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The Greatest and Worst from Day 3 of March Insanity


A one-seed went down, and with it went the hopes of school basketball’s first repeat nationwide champion in 15 years. Two different prime seeds had been pushed to the brink. A stylish Last 4 decide was bounced by a crew many thought didn’t even belong within the subject. And, in fact, a crew nicknamed the Peacocks turned simply the third 15-seed ever to win a number of video games in an NCAA event.

Let’s get to it.

1. (1) Gonzaga 82, (9) Memphis 78 (West)

You know the way you could have sure books that you simply’ll advocate to buddies who don’t essentially love studying? Effectively this was the kind of sport that you simply advocate to your pals who don’t essentially love school basketball.

A breakneck tempo, future professionals all around the courtroom, a raucous (principally pro-Gonzaga) crowd, the event’s No. 1 general seed being pushed to the brink; This one had about all the things you would ask for from a second spherical sport.

It was clear from the outset that Memphis’ size and athleticism was going to hassle Gonzaga. Simply how a lot so wasn’t absolutely obvious till the Tigers had been carrying a 10-point benefit with them into the locker room at halftime.

Within the second 20 minutes, Gonzaga did what nice groups do once they’re threatened: They performed their best hits. Mark Few emphasised getting the ball to star huge man Drew Timme extra, and Timme responded by scoring 21 of his game-high 25 factors within the second half. The Bulldogs additionally upped their tempo, getting simple bucket after simple bucket in transition whereas additionally sporting down a Memphis crew that very clearly wasn’t as constructed for taking part in the sort of sport because the ‘Zags had been.

Thanks largely to some woeful free-throw taking pictures by Gonzaga (13-of-24 on the line after going 16 for 30 within the first spherical towards Georgia State), Memphis by no means absolutely went away. The Tigers obtained inside two on Lester Quinones’ triple with 32 seconds to play, however 4 straight free-throws by Andrew Nembhard — Gonzaga’s lone constantly dependable free-throw shooter — put the sport on ice.

The Zags are actually off to the Candy 16 for the seventh consecutive event, the longest energetic streak in school basketball and tied for the third longest all-time. They’ll get fourth-seeded Arkansas on Thursday.

2. (8) North Carolina 93, (1) Baylor 86 (OT) (East)

The place do you even begin right here?

This sport had Shakespearian ranges of depth, and peeling away all of the layers would take way more time than we’ve right here. So let’s simply hit 5 main issues you must find out about one of many wildest second spherical event video games in historical past.

1) North Carolina almost tied the file for the biggest blown lead in NCAA event historical past.

The Tar Heels led Baylor by a whopping 25 factors with simply over 10 minutes to play, then watched as that lead fully evaporated earlier than the regulation clock struck zero. Had UNC not prevailed in additional time, they’d have gone down in historical past alongside Iona as the one groups in March Insanity historical past to lose a sport they as soon as led by 25.

2) Brady Manek obtained tossed.

North Carolina was up by 25 when Brady Manek was ejected from the sport for throwing an elbow that was deemed a flagrant 2 foul.

You may decide for your self.

Manek was UNC’s main scorer on the time with 26 factors on 8-of-13 taking pictures from the sector. The Tar Heel unraveling started the second lumberjack-looking stretch 4 hit the showers, as Baylor immediately went on a 20-4 run to get proper again within the sport.

It must be said that Manek’s flagrant 2 does not imply that he has to sit down out UNC’s Candy 16 sport towards UCLA.

3) It was one of many worst-officiated video games of all-time.

If there’s anybody in your life who rocks Carolina blue, you’re probably sick of listening to about how the refs tried at hand the sport to Baylor within the second half. Whereas the Bears’ livid rally within the sport’s last 10 minutes was definitely aided by some seemingly absurd whistles and non-whistles, the stripes additionally made some egregious calls towards Scott Drew’s crew close to the top of regulation and in additional time as effectively.

There are far too many specifics to get into right here, nevertheless it felt like each name that might probably be screwed up by this officiating crew (and even some that felt unattainable to screw up) was screwed up by this officiating crew. If any one in all them works one other sport on this event, will probably be a travesty.

4) Scott Drew couldn’t bear to observe the ultimate shot of regulation.

