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March Insanity’ 11 most memorable moments of males’s opening weekend

The sheer quantity of basketball is a part of what makes the opening week of the March Insanity so particular. With a complete of 32 video games throughout Thursday/Friday and 16 extra video games on Saturday/Sunday (to not point out the First 4 earlier within the week), the NCAA event quantities to a tidal wave of high-stakes basketball hitting you within the face.

It’s superior, but it surely may also be a bit overwhelming.

Don’t really feel dangerous in case your bracket is already in shambles. You aren’t the one one. Whether or not it was Kentucky’s historic upset by the hands of No. 15 Saint Peter’s, Auburn’s abysmal efficiency towards Miami, or Baylor’s impressed comeback falling quick towards North Carolina, the event subject has been shaken as much as an excessive diploma by the point we arrive on the Candy 16.

The primary 4 days of the boys’s NCAA event lived as much as the hype as soon as once more. Listed here are the 11 finest moments from the opening week.

The chaotic ending of Arizona vs. TCU

Arizona was the second hottest choose to win the nationwide championship in ESPN’s bracket swimming pools, however the Wildcats all of a sudden noticed their season on life help inside the ultimate minutes of their spherical of 32 matchup towards TCU. With the Horned Frogs up three with beneath 20 seconds left, sophomore star Ben Mathurin drilled a three-pointer from the emblem to tie the sport:

What occurred subsequent was even wilder. Arizona blitzed the TCU ball display screen for level guard Mike Miles. Miles took a bump close to the halfcourt line and fell to the bottom, however the refs didn’t name a foul. Arizona’s Dalen Terry scooped up the ball and raced to the basket as the ultimate seconds of regulation ticked away, however his dunk got here simply after the buzzer.

Arizona would win in time beyond regulation with Mathurin making enormous play after enormous play down the stretch. There’s a purpose we had him pegged as a top-10 NBA draft pick this year. Past that, in the event you’re selecting one participant to experience with for the remainder of this event, it’s onerous to go together with anybody over Mathurin.

Props to TCU, who gave Arizona a hell of a problem after profitable this system’s first males’s NCAA event recreation since 1987. We’ll always remember Eddie Lampkin’s “too small” taunts directed at actual giant Christian Koloko after scoring on him repeatedly. Additionally, let or not it’s recognized March Insanity is the best as a result of for a quick time period somebody like Lampkin can grow to be crucial athlete in America.

Saint Peter’s stuns Kentucky within the first spherical

Sure, we noticed a No. 15 seed crash Candy 16 simply final 12 months. Sure, we’re just a few years faraway from UMBC profitable the primary recreation in NCAA event historical past for a No. 16 seed. Irrespective of: No. 15 seed Saint Peter’s win vs. No 2 seed Kentucky actually may be the largest upset in NCAA event historical past. The Wildcats spent 12.5x more money on their program than the little MAAC champ from Jersey Metropolis that performs within the equal of a highschool fitness center whereas UK usually fills Rupp Area.

John Calipari went from counting on one-and-dones to constructing by means of transfers this 12 months, however the added expertise didn’t assist him keep away from probably the most humiliating lack of his profession. There isn’t any situation the place a Kentucky staff with nationwide championship aspirations needs to be dropping to Saint Peter’s.

Whereas Doug Ebert’s clutch taking pictures and ‘70s mustache has gotten some viral buzz, the true star right here is head coach Shaheen Holloway. The Peacocks have run some lovely offensive units late in video games whereas defending and rebounding at an unimaginable stage given their lack of dimension. With rumors of an even bigger job buzzing, Holloway appears like March Insanity’ greatest winner to this point.

Bruce Pearl and Auburn go down in flames

It was simple to see the Auburn’s potential downfall even when the staff was rolling at 22-1 general whereas hitting No. 1 within the AP Ballot for the primary time in program historical past. Whereas the Tigers had an elite entrance court docket with the potential the No. 1 general NBA draft choose in Jabari Smith Jr. and maybe the most effective defensive participant within the sport in sophomore heart Walker Kessler, their guards had been inefficient and sometimes misplaced management of video games.

Auburn followers’ worst fears had been realized within the spherical of 32 towards No. 10 seed Miami. The Tigers didn’t simply exit the event early, they went out in embarrassing trend with a blowout loss. It’s a tough search for Pearl who signed a contract extension that made him one of many 5 highest paid coaches in school basketball in January.

Guards Wendell Inexperienced and KD Johnson mixed to shoot 2-of-12 from three-point vary, with lots of their makes an attempt being too audacious for the second. In the meantime, Smith and Kessler mixed to shoot 3-of-19 from the sphere. It was on Pearl to decelerate the sport and get to the ball to his entrance court docket stars offensively. It was on Pearl to determine a counter to Miami’s isolation-heavy perimeter assault whereas he had two elite defensive bigs. As an alternative, Pearl confirmed little in the way in which of situational consciousness or tactical changes. His staff regarded completely unprepared for Miami’s onslaught.

