Lower than 12 hours faraway from the fruits of an entertaining First 4 video games, the 2021 men’s NCAA Tournament formally began Friday.
No. 1 seeds Baylor and Illinois might be in motion later in the afternoon, with other intriguing matchups sprinkled throughout, within the first true day of March Insanity in practically two years. And if Friday’s video games rival the First 4 by way of down-to-the-wire finishes and drama, faculty basketball followers might be in for an actual deal with.
Comply with alongside from the primary tip to the ultimate buzzer for the newest updates, response and evaluation from USA TODAY Community reporters, editors and columnists.
FINAL: No. 15 Oral Roberts 75, Ohio State 72
It didn’t take lengthy for the first major upset of the 2021 men’s NCAA Tournament to occur, because the Golden Eagles and Buckeyes delighted with an extra time thriller.
It’s Oral Roberts’ first NCAA Match victory since 1974; the Golden Eagles are the ninth No. 15 seed to knock out a No. 2.
Oral Roberts’ Kevin Obanor performed the a part of hero with 30 factors. His free throws with 13 seconds left in extra time sealed the win after he made two free throws with 14.9 seconds left to tie the sport at 64 and pressure extra time.
Sophomore guard Max Abmas – the nation’s main scorer – made key performs down the stretch to assist the mid-major pull off the bracket-busting upset and completed with 29 factors.
The Buckeyes had a number of possibilities to tie it within the closing seconds – together with a wide-open search for Duane Washington Jr. (18 factors) from the highest of the important thing. E.J. Liddell led Ohio State with 23 factors.
ACC Participant of the 12 months Moses Wright is unavailable for No. 8 Georgia Tech in opposition to No. 9 Loyola-Chicago as a result of he examined optimistic for COVID-19. Teammate Jose Alvarado, a senior guard, is sporting Wright’s No. 5 in his honor.
The Yellow Jackets jumped out to an early lead in opposition to the Ramblers because of scoring within the paint.
Texas Tech’s dominant 2nd half downs Utah State
FINAL: Texas Tech 65, Utah State 53
The No. 6 Purple Raiders trailed by three at halftime, however they outscored the No. 11 Aggies by 15 within the second half to stroll away with a cushty victory. In his first NCAA match recreation, Mac McClung wasn’t environment friendly (6-for-16 from the sphere), however he had a game-high 16 factors and was one among 4 Texas Tech starters to hit double figures.
Sister Jean. Butler Blue IV. All the cuteness. The basketball has been good, however this is likely to be higher.
Connecticut ladies’s head coach Geno Auriemma instructed reporters that the ladies are receiving each day antigen testing for COVID-19, whereas the boys’s facet receives PCR each day testing.
NCAA President Mark Emmert instructed three information shops, together with USA TODAY Sports activities, there are not any totally different dangers from both take a look at.
“I’m not a medical knowledgeable so not going to get right into a debate about PCR and antigen. All of the well being consultants stated the protocol that we’re utilizing in all of our venues and all of our championships has no totally different in any respect by way of our capacity to mitigate threat,” Emmert stated.
There have already been complaints about disparities between the 2 tournaments in different points (see backside for extra).
FINAL: Illinois 78, Drexel 49
No drama right here for the 1-seed Illini, who had 4 gamers rating double digits.
Arkansas handles Colgate after early scare
FINAL: Arkansas 85, Colgate 68
From 14 down within the first half to a 17-point victory, the Razorbacks dealt with Colgate with relative ease all through the second half after main at halftime by three. Justin Smith poured in 29 factors for Arkansas.
For Colgate, as a result of Patriot League’s scheduling, it was simply its sixth opponent this season.
FINAL: Florida 75, Virginia Tech 70
The primary “actual” recreation of March Insanity delivered, as No. 7 Florida defeated No. 10 Virginia Tech.
SEC Participant of the 12 months Tre Mann delivered the dagger with 23.4 seconds remaining in extra time. The Hokies compelled the additional 5 minutes on Nahiem Alleyne’s 3-pointer with 1.4 seconds remaining in regulation to tie the sport at 64 within the first recreation of the day — a becoming begin to March Insanity.
Florida trailed by 10 at one level.
Early candidate for move of the day right here by Arkansas’ Davonte Davis:
And early candidate for rejection of the sport by Florida’s Colin Castleton:
Florida guard Tyree Appleby was helped off the court throughout his crew’s first-round NCAA Match recreation Friday after being hit by an inadvertent elbow from Virginia Tech’s Keve Aluma.
Appleby was defending Aluma carefully when the Hokies ahead went to make a one-handed move throughout the courtroom and caught Appleby within the brow. The junior instantly went down holding his head and blood was seen on the courtroom.
Florida leads Virginia Tech late.
No. 11 Utah State and No. 6 Texas Tech are buying and selling runs early within the first half on that matchup, whereas No. 1 Illinois is having little hassle dealing with 16-seed Drexel, because the Illini took a 39-21 lead into halftime.
Colgate and Arkansas are again from halftime, whereas Virginia Tech and Florida seems it would come right down to the wire.
Colgate jumped out to a 14-point lead within the first half vs. Arkansas, however the Razorbacks scored 17 unanswered factors to take a three-point lead into the locker room. The final Colgate factors, on a Jack Ferguson 3-pointer, got here with 5:30 remaining within the half. Arkansas reeled off its run over a four-minute span to go into halftime with a 36-33 lead.
Jordan Burns, the Patriot League Participant of the 12 months, has but to attain and was 0-for-6 from the sphere. He picked up his third foul with 46 seconds left within the half.
Within the first recreation of the primary spherical, No. 10 Virginia Tech matched up in opposition to No. 7 Florida. The Hokies began 5-for-9 from three-point vary, and Hunter Cattoor made his first three makes an attempt from deep, whereas the Gators as a crew have been 1-for-6 from three.
Virginia Tech used some critically selfless play to create house (and this is not dangerous protection from Florida, both).
In the identical nook of the South area, No. 14 Colgate and No. 3 Arkansas was the second recreation of the day to tip off (TruTV). Via the primary 14 minutes, Colgate has but to be outmatched bodily and is capturing properly from deep to construct an 11-point lead.
Photos surfaced Thursday showing the stark differences in presents that have been introduced to ladies’s basketball gamers in comparison with males’s. Stanford sports activities efficiency coach Ali Kershner posted photographs of the amenities contained in the Indianapolis-area bubble (the place the boys are enjoying) in comparison with the San Antonio bubble (the place the ladies are).
The NCAA acknowledged the discrepancy in facilities, citing house limitations — though these on the bottom shortly disputed the purpose — and stated “we wish to be conscious of the wants of our taking part groups, and we’re actively working to boost current sources at observe courts, together with extra weight coaching gear.”
The boys’s match had outside house at a close-by minor league baseball stadium, whereas the lone alternative for recent air on the ladies’s facet is the stroll from the crew lodge to coronavirus testing websites. There may be even a large high quality distinction between the “swag luggage” males’s and ladies’s gamers obtained.
Contributing: Chris Bumbaca, Scott Gleeson, Erick Smith