After James Akinjo’s quaint three-point-play tied the rating at 80 with 15 seconds to go, North Carolina’s R.J. Davis had one last shot to settle issues in regulation. The shot got here up effectively quick, however Baylor head coach Scott Drew by no means noticed it. He was simply ready to listen to the best kind of roar.

That’s a terrific March Insanity proper there that may have been an all-time March Insanity second had Baylor gone on to prevail in additional time.

5) Dontrez Kinds’ three modified all the things.

Heading into additional time, just about each basketball fan on this planet thought North Carolina had blown its shot at advancing to the Candy 16. As a lot momentum as there can probably be was within the nook of Baylor, which had already seemed to be the stronger aspect heading into the afternoon.

On the primary possession of the additional interval, freshman guard Dontrez Kinds, who entered the sport averaging simply 1.9 ppg for the season, buried a no hesitation three from the left nook to place the Heels again on prime. Kinds had been simply 2-for-14 from three on the season earlier than the shot.

Whereas R.J. Davis and Armando Bacot made all the required huge performs for the rest of the additional time, Kinds was the person who was there on the time when UNC was most in want of somebody to step up and re-assert management.

3. (1) Kansas 79, (9) Creighton 72 (Midwest)

For some time, it regarded as if Saturday afternoon’s two standalone video games may give us back-to-back bouncings of No. 1 seeds.

The second would have been much more shocking than the primary, as Creighton could be taking up mighty Kansas with out the companies of start line guard Ryan Nemhard, the Massive East Freshman of the Yr, in addition to 7-foot heart Ryan Kalkbrenner. Nemhard was misplaced for the season in late February, whereas Kalkbrenner injured his knee late in additional time of Creighton’s 72-69 win over San Diego State on Thursday.

Towards all odds, the Bluejays went (almost) blow for blow with Kansas for 40 minutes on Saturday.

The sport’s decisive second got here within the last minute. With Creighton in possession of the ball and trailing by one, an errant cross by Trey Alexander went off the fingers of Alex O’Connell and proper into the bread basket of Kansas star Ochai Agbaji, who took it the opposite manner for a straightforward dunk.

The Bluejays wouldn’t rating on any of their last three possessions.

With the win, Kansas tied Kentucky for the all-time lead in each whole wins and 30-win seasons. The Jayhawks can transfer forward of the Wildcats within the former class with a Candy 16 win over Windfall on Friday.

1. Windfall

Regardless of being the Midwest Area’s 4-seed, simply 20.8 p.c of the 17.3 million individuals who crammed out brackets on ESPN.com believed Windfall would play to kind and advance previous the event’s opening weekend.

Not solely are the Friars marching on, however they’re doing so after wins over South Dakota State and Richmond that got here by a mixed 37 factors.

Doing the heaviest lifting in that whole was PC’s 79-51 trouncing of the Spiders on Saturday. Ed Cooley’s crew shot over 50 p.c from each behind the three-point line and inside it, had 5 completely different gamers rating in double figures, and restricted Richmond to a dismal 1-of-22 from three.

The 28-point margin of victory was the biggest ever by a Windfall crew in an NCAA event sport, and sends the Friars to their first Candy 16 look in 25 years.

2. Michigan

The foremost speak surrounding Michigan within the days between Choice Sunday and the beginning of first spherical play on Thursday was how a crew with a 17-14 general file managed to not simply make the sector of 68, however keep away from taking part in within the First 4.

It isn’t the main speak surrounding the Wolverines anymore.

Michigan trailed by 5 at halftime and for a wholesome chunk of the second half earlier than a decisive 14-5 run spearheaded by Hunter Dickinson and Eli Brooks. Brooks scored 4 factors within the sport’s last minute, together with a beautiful working hook shot simply earlier than the shot clock buzzer that felt like the most important bucket of the sport.

The Wolverines are actually headed to the Candy 16 for the fifth-consecutive event, the second-longest energetic streak within the nation behind Gonzaga, and tied for the fifth-longest streak ever.

3. UCLA

Even supposing they had been going through a Saint Mary’s crew that regarded a lot stronger of their Thursday night time win over Indiana than UCLA did in its slim conquer Akron, the Bruins rolled to a 72-56 victory that by no means actually felt in jeopardy after the closing moments of the primary half.

4 of UCLA’s 5 starters scored in double figures, and the one starter who did not hit that mark (Cody Riley), scored 9. The Bruins shot 56.5 p.c from the sector as a crew, and after a little bit of a gradual begin, by no means appeared to be actually threatened by one of many higher Saint Mary’s groups ever fielded by longtime head coach Randy Bennett.

