Philip Tor |
Slump Sports Bloggah
Just like that, the madness is back! Day 1 has come and gone but what a day it has been, on St. Patrick’s day no less. We got it all, upsets, game-winning shots, and great post game interviews. Even if your like me and flushed your bracket down the toilet at around 6:00, keep watching cause the one thing that is guaranteed in the tournament is the madness doesn’t stop until the last second ticks off in the National Championship game on April 4th.
Here are the best moments and recaps of every day 1 game.
Game 1: #13UNC-Wilmington vs #4 Duke
This game proves why no one should sleep on anyone during March. UNCW almost came in and upset Duke in the first round again. Lehigh in 2012, Mercer in 2014, Duke has a habit of early exits in the tourney, but thanks to the trio of Marshall Plumlee (23 Points, 8 Reb, 9-10 FG), Brandon Ingram (20 Points 9 Reb), and Grayson Allen who posted a double-double with 23 Points, 10 Reb, and 5 Ast while also shooting 15-17 from the charity stripe. UNCW hit some big shots as well and battled until the very end. How about that 3 from my guy Denzell Ingram?
UNCW actually was leading for a decent part of the game and held a 43-40 halftime lead. Whoever took this picture deserves a trophy because it is just a masterpiece.
Even with all the great plays, my favorite part of the game by far was the managers wiping up the floor. Talk about some serious huss…
The Seahawks fought hard and put up a valiant effort but as much as I hate to say it, Duke is moving on with a 93-85 win.
Did Phil get it right : Yes (1-1)
Game 2: #8 Texas Tech vs #9 Butler
Overall a great tournament game to watch. Back and forth until the very end with both teams hitting big shots. Kellen Dunham continued his string of brilliant games with 23 points, including 5 shots from deep. Butler big man, Tyler Wideman was second on the team with 14 points after going 6-6 from the field. Texas Tech’s starting five was held to only 31 points by Butler’s defense which was surprisingly good today. Devaugntah Williams led the Red Raiders attack with 18 points. The difference maker was the 3 point shooting of Butler, particularly Dunham and sophomore Kelan Martin who combined for 7 of the teams 9 3 point field goals (9-17, 52.9% team).
If only I could shoot like one of these two #GOAT ‘s.
The Bulldogs move on with a 71-61 win.
Did Phil get it right: Yes (2-2)
Game 3: #8 Colorado vs #9 UConn
This game was silently one of the best of the day. I must admit for your sake I didn’t watch this game as closely as the others, this one was one the laptop while I also had two TV’s going too but I did my research and I know that UConn in typical UConn fashion played around until the last 5 minutes and put away Colorado. First off quick shoutout to my dude Amdia Brimah. The guy is like 7″1, 135 and I love every inch of this block machine. Here is one of his 5 blocks today.
Colorado played well led by senior forward Josh Scott who registered a double-double with 23 points and 11 rebounds. The Huskies were led by sophomore guard Daniel Hamilton (17 Points) and junior guard Rodney Purvis who had a team high 19 points. UConn again waited until the second half to turn it on as they outscored Colorado 47-31 in the second half.
Led by their defense and boosted by their outstanding free throw shooting (22-23, 95.7%) UConn’s second half push propelled them to a 74-67 victory.
Did Phil get it right: Yes (3-3)
Game #4: #4 Iowa State vs #13 Iona
This game was probably the most boring game of the day because it was so one-sided. While I was watching this game, I kept thinking about what celebration the Monmouth bench would have come up with for this game if they had beaten Iona in the MAAC championship. Anyway, this game was a snoozer as the Cyclones jumped out to a double digit lead early and never took their foot off the gas.
The boys from Iowa were led by Georges Niang who netted 28 points and guard Monte Morris who dished his way to 8 assists and 20 points. Iona had a couple great performance’s as well, Senior A.J English threw up 28 points in his last game as a gael, and junior forward Jordan Washington added 26 points of his own to compliment 12 boards.
