With Sunday’s NCAA Tournament business closed, the men’s Sweet 16 is set while the women have half of the Sweet 16 field decided.
In the women’s tournament, No. 1 Stanford was upset by No. 8 Ole Miss. Another No. 1, South Carolina, rolled to victory over No. 8 South Florida. Caitlin Clark had 22 points as No. 2 seeded Iowa defeated No. 10 Georgia.
In the men’s tournament, Fairleigh Dickinson’s quest to become the first 16 seed to reach the Sweet 16 came an end. Elsewhere, a No. 2 seed (Marquette), No. 3 seed (Baylor) and No. 4 seed (Indiana) were eliminated.
Think you have what it takes to beat your friends? Test your college basketball skills (or luck) here with USA TODAY’s Survivor Pool. Bookmark our brackets page, too!
MEN’S TOURNAMENT: Complete scores and schedule
Follow the madness: Latest Men’s NCAA Tournament College Basketball Scores and Schedules
WOMEN’S TOURNAMENT: Complete scores and schedule
SATURDAY’S PLAY: Catch up on all the men’s, women’s action
Men’s final: No. 3 Gonzaga survives vs. No. 6 TCU
Gonzaga made it eight straight late Sunday, beating sixth-seeded TCU, 84-81, behind 28 points and 8 rebounds from Drew Timme. The third-seeded Zags, who scored 24 fast-break points, will meet UCLA in the Sweet 16. It’s the 12th Sweet 16 for the Zags under 24th-year coach Mark Few, and their eighth in a row.
Mike Miles led TCU with 24 points.
Gonzaga play UCLA on Thursday (9:45 p.m. ET on CBS) in Las Vegas. In the 2021 NCAA Tournament, Gonzaga defeated UCLA in an epic Final Four overtime thriller. Gonzaga prevailed in that game when Jalen Suggs hit a game-winning 3-pointer as time expired in overtime for a 93-90 win.
Women’s final: No. 8 Ole Miss stuns No. 1 Stanford
Remember back when top seeds in the women’s NCAA tournament used to blow out everyone?
That’s women’s basketball of the past. The 2023 version features all kinds of parity, evidenced Sunday night by eighth-seeded Ole Miss’ stunning 54-49 upset at No. 1 Stanford.
The Rebels of the SEC — who earlier this year took No. 1 South Carolina to the brink before falling in overtime — were extraordinarily physical with the Cardinal, and Stanford didn’t handle it well. At all.
The Cardinal enjoy 33% from the field (17-of-52), including an abysmal 10-of-31 on layups. They were outrebounded 44-39, and Ole Miss turned 21 Stanford turnovers into 24 points.
Cameron Brink had another terrific game for Stanford (20 points, 13 rebounds and 7 blocks) but it wasn’t enough. Ole Miss’s physical defense had the Cardinal on its heels — Stanford went almost four minutes in the middle of the fourth quarter without a basket and completely melted down the final 1:16 after tying it up on a pair of free throws from Brink. Stanford turned it over three times in the final 1:16.
It’s the first time since 2009 that a 1 seed in the women’s tournament hasn’t advanced to the Sweet 16 (that was Duke, which lost to ninth-seeded Michigan State). It’s also happened to Stanford before, back in 1998, when the Cardinal were upset by No. 16 Harvard, also at Maples Pavilion.
Men’s final: No. 5 Miami moves on after win over No. 4 Indiana
Isaiah Wong led all scorers with 27 points, also grabbing 8 rebounds, and fifth-seeded Miami topped fourth-seeded Indiana, 85-69, to reach the Sweet 16.
The Hurricanes are the only ACC team that will play in the second weekend of the tournament. Miami grabbed 20 offensive rebounds and turned them into 29 second chance points and outscored IU’s bench 14-0 in the win. Trayce Jackson-Davis, one of the best players in the country, led the Hoosiers with 23 points, 8 rebounds and 5 blocks.
Men’s final: No. 9 Florida Atlantic ends No. 16 Fairleigh Dickinson’s Cinderella run
Two days after becoming the second No. 16 seed to knock off a No. 1 seed in the men’s NCAA Tournament, Fairleigh Dickinson could not become the first 16 seed to reach the Sweet 16.
Florida Atlantic ended FDU’s unbelievable NCAA Tournament with a 78-70 win to advance to its first-ever Sweet 16. The Owls will play No. 4-seeded Tennessee on Thursday at Madison Square Garden in New York City.