It was a tough night time for Smith. First he bought dunked on by Isaiah Wong:

Then he bought packed on the rim by Sam Waardenburg.

There are higher days forward for Jabari Smith. Pearl alternatively will probably be regretting losing such a proficient staff with an early event exit.

The ridiculous technical foul referred to as towards Illinois

No. 4 seed Illinois led towards No. 13 seed Chattanooga for precisely 25 seconds earlier than someway escaping with a primary spherical win. A spherical of 32 matchup towards No. 5 seed Houston was at all times going to be harder, however the Illini did properly to maintain the sport aggressive into the second half.

With simply over eight minutes left in regulation, the Illini protection bought a steal which led to a breakaway dunk for freshman RJ Melendez to trim the Cougars’ result in 4 factors. Sadly, he was referred to as for some of the bogus technical fouls within the historical past of the game for hanging on the rim.

Ridiculous and unacceptable. Melendez was merely attempting to guard himself from his ahead momentum so he wouldn’t get harm, however the ref thought it was showboating.

Houston went on an enormous run from there to punch their ticket to the Candy 16. That silly technical feels prefer it modified the tide of the sport.

Baylor’s historic comeback bid falls quick vs. UNC

No. 1 seed Baylor trailed No. 8 seed North Carolina by 25 factors with 10 minutes to go in regulation. Then Tar Heels star Brady Manek was ejected on a foolish flagrant-2 name for catching Jeremy Sochan with an inadvertent elbow. Baylor went on a large run from there, utilizing a full court docket trapping protection and a few questionable no-calls from the officers to drive OT.

The Bears had all of the momentum going into time beyond regulation, however UNC made sufficient photographs to take management. RJ Davis iced the win with this circus layup:

It felt like the entire world had complaints about how a lot contact the Baylor protection was getting away with, however credit score UNC for holding on in a recreation that appeared prefer it was sure to finish in a historic loss.

Gonzaga needing to dig deep vs. Memphis

There weren’t many groups within the nation taking part in higher ball getting into the event than Memphis. They aren’t many groups with extra expertise, both. That mixture meant No. 1 general seed Gonzaga was going to have its work lower out for them within the spherical of 32, and for the primary half it actually felt just like the Tigers had been going to tug the upset.

What modified within the second half? Veteran heart Drew Timme went bonkers, scoring 22 of his 25 factors within the ultimate 20 minutes. This was a clinic in old-fashioned, inside scoring. With seemingly all of their high bigs in foul hassle, there wasn’t something Memphis might do to cease him.

Gonzaga could be sitting at house proper now with out Timme’s scoring explosion. Memphis had them sweating.

Murray State vs. San Francisco was a mid-major shootout for the ages

Faculty hoops diehards instantly groaned when a matchup between No. 7 seed Murray State and No. 10 seed San Francisco was introduced. These had been two of the most effective mid-majors within the nation, and it will have a lot enjoyable to see them every get a shot at one of many sport’s massive boys. Irrespective of: Murray State’s time beyond regulation win over San Francisco was nothing lower than some of the entertaining video games we’ll see all event lengthy.

Dons senior guard Jamaree Bouyea was phenomenal in defeat, going off for 36 factors highlighted by a number of cold-blooded daggers late. Tevin Brown and the Racers had been just a bit bit higher. I want we might have watched a seven-game sequence.

A close to halfcourt game-winner in USC vs. Miami

Earlier than Miami dominated Auburn within the spherical of 32, they received a nail-biter towards No. 7 seed USC. Trojans ahead Drew Peterson caught hearth on the finish of the highest, hitting two three-pointers within the ultimate 40 seconds to provide his staff an opportunity to win.

As USC inbounded the ball beneath its personal basket with three seconds left, Peterson bought off a halfcourt shot that practically went in.

Shades of Gordon Hayward at Butler. After all our friends at Secret Base have a video about that:

The Indiana cheerleader that saved the day

Bless the Hoosiers cheerleaders for offering us with a superbly healthful March second:

Kelvin Sampson bought shirtless within the locker room

Houston has quietly grow to be one in all school basketball’s high packages. The Cougars superior previous the primary weekend for the third straight 12 months by beating the Illini, and when it was over head coach Kelvin Sampson took off his shirt to social gathering together with his staff within the locker room.

Duke was on the ropes vs. Michigan State

Was Coach Okay’s final dance actually going to finish within the spherical of 32 to Tom Izzo? It regarded prefer it.

Duke trailed No. 7 seed Michigan State by 5 factors with 5 minutes left. With their season on the road, the Blue Devils rose to the event. Freshman star Paolo Banchero made a number of massive performs down the stretch, and level guard Jeremy Roach — whose play was maligned all through the season — hit crucial shot of the night time to maintain Duke transferring by means of the bracket:

The second weekend of the event simply has a lot extra intrigue understanding every recreation could possibly be Coach Okay’s final. Will he get the storybook ending Duke followers need, or will the haters get yet another second within the solar?

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