I actually could not find any videos or tweets or anything to put in this recap so instead Ill leave you thinking about what we could have had… Friggin Iona
Iowa State dominates Iona 94-81
Did Phil get it right: Yes (4-4) $$$$$$$$$
Game #5: #5 Baylor vs #12 Yale
The wait was definitely worth it for the Yale Bulldogs as their first tournament appearance since 1962 turned out exactly how they wanted it too. [Quick side note, the 5-12 matchup is just brutal, its honestly worse than the 8-9. You always know at least one 12 seed will win but I can never pick the right ones] Baylor was a heavy favorite coming in because of their great regular season play and experience. Well none of that mattered once they hit the floor because Makai Mason and Yale were on a mission.
Mason led all scorers with 31 points on the day and shot 50% from the field. What was weird was that Yale was playing great, but Baylor was not playing that bad. They just couldn’t hit shots consistently enough to keep up with Yale. At the half Yale was up by 5 and I was waiting to for Baylor Coach Scott Drew to light a fire under these guys but even after the half just nothing. It was as simple as Yale wanted the game more. Baylor had plenty of opportunities to jump back in the lead but couldn’t take advantage. The Baylor slide resulted in a 13 point Yale lead with under 7 minutes to go.
The comeback was short lived as the Bears pulled the game to within two points but could not take away control of the lead and Yale closed it out down the stretch.
Best part of the game? The post game presser…
A lot of people hate this crap cause of the disrespect and what not, but me? I absolutely love it. I mean these kids just lost a heartbreaker to a team they should have blown out. This guys gotta come up with a better question than “How did Yale out rebound Baylor?” Just a dumb question if you ask me, and I know Taurean Prince agrees with me.
My favorite play of the game, this EPIC rejection by Baylor
Yale defeats Baylor in the first true upset of the day 79-75.
Did Phil get it right: Surprisingly Yes (5-5) I promise Im telling the truth
Game #6: #1 Virginia vs #16 Hampton
Another shocking outcome here as Virginia dominated Hampton in every way. No one really cares about 16-1 games so I’ll cut it short.
Led by forward Anthony Gill, 19 points, The cavaliers wiped the floor with 16 seed Hampton. The nation’s third ranked defense did not disappoint as they held Hampton to 45 points and a 30.4% field goal percentage.
The most memorable moment of the matchup came when Virginia head coach Tony Bennett collapsed on the sideline near the end of the first half. He said he was just dehydrated and slipped then got light headed when he tried to get back up. He was evaluated by team trainers in the locker room at half time and was on the bench in the second half.
Here is my take on Coach Bennett. Im definitely glad he is ok because I know first hand the stress of coaching. I coached my little brothers 7th grade CYO team and let me tell you it was one of the hardest things I ever did. But if this guy is collapsing during a 16-1 game, I don’s know what is going to happen when they play Butler or another higher seed later on. This game was a drive by, guaranteed win so how is he collapsing during this game? Better toughen up or Virginia ain’t going no where.
Virginia handles Hampton 81-45
Did Phil get it right: Obviously (6-6)
Game 7: #5 Purdue vs #12 Arkansas Little-Rock
Another mysterious 5-12 matchup from hell. Purdue was my team, I had them in an elite 8 matchup with Michigan State because I mean they have towers for players. Isaac Haas and AJ Hammons are over 7 feet tall and match that with the versatile Caleb Swanigan who can pretty much do it all and you have a pretty solid roster right?
Seriously Hammons is a beast! But no. Little Rock exposed Purdue and with some heroics from Josh Hagins. This was easily the most entertaining game of the day and by far the most frustrating, so lets get into it.
The game was a battle from the opening tip as the largest lead of the first half was just 5 points. It was until midway through the second half that Purdue made their run. They went up 14 points with just 5 minutes remaining. The leading scorers were sophomore Vince Edwards for the Boilermakers who hd 24 points, and Josh Hagins for ARLR who had a game high 31 points. The Trojans were able to chop down the lead thanks mostly to Purdue’s 18 turnovers. The Trojan defense also lived up to their name forcing those 18 turnovers and racking up 13 steals. The play of the game of course was Josh Hagins who capped off the comeback by nailing a three to force Overtime. Happy 22nd birthday too this man.