Johnell Davis paced all scorers with 29 points. He added 12 rebounds and five steals in the win.
On Friday night, FDU joined the 2018 Maryland-Baltimore County Retrievers as the only 16 seeds to win first-round men’s NCAA Tournament games, defeating Big Ten champion Purdue.
Men’s half: No. 5 Miami has edge on No. 4 Indiana
Trayce Jackson-Davis led all scorers with 11 first-half points, but the 4-seeded Hoosiers trailed 40-35 to No. 5 Miami at the break.
Both teams went 4 of 10 from 3-point range. Miami had the edge in rebounds, grabbing 17 boards compared to Indiana’s 13.
Isaiah Wong and Nijel Pack tallied 10 points apiece for the Hurricanes. Miller Kopp chipped in with eight points for the Hoosiers.
Women’s final: LSU rolls through Michigan en route to Sweet 16
Double-double machine Angel Reese turned in another dominant performance, scoring 25 points and grabbing 24 rebounds, as third-seeded LSU steamrolled Michigan, 66-42. Reese also rejected six shots, grabbed three steals and handed out four assists. The Tigers were a handful inside, outscoring Michigan 32-20 in the paint and outrebounding the Wolverines 46-26. LSU will meet Utah in the regional semifinals.
Men’s final: Creighton bounces Baylor to reach Sweet 16
Ryan Nembhard was a scoring machine for the No. 6 seed Bluejays and proved crucial in Creighton downing No. 3 seed Baylor and punching a ticket to the Sweet 16.
Nembhard spearheaded an offensive onslaught with a dominant 30-point effort. Teammate Trey Alexander added 17 points, and forward Arthur Kaluma chipped in with 11 points and seven rebounds.
The Bluejays connected on 11 of 24 attempts from 3-point range (45.8%) and made more than twice as many 3-pointers as Baylor (5).
Baylor guard LJ Cryer equalled Nembhard’s 30 points in a losing effort. The Bears were also out-rebounded 33-29.
Women’s final: Utah reaches first Sweet 16 in 17 years
Utah has no use for sentimentality.
The second-seeded Utes held Princeton without a field goal for more than six minutes in the fourth quarter to seal a 63-56 win over the No. 10 seeTigers, who were trying to make history as the first Ivy League team to reach the second round. It’s the first trip to the Sweet 16 since 2006 for Utah, a trendy Final Four pick.
Alissa Pili came up big again for Utah. The Pac-12’s player of the year had 28 points and 10 rebounds, including defensive boards on Princeton’s first two field goal attempts after the Tigers had erased all but two points of a 13-point deficit in the first half.
Men’s halftime: No. 16 Fairleigh Dickinson trailing No. 9 FAU
It was No. 9 Florida Atlantic that emerged ahead after a first half played at a breakneck pace with a trip to the Sweet 16 on the line.
Both teams struggled to make shots early. Neither school shot better than 36% from the field or 19% from 3-point range. Still, Johnell Davis put himself on triple-double watch for FAU — posting six points, seven rebounds and five assists in the first 20 minutes.
Fairleigh Dickinson was led by Sean Moore with four points and six rebounds. Teammate Grant Singleton drained a pair of 3-pointers.
The Knights are looking to make history. No 16 seed has ever advanced past the second round in any men’s or women’s tournament.
Men’s final: No. 4 UConn blows past No. 5 Saint Mary’s
Connecticut led by just one point at the break but rode a torrid pace in the second half to blow past No. 5 Saint Mary’s 70-55 in the round of 32.
No. 4 seed UConn was dominant in all phases of the game. They won the rebound battle 32-23 and shot 54% from the field and 45.5% from 3-point range.
Huskies forward Adama Sanogo was an unstoppable force in the paint, tallying 24 points and adding eight rebounds to help Connecticut reach the Sweet 16.
No Saint Mary’s player finished in double digits after senior Alex Ducas (eight points) exited the game with a first-half injury.
Men’s halftime: Creighton off to hot start against No. 3 Baylor
No. 6 Creighton came out shooting in their second-round matchup against 3-seeded Baylor.
Bluejays guard Baylor Scheierman continued his run of fine form, shooting 2 of 4 from 3-point range. He set a school record by making at least one 3-pointer in all 25 of Creighton’s games this season.
Baylor guard LJ Cryer led all scorers with 12 first-half points, but poor team shooting made it a difficult task for the Bears to keep pace with the Bluejays.