Now we get UCLA vs. North Carolina within the NCAA event for simply the third time ever, and the primary time since 1989. The Bruins bettered the Tar Heels within the 1968 nationwide title sport, whereas UNC received a second spherical sport between the 2 storied packages in ‘89.

1. Baylor

On one hand, you almost pulled off the (co-)largest comeback within the historical past of the NCAA event. On the opposite, you dug your self a 25-point gap and would up being the primary No. 1 seed to get bounced.

Florida’s standing as school basketball’s most up-to-date back-to-back nationwide champion (2006, 2007) will keep in tact for a minimum of one 12 months.

2. Richmond

It feels incorrect to bag on Richmond after a magical two weeks the place the Spiders received the A-10 event as a 6-seed after which surprised stylish Last 4 decide Iowa within the first spherical of the Massive Dance, however they had been terrible on Saturday.

Richmond went 1-of-22 from three and was inside placing distance of Windfall for all of about 30 seconds. Defensively, the Spiders allowed a lower than stellar taking pictures crew to attach on greater than 50 p.c of their three-point makes an attempt for simply the second time this season.

Enjoyable reality: Fran McCaffery busted each blood vessel in his face watching this sport.

3. Murray State

Murray State followers ready for his or her sport in Indianapolis on Thursday night time definitely seemed to be rooting awfully arduous for Saint Peter’s. Effectively, they obtained what they wished, and now they’ll be talked about in the identical breath as Florida and San Diego State, and the subject of the dialog received’t be a very nice one — a minimum of not for followers of the Gators, Aztecs, and now Racers.

Talking of …

1. Saint Peter’s

For simply the third time in March Insanity historical past, a 15-seed is crashing the Candy 16. With its 70-60 win over Murray State, Saint Peter’s joined the 2013 Florida Gulf Coast and 2021 Oral Roberts as the one little guys to realize the feat.

Two days after surprising Kentucky in additional time, the Peacocks took down one other single-digit seed from the Commonwealth as they ended Murray State’s 21-game successful streak.

To be sincere, just about from begin to end on Saturday, Saint Peter’s regarded just like the crew that had the prolonged successful streak and nationwide rating subsequent to its title. The Peacocks obtained a double-double from senior huge man KC Ndefo and 13 factors off the bench from budding worldwide intercourse image Doug Edert to manage a sport the place they by no means trailed.

Saint Peter’s is the primary crew from New Jersey to achieve the Candy 16 since Seton Corridor made it to the second weekend again in 2000. The purpose guard on that crew? Present Peacocks head coach Shaheen Holloway.

They’ll now face both Texas or Purdue to try to go the place no 15-seed has ever been earlier than: A regional last.

2. Juwan Howard’s empathy

As Tennessee and Michigan shook fingers following the Wolverines’ 76-68 victory, it was very obvious that the Volunteers’ Kennedy Chandler was having a tough time coming to phrases together with his crew’s upset loss. The star freshman did all he might to get UT into the Candy 16, scoring 19 factors and allotting 9 assists.

Michigan head coach Juwan Howard, who skilled his justifiable share of heartbreak within the NCAA event, made it a degree to console Chandler.

“Kennedy is a particular, particular participant, among the best level guards in school basketball, for my part,” Howard mentioned of Chandler earlier than the sport. “The way in which he’s capable of make fast affect proper out of highschool into the faculty stage, that’s spectacular. He’s at all times generally known as a playmaker, a man that may get downhill and might make performs for others. However nobody talked about his taking pictures, and also you’ve simply seen how he’s labored on it and that’s one in all his strengths.

It’s not arduous to see why Howard’s gamers converse so glowingly of him.

3. Drew Timme’s self-censoring … after which lack of self-censoring

Along with his crew trailing by 10 and staring the top of its season instantly within the face, Gonzaga star Drew Timme reportedly lit into his teammates with a fiery halftime speech. No matter he mentioned labored, because the Zags roared again to take down Memphis, 82-78.

So what precisely did Timme say? Listening to him try to describe the speech with out having the ability to use the precise phrases that he mentioned was one in all Saturday’s best joys.