Seriously though, that shot was crazy. I went nuts mostly because I had Purdue winning, but also because that shot was just bonkers. I mean perfect defense by PJ Thompson and Hagins leaps out of the gym and nails the gam tying 3 with 5 seconds left. Then Vince Edwards holds the freaking ball when they had a chance to win the damn game but held onto the ball like a bafoon in a classic “when your controller dies” moment. So onto OT we go and yet again the Trojans get a last second shot and force a second OT period. 2OT was pure domination by Little Rock as they held a 5 point lead early and never let it up. Purdue had so many chances to get back in it and their last possession said everything about their afternoon.
What an awful awful last shot. Terrible. Give some credit to AR Little Rock, Josh Hagins, and my new favorite person in the tournament, head coach Chris Beard.
AR Little-Rock defeats Purdue 85-83
Did Phil get it right: No (6-7)
Game #8: #1 Kansas vs #16 Austin Peay
Another short and sweet blurb coming up here about how another 1 seed destroyed a 16 seed. Kansas dropped 105 points led by Senior Perry Ellis’ 21 points and the teams 55.7% Field Goal Percentage. Austin Peay can score though. They put up 79 on the number 1 teams in the country behind their leading scorer sophomore Josh Robinson who had 24. Kansas displayed why they are my pick to win this thing in one play.
Hustle, determination, unselfishness, explosiveness, skill, and power. They just simply have it all including a great coach in Bill Self and players with key tournament experience.
Obama’s bracket stays in tact as his pick Kanas defeats Austin Peay 105-79
Did Phil get it right: Yes (7-8)
Game #9: #3 Miami vs #14 Buffalo
Another shockingly close game in my opinion. Miami could not run away with this game. It stayed close until the very end too. Miami’s fast paced play was slowed down by Buffalo who took an early 15-6 lead. Miami would roar back and hold a double digit lead for the majority of the second half until Buffalo yet again battled back to cut the lead down. Miami closed out the game thanks to the outstanding play of senior guards Angel Rodriguez and Sheldon McLellan who combined for 44 points. Buffalo hung in there mostly because of the explosive play of guard Lamonte Bearden who had 19 to lead the Bison.
Once again there weren’t really any huge highlights in this game so all we need to know is that Miami squeaked by and thank god cause if the canes lost I would’ve given up on March.
Miami moves past Buffalo 79-72
Did Phil get it right: Yes (8-9)
Game 10: #5 Indiana vs #12 Chattanooga
The one normal 5-12 matchup of day one. Indiana dominated Nooga the entire game, keeping the lead the for the majority of the game and blew it open in the second half. Indiana showed they are ready to play and win after getting snubbed by the committee after a terrific ending to their regular season. Senior Guard Yogi Ferrell lead his Hoosiers with 20 points to go along with 10 assists. Indiana couldn’t miss from the field as they totaled 37 FGs on 67 FGA good for a 65% percentage. You can tell by this clip that the Hoosiers were really worried about this game.
Tom Crean is a psycho too. Just saying
Hoosiers cruise past Nooga 99-74
Did Phil get it right: Yes (9-10)
Game 11: #1 UNC vs #16 Florida Gulf Coast
This is getting pretty long so here are the quick stats:
Brice Johnson [UNC]: 18 points (7-11 FG) 7 Reb 3 Ast
Christian Terrell [FGCU]: 15 points 7 Reb 7 Ast
FGCU committed 14 turnovers compared to UNC’s 7
UNC only led by 1 at halftime but ran past FGCU in the second half outscoring the former “Dunk City” 42-27.
