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Saturday’s March Madness: No. 1 Seed Kansas Falls, Princeton Advances


Kansas, the reigning national champion, is out of the N.C.A.A. men’s tournament.

Playing without their head coach, Bill Self, for a second straight game, the top-seeded Jayhawks were stunned by No. 8 seed Arkansas, 72-71, at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines, Iowa.

Kansas was bidding to develop into first the repeat men’s champion since Florida won the tournament in 2006 and 2007. As a substitute, the Razorbacks advanced to the round of 16 in Las Vegas against the winner of Sunday’s game between Connecticut and St. Mary’s in Albany, N.Y. Arkansas (22-13) finished tied for ninth within the Southeastern Conference, while Kansas (28-8) was the Big 12 regular-season champion.

The Jayhawks became the second No. 1 seed to get bounced from the tournament in lower than 24 hours, after No. 16 seed Fairleigh Dickinson toppled No. 1 seed Purdue on Friday night. Six consecutive defending champions have now been eliminated before the round of 16.

Just two No. 1 seeds remained after the loss: Alabama within the South and Houston within the West. Each teams won their matchups Saturday night.

The last time only two No. 1 seeds made the round of 16 was in 2018; it also happened in 2004, 2000 and 1981.

After the upset, Arkansas coach Eric Musselman climbed on a table and pulled off his shirt to have fun in front of the Razorback fans.

“That’s just an unbelievable win for our program,” Musselman said in a television interview. “I keep telling folks that we’re recovering. Not many teams can improve this time of 12 months. I’ve never been prouder of a team like tonight.”

The sport got here all the way down to the wire, and Arkansas took a 67-65 lead with 47 seconds left on a putback layup by Kamani Johnson. Jalen Wilson of Kansas made two free throws to tie it at 67, but then his teammate Kevin McCullar Jr. fouled out on the opposite end.

Ricky Council IV then made three of 4 free throws to push Arkansas ahead for good, following a back-and-forth trade of free throws and tightly contested shots. Council finished with 11 of the last 15 points for Arkansas, including 7 of the last 9.

Kansas, which led by 8 points at halftime, lost for the primary time this season after leading on the break.

Davonte Davis, who scored 21 of his game-high 25 points within the second half for the Razorbacks, fouled out with 1:56 remaining. He was emotional after the win.

“I’m glad we got here out with the win,” he said as he teared up during a television interview. “We put within the work. This team has struggled, and we figured it out.”

Musselman said of Davis: “I like this kid a lot, I feel like he’s my son.”

“I like you too, Coach,” Davis replied.

Self, 60, missed the Big 12 tournament after undergoing a heart procedure last week after he complained of chest pains. The Hall of Fame coach was released Sunday from a hospital, where he was recovering from a procedure to treat blocked arteries in his heart. He had been with the team during its time in Des Moines and was still recovering, the college announced, with hopes that he might coach later within the tournament.

“He’s been at our last three practices, so his energy’s rather a lot higher and he’s feeling rather a lot higher,” assistant coach Norm Roberts, who coached the team on an interim basis, told CBS before the sport.

Kansas point guard Dajuan Harris Jr. suffered a sprained ankle in the primary half when he landed awkwardly, but began the second half and finished with 12 points.

Wilson, the Big 12 player of the 12 months, led Kansas with 20 points. — Adam Zagoria

SACRAMENTO — There was neither a letdown nor a misstep by the red-hot Princeton Tigers as they blew past Missouri to advance to their first men’s round-of-16 appearance in greater than a half-century.

Two days after their astonishing takedown of second-seeded Arizona, Princeton looked stronger yet in dispatching Missouri, 78-63, in Saturday game here. In a Tigers vs. Tigers matchup, it was not a fluke that No. 15 seed Princeton eliminated No. 7 seed Missouri. Princeton began strong, withstood several Missouri challenges and played with steely confidence and protracted poise the complete way.

Wearing bow-tie patches on their uniforms to honor the late Hall of Fame coach Pete Carril, whose spirit Princeton still carries, the Tigers opened a 14-point lead at one point in the primary half and continually blunted Missouri’s full-court pressure.

Princeton shot higher than it did against Arizona, easily matching its total variety of 3-pointer against the Wildcats (4) in the primary half. When Trey Martini swished Princeton’s fourth 3-pointer, it prolonged the Tigers’ result in 24-14 and gave them a lift of early confidence.

Then, when Missouri closed midway through the second half, the sport changed into the Blake Peters show for Princeton. The sophomore guard, who played just two minutes in the primary half, got here off the bench to swish 4 3-pointers by the 5:09 mark of the second half, to assist Princeton push its result in 62-45.