I consider the transcript of the primary a part of that assertion is: “I mentioned I don’t give … a flying F … what occurs on the finish of the sport whether or not we win or lose, we’re not going out as no … uh … delicate guys.”

It was an admirable effort. After all if you drop “shit” a number of occasions about 45 seconds later, it kind of defeats the aim.

Large night time for March mustaches.

4. The standalone video games

I’ll by no means perceive the format of the event’s first Saturday and Sunday. I imply I’m positive the reason is rooted in one thing associated to scores and cash, nevertheless it nonetheless defies fundamental logic from a fan perspective.

After being flooded with video games in any respect hours for the earlier 48 hours, we get simply two video games back-to-back for the primary 5 hours of the day. No video games occurring on the similar time. Even the primary half of the third sport is alone on an island. After which BAM, we’ve obtained six video games hurled at us throughout the night session.

There’s no motive to have second spherical video games wrapping up after midnight on the East Coast. It’s a straightforward repair, and it blows my thoughts that it hasn’t occurred but.

BUT, the format is much extra tolerable when the standalone video games are as entertaining as North Carolina-Baylor and Kansas-Creighton had been. Thanks to all 4 basketball packages. You’re all March heroes to me.

5. Eric Musselman

For the primary time for the reason that Arkansas glory days of the mid-’90s, the Razorbacks are headed to back-to-back Candy 16s. This due to a gritty, if not aesthetically pleasing, 53-48 win over 12-seed New Mexico State.

That stat talked about initially additionally doesn’t account for the truth that from 1997 up till final 12 months, this system went to the second weekend of the event a grand whole of zero occasions.

He stored his shirt on for this one.

Undecided if the identical can be true if the Hogs take down No. 1 general seed Gonzaga Thursday night time.

1. Tennessee

Regardless of decrying their standing as a 3-seed, the general public made Tennessee one of many trendiest Last 4 picks within the subject of 68 at first of this week. It wasn’t arduous to know why. The Volunteers had been coming off a particularly spectacular run to the SEC event title, and entered the Massive Dance having received seven straight and 12 of their final 13.

Towards Michigan, Tennessee seemed to be much less bodily, much less ready, and fewer prepared to embrace the urgency of the second. The efficiency was an particularly powerful search for head coach Rick Barnes, who, regardless of a ton of normal season success in Knoxville, has been ousted within the first weekend of the NCAA event in 9 of his final 10 appearances, and who has led a crew to the Candy 16 only one time since 2008.

2. Leaky Black’s ill-advised cross

There have been no fewer than 7,167 moments from North Carolina-Baylor that might have discovered their manner on this record. The Tar Heels blew a 25-point lead with simply 10 minutes to play, Baylor’s decision-making in additional time left a ton to be desired, and also you’ve probably heard all about the officiating. However the second that stood out to be got here within the waning moments of additional time, simply when it appeared like some kind of order was lastly going to take maintain.

It appeared like, for the primary time in about two hours, that the motion in Fort Value had lastly eased to a pleasant, calm stall. North Carolina had stretched its result in six, and with lower than a minute to play, it appeared to go with out saying that the Tar Heels would use as a lot clock as potential and both power Baylor to foul or try to ship a knockout punch simply earlier than the shot clock horn echoed.

Leaky Black had a unique concept.

The reverse angle reveals simply how shut this rocket got here to really going over (or possibly breaking) the backboard.

Fortunately for UNC, this ill-advised choice didn’t permit Baylor to, for the seventy fifth time, get proper again into the sport when it appeared just like the Heels had victory well-in-hand.

3. The SEC

There was speak by some going into this week that the SEC was so sturdy this season that it might wind up producing three Last 4 groups. As an alternative, 2-seed Kentucky and 6-seeds Alabama and LSU had been all bounced after spherical one, and 3-seed Tennessee bit the mud on Saturday. Solely 4-seed Arkansas (which is thru to the Candy 16) and 2-seed Auburn (which faces 10-seed Miami within the second spherical on Sunday) are left standing.

So permit us to revisit a pre-tournament quote from Kentucky head coach John Calipari.

Yikes.

4. Friar Dom and the Richmond Spider

Two of America’s creepiest mascots in the identical motherf—-ing place on the similar motherf—-ing time? We executed tousled now.

Nightmare gas.

5. The late Pete Gillen

Oh no, Rex.