Women’s final: Maryland sends 2021 NCAA runner-up packing
Diamond Miller led all scorers with 24 points and chipped in seven assists, six rebounds and three steals as second-seeded Maryland rolled past No. 7 seed Arizona 77-64 to secrue a spot in next weekend’s Sweet 16.
Four other Maryland players scored nine points or more and the Terrapins owned the paint, outscoring Arizona 46-32 inside. The Terps shot 54% and used a 29-9 third quarter to take control of the game. Senior Cate Reese led Arizona, the 2021 national runner-up, with 19 points and four rebounds. Maryland will play Notre Dame in the Sweet 16.
Men’s final: No. 7 Michigan State takes down No. 2 Marquette
Michigan State started the game on a 14-3 run and ended the game with the same momentum, sending second-seeded Marquette home in the second round.
Michigan State guard Tyson Walker led all scorers with 22 points to send coach Tom Izzo and Spartans to the Sweet 16 again. Teammate Joey Hauser posted a double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds.
Despite connecting on just 2 of 16 attempts from 3-point range, the Spartans won the rebound battle 35-29 and did enough to hold off Shaka Smart’s Golden Eagles.
Marquette was led by Olivier-Maxence Prosper with 16 points. Kam Jones added 14 and connected on 4 of 9 attempts from 3-point range.
Women’s final: No. 1 Virginia Tech takes care of business, earns Sweet 16 berth
Two-time ACC player of the year and All-American Elizabeth Kitley tallied a double-double (14 points, 14 rebounds) and top-seeded Virginia Tech advanced to the Sweet 16 for the first time since 1999 with a 72-60 win over ninth-seeded South Dakota State.
The game, which Virginia Tech led the entire time, wasn’t as close as the final score indicates; Kitley had recorded her double-double before the end of the third quarter. She also blocked five shots. The Hokies held SDSU to 14% from 3, and beat them on the boards 43-36. Point guard Georgia Amoore, who’s had a terrific March for the Hokies, led all scorers with 21 points. Virginia Tech will play the winner of Tennessee-Toledo, which takes place Monday (6 p.m. ET, ESPN2).
No. 4 UConn hold slim lead at halftime
Tristen Newton hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer to give No. 4 seed Connecticut a 31-30 lead at halftime over No. 5 Saint Mary’s.
Huskies forward Adama Sanogo is on double-double watch after posting 10 points and six rebounds in the first 20 minutes of play.
Saint Mary’s senior Alex Ducas was helped to the locker room with five minutes to go in the first half. He gestured toward his lower back after suffering an apparent non-contact injury. Ducas led the Gaels in scoring with eight first-half points.
Women’s final: Notre Dame survives Mississippi State in 2018 title game rematch
No buzzer beater was needed this time around, as Notre Dame held on to beat upset-minded Mississippi State 53-48 in a rematch of the 2018 national championship.
The third-seeded Fighting Irish took control out of halftime, leading by as much as 11 points, but a costly turnover in the final seconds of the quarter resulted in a Bulldogs’ bucket at the buzzer, igniting a 10-0 run to tie it halfway through the final quarter.
The Bulldogs then went cold as they missed six of their next seven shots, while Notre Dame broke away at the free throw line. Ahlana Smith hit a 3-pointer with three seconds left for Mississippi State to make it a one possession game, but Sonia Citron nailed her two free throws on the ensuing foul to seal the win.
Citron, Notre Dame’s leading scorer, struggled from the field, shooting 2-for-12 with 14 points, 10 of which came from the free throw line. Lauren Ebo was the difference maker for the Irish, grabbing a career-high and school tournament record 18 rebounds to go along with her 10 points. The Irish dominated the boards with a 49-32 rebound advantage.
Both teams struggled to shoot from beyond the arc, as they went a combined 3-for-27 from the 3-point line, with Notre Dame missing all seven of their attempts. Kourtney Weber led Mississippi State with 14 points.
Men’s final: Kansas State overcomes huge deficit on glass, outlasts Kentucky
They needed to overcome a massive deficit on the glass, but the No. 3 Kansas State Wildcats toppled the No. 6 Kentucky Wildcats to book a trip to the Sweet 16 for the first time since the 2017-18 season.
In their eventual 75-69 victory, Kansas State started the second half ice cold and saw its three-point lead at intermission erased after Kentucky opened the second frame on a 13-2 run.