Where Princeton needed to sweat until the ultimate horn 48 hours earlier against heavily favored Arizona, the ultimate jiffy of this game were played before a raucous celebration from its cheering section in Golden 1 Arena.

The Tigers, who now have won six in a row and haven’t lost since Feb. 18, are moving on to their first round-of-16 appearance since 1967. — Scott Miller

STORRS, Conn. — If there was any doubt that the University of Connecticut was on stable footing heading into this 12 months’s women’s N.C.A.A. tournament, its 95-52 defeat over the Vermont on Saturday took care of those concerns.

After a tumultuous and injury-filled regular season, the second-seeded Huskies lived as much as their dominant popularity on their home court, outscoring and outrunning the No. 15-seeded Catamounts at nearly every turn. Aaliyah Edwards, the 6-foot-3 junior forward, led the Huskies with 28 points, 7 rebounds and 5 assists.

“We didn’t have a solution for her,” Vermont Coach Alisa Kresge said of Edwards. “She’s only a employee, she works so hard, she never gives up. She’s really talented, and that was quite a mismatch for us.”

UConn forward Dorka Juhasz recorded a double-double with 15 points and 10 rebounds. Azzi Fudd made her first start since Dec. 4 after repeat knee injuries over the 12 months (she kept a brace and knee sleeve on for good measure), while teammate Paige Bueckers, the junior forward who’s out for the season along with her own knee injury, cheered from the sidelines.

All 10 of UConn’s players scored, in considered one of the highest-scoring games of the tournament up to now. The Huskies scored 53 points in the primary half and kept the Catamounts to twenty points, forcing Vermont to take quick shots that didn’t land while clearing the paint on offensive drives.

Vermont was led by sophomore guard Catherine Gilwee, with 14 points and 5 assists. The Catamounts entered the tournament with a 25-6 record, riding a 17-game winning streak; they beat Albany within the America East championship every week ago to achieve the N.C.A.A. tournament for the primary time since 2010.

UConn will face Baylor on Monday. — Remy Tumin

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — When Houston’s players surmised that Legacy Arena could be filled 90 percent on Saturday night with fans of Auburn, whose campus lies just 110 miles to the southeast, the Cougars Coach Kelvin Sampson laughed.

“Ninety percent? I’m hoping 90” percent, he said — and less.

Houston is attempting to develop into the primary men’s team in greater than a decade to play in a Final 4 in its hometown, but regardless that the Cougars have a No. 1 seed, their path home for a championship is hardly a stroll along a primrose path.

After the Cougars struggled to stave off Sixteenth-seeded Northern Kentucky in the primary round, that they had to rally from a 10-point halftime deficit on Saturday night to defeat ninth-seeded Auburn, 81-64, in a decidedly hostile neutral-court environment.

Houston’s victory and Alabama’s win later Saturday ensured that two top seeds would advance to the second weekend of the N.C.A.A. tournament, after Purdue was shocked by Fairleigh Dickinson on Friday night and Kansas was upset by Arkansas on Saturday. Never have fewer than two top seeds failed to achieve the boys’s round of 16.

Houston seemed in grave danger after a primary half through which Auburn, urged on behind a rousing partisan crowd, carved up what had been billed as considered one of the nation’s top defenses, racing out to a 41-31 lead.

But after halftime, the Cougars ratcheted up their defensive pressure. They made sure that if Auburn got to the basket, it was going to have bumps and bruises to point out for it, and that the Tigers would need to win the sport on the free-throw line.

It was there that the sport turned. The Tigers, a fairly proficient free-throw shooting team, at 70 percent, failed miserably, clanking shot after shot off the rim.

Auburn managed just one field goal — a breakaway layup by Wendell Green Jr. — in an almost 15-minute stretch, by which era Houston was comfortably ahead, 70-57. The Tigers missed 11 consecutive shots at one point, and weren’t significantly better from the free-throw line, missing 10 of 13 free throws after Johni Broome had given them a 50-48 lead by making one.

That Houston lost forward J’Wan Roberts to fouls, and had three other starters finish with 4 fouls, turned out to be merely a footnote. Auburn made just 4 of 24 shots within the second half and missed all five of its 3-point attempts. — Billy Witz

Duke’s loss to Tennessee in the boys’s round of 32 on Saturday was in no way a stirring surprise, in the best way that losses by Purdue, Virginia and Arizona shook up the tournament.