Pete Gillen, for these unaware, just isn’t solely alive and effectively, however he’s at present a university basketball analyst for CBS.

Hunter Dickinson, Michigan

Michigan’s man within the center is the most important motive the Wolverines are dancing to the Candy 16 for the fifth consecutive event. Dickinson dominated Tennessee to the tune of 27 factors and 11 rebounds. He knocked down eight of his 13 subject aim makes an attempt general, together with 3-of-5 from past the arc.

Dickinson’s 48 factors by way of two rounds of the NCAA event are probably the most by a Michigan participant since present head coach Juwan Howard poured in 62 over the primary two video games of the 1994 Massive Dance.

R.J. Davis, North Carolina

Brady Manek carried the Heels early, however after his ejection, it was Davis who carried Carolina throughout the end line. Regardless of taking part in with an injured thumb, Davis poured in 30 factors and dished out six assists. He turned simply the second participant in UNC historical past to attain a minimum of 30 factors in an NCAA event sport towards a No. 1 seed.

Drew Timme, Gonzaga

Gonzaga’s star helped saved the day for the No. 1 general seed, scoring 21 of his game-high 25 factors within the second half of the crew’s 82-78 win over Memphis. He added 14 rebounds and 4 assists for good measure.

Remy Martin, Kansas

There’s been speak all season lengthy that the “Dangerous Remy Martin” might be what winds up ending Kansas’ season. Effectively, the “Good Remy Martin” is the most important motive the Jayhawks are nonetheless chasing the nationwide title. Martin was spectacular in KU’s win over Creighton, coming off the bench to attain 20 factors, seize seven rebounds, and dish out 4 assists.

Arthur Kaluma, Creighton

Kaluma did all the things he might to get the Bluejays previous Kansas, scoring 24 factors and grabbing 12 rebounds. The freshman ahead is without doubt one of the largest the reason why the long run seems so brilliant in Omaha.

1. Trae Hannibal, Murray State

As soon as once more, not a fantastic crop of dunks from the Thursday/Saturday squads, however this from Hannibal was the very best of the slams.

2. Johnny McCants, New Mexico State

Hammer time.

3. Arthur Kaluma, Creighton

Alex O’Connell and Kaluma mixed to do that like 13 occasions Saturday afternoon. Okay, possibly simply twice, nevertheless it felt like extra.

1. Dancin’ Peacocks

The kings of the state of Kentucky are dancing into the Candy 16.

Murray St v Saint Peter’s

Picture by Jamie Sabau/NCAA Photographs by way of Getty Pictures

2. Extasy and anger

One crew from California had extra enjoyable than the opposite Saturday night time.

Saint Mary’s v UCLA

Picture by Ezra Shaw/Getty Pictures

3. Lookin’ for a Spider

Jacob Gilyard and Justin Minaya: Two athletic younger males.

Richmond v Providence

Picture by Elsa/Getty Pictures

1. “I obtained guys from New Jersey and New York Metropolis. You suppose we’re terrified of something? You suppose we’re apprehensive about guys attempting to muscle us and difficult us out? We try this. That’s who we’re.” —Saint Peter’s head coach Shaheen Holloway

2. “All 12 months we’ve simply been listening to various things about us, how we’re a delicate crew, how we don’t prefer to struggle. At the moment, I believe we actually confirmed that we are able to struggle. To persevere in a second like that and simply come collectively, I’m simply so pleased with everybody.” —North Carolina ahead Armando Bacot

3. “I can inform you from expertise whether or not you lose on the primary day, the second day, like we did immediately, otherwise you lose within the semifinals, it’s the identical feeling. Individuals can say no matter they need to say about — you don’t each take getting right here without any consideration. I imply, it’s so arduous to get right here. So that you don’t take that without any consideration, however is it irritating? Yeah. I’ve been pissed off so much in my profession, however I’m additionally very grateful that I’ve been capable of be right here.” —Tennessee head coach Rick Barnes

4. “I mentioned I don’t give … a flying F … what occurs on the finish of the sport whether or not we win or lose, we’re not going out as no … uh … delicate guys.” —Gonzaga’s Drew Timme paraphrasing what he mentioned to his teammates at halftime

5. “The Drew Timme impact got here into play.” —Memphis head coach Penny Hardaway on what modified from the primary half to the second in his crew’s loss to Gonzaga

Final day of the primary weekend. Can’t maintain something again now.



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