Kentucky obliterated Kansas State on the boards, with a 45-25 advantage, including a staggering 19-4 edge on offensive rebounds. Despite that, Kentucky was far too inefficient and careless with the ball. Kentucky turned it over twice as often as Kansas State did, 16 times. Kentucky also had the same number of field goals that Kansas State did – 26 – though Kentucky needed nine more shots to get there.
Kansas State senior guard Markquis Nowell put on a clinic in the second half, finishing the game with 27 points on 7-of-14 shooting, with nine assists. Nowell’s performance neutralized another massive performance from Kentucky forward Oscar Tshiebwe, who poured in 25 points and 18 rebounds.
Kansas State closed out the game in large part because of its stellar free throw shooting, going 13-of-14 in the second half.
Women’s final: Caitlin Clark powers Iowa Hawkeyes past Georgia
No way Caitlin Clark was letting Iowa lose this game.
The Player of the Year favorite scored or assisted on 31 of Iowa’s 33 points in the second half and had a critical steal to set up the decisive bucket as the second-seeded Hawkeyes escaped with a 74-66 victory over 10th-seeded Georgia. Clark finished with a team-high 22 points, 12 assists and three steals.
Monika Czinano had 12 of her 20 points in the second half, Gabbie Marshall added 15 and McKenna Warnock had 14 for the Hawkeyes.
The game was tight all afternoon, and Audrey Warren cut Iowa’s lead to 68-66 on a 3-pointer with 2:19 to play. But Clark stole a pass by Diamond Battles about a minute later and took it in for a layup that gave Iowa the cushion it needed. Georgia would not score again.
Men’s halftime: Kansas State clinging to small lead over Kentucky
Compared to the first men’s game of the day, this one is much more of a slog.
No. 3 Kansas State and No. 6 Kentucky both struggled from the field in the first half, combining for 22 made field goals on 63 attempts (34.9%). Both teams at times used swarming defenses and halfcourt and fullcourt pressure, making it more difficult for both offenses to ease into their systems. The good news is that both offenses settled before the end of the half, with Kansas State leading 29-26.
Not coincidentally, 3-point shooting let both teams down. Kansas State failed to convert on any of its 12 attempts from beyond the arc, while Kentucky hit just 2-of-11.
The game’s leading scorer, Kentucky forward Oscar Tshiebwe, already has a double-double, with an 11-point, 11-rebound first half. In each of the three halves Kentucky has played this tournament, Tshiebwe has recorded at least 10 boards.
Kansas State’s leading scorer didn’t crack double figures, as forward Nae’Qwan Tomlin recorded eight points and six rebounds before intermission. Point guard Markquis Nowell, however, has been finding players and his five assists match the entire Kentucky team’s output.
Women’s final: South Carolina 76, South Florida 45
Remember when South Carolina was in trouble against South Florida? Yeah, me neither.
The top-seeded, undefeated and defending champion Gamecocks were tested early by South Florida, trailing by 4 with 7:36 left in the second quarter. But South Carolina buckled down in response, grabbing control of the game with a 9-2 run, and wound up doing what it usually does: Winning in a rout.
Final score: South Carolina 76, South Florida 45.
Zia Cooke was South Carolina’s only player in double figures until the last 3 minutes of the game, but it didn’t matter because the Gamecocks had 10 other players with points. Cooke finished with 21 points, Aliyah Boston had a double-double in what could be her final home game with 11 points and 11 rebounds, and Laeticia Amihere added 10.
It was South Carolina’s 34th win this season, and 40th going back to last season.
Men’s final: Pittsburgh closes strong, but Xavier holds on
The Musketeers, for the first time since the 2016-17 season, are headed to the Sweet Sixteen.
No. 3 Xavier (27-9) had all five starters reach double figures in scoring in a fairly comfortable 84-73 victory against No. 11 Pittsburgh. The Panthers (24-12) had been a second-half team all season long and closed the deficit to eight points late in the second half, but they left themselves too much work to overcome.
Xavier forward Jack Nunge led the way with 18 points and three rebounds, though he fouled out with 3:19 left in the game. With reserve guard Desmond Claude chipping in another 11, Xavier actually had six players reach double figures in scoring.
Xavier controlled the game in most major offensive categories: the Musketeers recorded assists on 22 of their 30 field goal attempts, compared to Pittsburgh’s 11 assists; they were more efficient from the floor, shooting 47.6% on 30-of-63 shooting, compared to Pittsburgh’s shooting 38.6%; and Xavier outrebounded Pittsburgh 44-41.