But in bracket competitions online, plenty of individuals felt the sting anyway, showing how popular Duke stays even in a 12 months of somewhat lowered expectations.

Duke, a No. 5 seed, was amongst the most well-liked picks to win a championship in bracket contests hosted by ESPN and Yahoo, with more support than all of the No. 4 seeds, including Tennessee, and all but one No. 3, the frequent tournament powerhouse Gonzaga.

The recognition of the Blue Devils got here whilst modelers, including the KenPom and Sagarin rankings, signaled more modest expectations, prompting a big selection of predictions — with loads of fans believing that Duke could have an early exit, together with those that expected a deep run.

On Saturday against Tennessee, the Volunteers pulled away early within the second half, and the classic, almost expected push by the Blue Devils never materialized. The No. 5 seed this 12 months was Duke’s lowest in the sector since being slated as a No. 6 in 2007; the Blue Devils will miss the regional round of the tournament after a Final 4 run a 12 months ago in Coach Mike Krzyzewski’s last season.

Duke made the N.C.A.A. tournament for 26 straight years until 2021, when it was at risk of missing out on the March Madness festivities, then canceled its season throughout the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament due to a player’s positive coronavirus test. — Oskar Garcia

VILLANOVA, Pa. — When Sha Carter of Florida Gulf Coast lined up against the taller Bella Murekatete of Washington State for the opening tip, it gave the look of the primary moment of a mismatch. Carter didn’t try and corral the ball, and the Cougars raced to a lead.

Yet that impression flipped in a rush, because the smaller Florida Gulf Coast team seized control midway through the primary quarter and delivered a 74-63 win that showed why it was a preferred pick to advance — even amongst oddsmakers — despite being a No. 12 seed against a No. 5.

Tishara Morehouse, the leading scorer this season for the Eagles entering the sport, proved too quick for Washington State’s defenders. She used spin moves and crossovers for scores, tallying 16 points and helping arrange Carter to attain at will. Carter led the sport with 24 points.

The loss was a disappointing finish to a remarkable season for Washington State, which had won 4 straight games coming into the tournament to capture the championship within the difficult Pac-12 Conference, after ending seventh within the regular season.

It was the primary Pac-12 tournament title for the Cougars. But when the brackets got here out, Florida Gulf Coast immediately stood out as a difficult matchup.

“They’re at all times under-seeded,” Washington State Coach Kamie Ethridge said Friday as her team prepared for the sport.

Florida Gulf Coast has not lost since late January (an additional time defeat to Liberty), and prolonged its winning streak to fifteen games with the victory.

The Eagles weren’t alone as a winning No. 12 seed on Saturday: Toledo took down fifth-seeded Iowa State, 80-73, and can move on to face No. 4 seed Tennessee. Florida Gulf Coast will play fourth-seeded Villanova on Monday. — Kris Rhim

There’s an implicit but unspoken deal between underdogs and the month of March: Most dreams include rapid expiration dates. And two days after the most important victory at school history, No. 13 seed Furman’s sell-by date arrived with a 75-52 rout by the hands of fifth-seeded San Diego State in the boys’s N.C.A.A. tournament.

Where the Paladins were able to take advantage of Virginia’s weaknesses in a 68-67 upset on Thursday, they were overwhelmed by the Aztecs in almost every aspect of Saturday’s game. Known for its strong defense, San Diego State held Furman, which had averaged 81.7 points this season before the loss, to its lowest single-game total of 2022-23.

Furman shot just 32 percent from the sector (while the Aztecs hit 50 percent of their shots) and 23.1 percent from 3-point range. For the season, Furman had shot 48 percent overall and 34 percent from 3-point territory.

Furman never led after the midpoint of the primary half, and Jalen Slawson, the Southern Conference player of the 12 months, was in foul trouble for much of the second half before fouling out with only 8 points.

“They kept us from driving, kept the ball out of the paint, kept a extremely strong floor and played really hard,” Slawson said.

It was an entire and impressive performance by the Aztecs, who move on to their first round-of-16 appearance since 2014, where they are going to play Alabama on Friday.

The Paladins, meanwhile, will take home indelible memories and stories they are going to tell friends and families for the remainder of their lives.

“It’s an unbelievable story,” Furman Coach Bob Richey said, “and I couldn’t be more happy with our team, at a time where I’m extremely disillusioned that we didn’t advance. But it surely’s really hard to not pull the lens back slightly bit and still see what that group was capable of accomplish.

“For that, I’ll be perpetually grateful.” — Scott Miller

In a surprising reversal, Baylor turned an 18-point deficit on Saturday right into a bid for the ladies’s Sweet 16.

