.
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