This marked Xavier’s 16th game this season with 20 or more assists, which is most in D-I this season. Xavier will now face No. 2 Texas on Friday in the Midwest bracket.
Women’s halftime: South Carolina holds slim lead over South Florida
After a first quarter largely controlled by South Florida, No. 1 South Carolina took charge in the second quarter to take a 33-29 lead at halftime in their second-round matchup.
Aliyah Boston led the Gamecocks in scoring with nine points, as the team controlled the boards by outrebounding the Bulls 23-16, including 10 offensive rebounds. South Carolina also got the free throw line, going 8-for-12 from the line, while South Florida went 1-for-2.
South Florida’s Elena Tsineke leads all scorers with 12 points, half of which came from behind the 3-point line.
The Bulls jumped out to a 16-12 lead at the end first quarter before South Carolina took control of the second quarter, going on a 15-4 scoring run to lead by as much as seven in the quarter. South Florida ended the quarter on a 7-2 run to close the gap.
— Jordan Mendoza
Dawn Staley’s fit check
There’s some history behind Dawn Staley’s outfit.
The South Carolina coach sported a Cheyney State jersey for Sunday’s second-round game against South Florida. Cheyney State played in the very first women’s NCAA tournament in 1982 despite then being a Division II team.
Coached by Hall of Famer C. Vivian Stringer, Cheyney State made it all the way to the title game that year before losing to Louisiana Tech. Cheney State is still the only HBCU to reach a Division I Final Four, doing it again in 1984.
— Nancy Armour
Xavier opens big halftime lead with offensive flourish
In their Round of 64 victory against No. 6 Iowa State, No. 11 Pittsburgh allowed 41 points in the entire game. In the Round of 32, it’s a different story. No. 3 Xavier had scored 42 points by the 5:01 mark … of the first half. The Musketeers have opened up a 48-34 lead at the half on a torrid 19-of-36 performance (52.8%) from the field.
One big part of the difference has been beyond the arc, where Xavier has converted half of its 14 attempts. In particular, guard Adam Kunkel is on fire, going a perfect 5-of-5 from 3-point range, with a team-high 15 points. Forward Jack Nunge is right behind him, chipping in 14 points on 6-of-10 shooting.
The Panthers started hot but then cooled off, getting outscored by a margin of 27-16 to close the half. Making matters even more concerning for Pittsburgh, Xavier guard Souley Boum, who led the Musketeers this season with 16.5 points per game, has yet to score a single point and is 0-of-6 from the field.
Sunday action underway
The first game of the day, a matchup in the men’s bracket between No. 11 Pittsburgh and No. 3 Xavier, tipped off just after noon Sunday. And if the offensive pace to start is any indication of what is to come the rest of the day, scoring will be on display.
The Musketeers were the leading scoring team in the Big East this season and have separated themselves from Pittsburgh midway through the first half, opening a 28-18 lead. Xavier ripped off a 14-3 run and is shooting 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 is shooting 7-of-16 from the field, at a clip of 46.7%.
The matchup also provides an interesting bit of nostalgia and familiarity as Xavier head coach Sean Miller starred as a guard for the Panthers from 1987-92, where he started 124 of the 128 games in which he played.
This men’s tournament is truly up for grabs
All season long, this promised to be the most wide-open NCAA men’s tournament in a generation. The bluebloods weren’t as blue. The top-ranked teams had obvious flaws. The combination of an extra COVID year for older players, an out-of-control transfer environment and a crop of freshmen that largely weren’t ready for prime time meant teams’ fortunes yo-yoed from game to game, week to week.
Now here we are, nearly done with the first weekend of March Madness, and there’s an important question to ask: Who is going to win the national championship?
Maybe it would be better to say it another way. If you’re still alive by Sunday night in this crazy tournament, go ahead and dare to dream. Even you, Princeton. It’s truly that up for grabs.
– Dan Wolken
Double trouble? Indiana and Miami will face off in men’s, women’s play
No, you’re not seeing double.
Indiana and Miami will play each other in the second round of both the men’s and women’s tournaments. The men’s game is Sunday night in Albany, New York, while the women’s teams will face off Monday in Bloomington, Indiana.
“That’s awesome. I mean, what a great situation,” said Katie Meier, coach of the Miami women. “I know our athletic director was on a plane going back and forth with someone from Indiana as well.”
The NCAA doesn’t have a record of how many times schools have played each other in each of the tournaments, let alone in the same round. But suffice 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 didn’t want to answer and jinx herself. Good thing, as the Hurricanes fell behind by 17 before rallying to beat Oklahoma State.