No. 10 seed Alabama kept the seventh-seeded Bears to simply 4 points in the primary quarter. But as Baylor’s 3-pointers began rolling in, the tide began to shift, and the team outscored Alabama within the three remaining quarters and won the sport, 78-74.

The comeback was tied for the third-largest in women’s N.C.A.A. tournament history, in line with ESPN Stats & Information.

Guard Ja’Mee Asberry led Baylor with 26 points, 21 of which got here on 3-pointers.

“We were really bad in the primary quarter and really good after that — they got here out punching,” Baylor Coach Nicki Collen said after the sport.

Alabama guard Brittany Davis led the Crimson Tide with 33 points, including seven 3-pointers. Davis said Alabama began to get “drained” and “lazy” within the second half of the sport; the team committed 19 total turnovers, allowing Baylor to slide through its early grip.

“You possibly can’t quit being aggressive this time of 12 months,” Alabama Coach Kristy Curry said.

Baylor will face second-seeded Connecticut on Monday. — Remy Tumin

Indiana’s rout of Tennessee Tech put all 4 No. 1s within the N.C.A.A. women’s tournament into the second round, and maybe highlighted a reality that has shifted in recent times:

Though a 16-over-1 March Madness upset is exceedingly rare, it’s probably even harder to tug off in the ladies’s tournament at once than in the boys’s.

One night after the Fairleigh Dickinson men delivered the stunner of those festivities over No. 1 seed Purdue, the Indiana women romped past Tennessee Tech by 30 points, 77-47, joining fellow No. 1s South Carolina, Virginia Tech and Stanford within the second round. All 4 of those teams, twiddling with home-court advantage, won with ease to begin their tournament run, with Virginia Tech winning by the tightest margin at 25 points over Chattanooga.

On Saturday, the Hoosiers pulled away within the second quarter, outscoring Tennessee Tech 21-9 within the period, and shot a breezy 58 percent for the sport as their lead grew and grew. Sydney Parrish led with 19 points.

The lads’s tournament had gone with no No. 16 defeating a No. 1 before 2018, however it has now happened twice up to now five tournaments. An identical upset has only occurred once in the ladies’s tournament because it expanded to 64 teams, when No. 16 seed Harvard beat top-seeded Stanford in 1998.

In that game, Harvard got here in feeling prefer it deserved the next seed, while Stanford lost two key players, Vanessa Nygaard and Kristin Folkl, to severe knee injuries within the week leading as much as the sport.

To beat a No. 1 women’s team playing at home, or perhaps a No. 2 — which has never lost to a No. 15 — it could take the same series of circumstances. — Oskar Garcia

BATON ROUGE, La. — It’s been a busy weekend for basketball mom Angel Reese.

With two children playing within the N.C.A.A. tournaments, daughter Angel for the third-seeded Louisiana State women and son Julian for the eighth-seeded Maryland men, she’s traveling to attempt to see as much basketball as she will.

After flying to Louisiana on Thursday, Reece watched from her hotel room as Julian scored a team-high 17 points within the Terrapins’ narrow win over West Virginia.

The subsequent day, she saw Angel compile 34 points and 15 rebounds on the Pete Maravich Assembly Center in L.S.U.’s demolition of Hawaii.

She had planned to hit the road at 10 a.m. Central time on Saturday to go to Birmingham, Ala., to see Julian play at night against top-seeded Alabama. Then, it can be back to Baton Rouge for L.S.U.’s second-round game on Sunday against Michigan.

“I’m very proud,” Reese said in an interview after Friday’s L.S.U. game. “It’s exciting, however it’s very stressful. I’ll admit, it’s very stressful, especially when you have got close games just like the one which Maryland had yesterday against West Virginia.”

Each players play crucial roles on their teams. Julian is considered one of Maryland’s 4 double-figure scorers and its leading rebounder, while Angel is a first-team all-American. Their mother was an completed college player herself, rating second in Division I in rebounds per game in 1991-92 with the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.

There are other family ties within the tournament. The Hawaii women’s team had two sisters, Lily Wahinekapu and Jovi Lefotu. The Iowa men’s team featured Fran McCaffery coaching sons Connor and Patrick. And the Prosper family also has a player in each tournament, with Cassandre coming off the bench for the Notre Dame women and Olivier-Maxence averaging 12.4 points per game for the Marquette men.

The Reeses hope the whirlwind lasts so long as possible.

“That is an enjoyable moment for the Reese family,” the younger Angel said after Friday’s game. — Evan Easterling

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