Top-seeded Indiana had rolled earlier in the day while IU and Miami’s men’s teams both secured their spots Friday.
“We’re looking forward to playing Indiana,” Meier said, “and hopefully the ‘Canes come out on top in two.”
– Nancy Armour
Princeton men, women win first-round games in same year, make Ivy history
This was a tournament to remember for the Ivy League even before Princeton’s men reached the second round.
This is the first year the Ivy’s teams have won first-round games in both tournaments. A day after the Princeton men stunned Arizona, the 10th-seeded Princeton women upset N.C. State on Friday night on a 3-pointer with seven seconds left.
“We were watching (the men) in the locker room right before practice,” Julia Cunningham said Friday night. “Watching them, all the coverage they are getting from the media, it was so well deserved. We looked at each other and thought, we’re next, now it’s our turn.
“It is special,” she added. “A special week to be a Tiger.”
– Nancy Armour
Ranking Sunday’s games
How many teams will you have in your Sweet 16? We’ll know who advances after Sunday’s eight-game slate featuring some of the highest seeds still standing after a wacky and unpredictable start to the NCAA men’s basketball tournament.
But we’ll all be paying close attention to the outlier, as No. 16 Fairleigh Dickinson looks to build off Friday night’s historic upset of No. 1 Purdue with a second-round matchup against No. 9 Florida Atlantic.
Keep this in mind, though: Of the eight games played Sunday, six feature the highest possible seeds — No. 6 against No. 3, No. 5 against No. 4 and No. 7 against No. 2.
Here’s a list of Sunday’s games ranked by how watchable they are:
1. No. 16 Fairleigh Dickinson vs. No. 9 Florida Atlantic (7:45 p.m. ET)
2. No. 5 Saint Mary’s vs. No. 4 Connecticut (6:10)
3. No. 6 Kentucky vs. No. 3 Kansas State (2:40)
4. No. 3 Baylor vs. No. 6 Creighton (7:10)
5. No. 3 Gonzaga vs. No. 6 TCU (9:40)
6. No. 7 Michigan State vs. No. 2 Marquette (5:15)
7. No. 5 Miami vs. No. 4 Indiana (8:40)
8. No. 3 Xavier vs. No. 11 Pittsburgh (12:10)
– Paul Myerberg
Merrimack coach rooting for Fairleigh Dickenson
With its upset of No. 1 seed Purdue, the Knights gave the Northeast Conference its first win in the first round of the NCAA men’s tournament in four decades. But the Knights wouldn’t be here without Merrimack, which won the conference title but was ineligible because of its shift to Division I – NCAA rules state a school must sit out 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 big man Zach Edey – apart. So is there jealousy among its Northeast foes?
“To quote my 6-year-old, ‘Dad, we beat them, so we want them to win,’ ” Gallo told CBS Sports. “People have also been tough on our league all year, so I’m happy for the win.”
– Heather Tucker
UMBC finds a friend on Twitter
The UMBC Twitter account finally has a best friend. It’s the Farleigh Dickinson men’s basketball team’s Twitter account. What do they have in common? They both thrive in creating absolute chaos and busting brackets.
The UMBC Twitter account celebrated Fairleigh Dickinson’s victory over Purdue, which probably destroyed many NCAA men’s tournament brackets. The FDU Twitter account caught wind of this and declared their new friendship together.
It was always going to be hard for UMBC to find someone who understood it. 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 it when it knocked off No. 1 Virginia in 2018. But if there’s anyone who understands the feeling, it’s FDU.
— Mike D. Sykes II, For the Win
OPINION:Why don’t NCAA schools pay college athletes who make them billions?
Final USA TODAY Sports coaches poll
Houston entered the NCAA Tournament with the No. 1 ranking in the USA TODAY Sports coaches poll, despite its loss in the American Athletic Conference championship game just prior to the unveiling of the brackets last Sunday.
The Cougars, who were playing without leading scorer Marcus Sasser in the loss to Memphis, retained 21 of 32 No. 1 votes to stave off second-ranked Alabama. The Crimson Tide received eight firsts after winning the SEC title in impressive fashion.
Houston handled Northern Kentucky in its first-round game and Auburn in its second-round game, while Alabama routed Texas A&M Corpus Christi in its tournament opener. The Crimson Tide knocked off No. 8 seed Maryland late Saturday.
— Eddie Timanus