Brice Johnson is a warrior
UNC does their thing and beats FGCU 83-67
Did Phil get it right: Yes (10-11)
Game #12: #3 Utah vs #14 Fresno State
Another game I did not watch because it looked kind of boring and their were better games on. Although when I looked at the game closer, Fresno put up a huge fight. They played some scrappy defense forcing 20 Ute turnovers and totaling 15 steals. Both teams played great overall with both squads having 4 players score in double figures. Fresno guard Marvelle Harris had 24, 4, and 6 to lead the Bulldogs, and Lorenzo Bonam had 17 points. The player of the game however was elite Utah big man Jakob Poeltl who had 16 points, 18 rebounds, along with 4 assists. Huge game for the big guy.
Even though Fresno played great defense holding Utah to 33 first half points, they found no sort of rhythm on the offensive side of things. With 4 minutes to go in the first half they only had 11 points. They didn’t shoot the ball bad either as they posted a nearly 50% FG%. The difference was made in the trenches and on the glass. Utah out-rebounded the Bulldogs 38-15, beat them in second chances points 14-7 and points in the paint 36-28.
Utah over Fresno State 80-69
Did Phil get it right: Yes (11-12)
Game #13: #6 Arizona vs #11 Wichita St.
First off I’m going to brag real quick and say I picked this upset, because what everyone forgets is that DEFENSE WINS GAMES. Arizona was a streaky team coming in and I did not trust Sean Miller’s squad against the nation’s number 1 ranked defense. Defense dominates this game so their weren’t a lot of great offensive plays so here are some quick hits
Kadeem Allen [ARI]: 11 points, 6 Reb
Fred VanFleet [WICH]: 16 points, 5 Stl
Arizona held to 19 first half points
Arizona commits 19 turnovers leading to 22 Wichita points
Sean Miller sprung a leak
Seriously dude? Sweating so much he had to change at halftime. Im all for a wet t-short contest but not while Im trying to watch some basketball. Control yourself kid.
Great game by the Shockers (Best team name in the country… ELECTRIC)
Wichita state upsets Arizona 65-55.
Did Phil get it right: Yes (12-13)
Game #14: #8 USC vs #9 Providence
My favorite game of the day. Great game start to finish. You got USC battling against the magical play of Kris Dunn and Ben Bentil, couldn’t ask for anything more. This game had a lot of highlights so lets get right into those before I give some quick hits.
Rodney Bullock was the hero as he hit the game winning layup with 1.5 seconds left in the game. Great play drawn up by Cooley, great execution and great finish. Epic brain fart by USC leaving him wide open in the paint. Here are some quick hits on the game.
Ben Bentil [PROV]: 19 points, 9 Reb
Kris Dunn [PROV]: 16 points, 4 Ast
Jordan McLaughlin [USC]: 15 points, 5 Reb, 5 Ast
Providence gets their first tournament win in 19 years “upsetting” USC 70-69 on a last second layup.
Did Phil get it right: Yes (13-14)
Game #15: #4 Kentucky vs #13 Stony Brook
Kentucky purely dominated this game riding on the frustration they faced with the committee. The SEC champs landed a 4 seed and got a tough draw vs Stony Brook and NBA prospect Jameel Warney. The wildcats played a strong game, never once trailing Stony Brook. Quick hits
Jameel Warney [SB]: 23 points, 15 Reb
Jamal Murray [KTKY]: 19 points, 7 Reb
Field Goal Percentage, Stony Brook – 26.3%, Kentucky 52.4%
Jameel Warney is an animal
Kentucky marches past Stony Brook 85-57
Did Phil get it right: Yes (14-15)
Game #16: #6 Seton Hall vs #11 Gonzaga
I was so mad watching this game. After seeing what The Hall did in the Big East tourney upsetting Xavier and Villanova, I thought they would fly past Gonzaga behind budding superstar Isaiah Whitehead. Gonzaga is a great team but streaky this year, after being ranked in the top 10 in the preseason they tallied up a ton of bad losses. Gonzaga pulled off the upset thanks to a terrible game by Seton Hall. Quick Hits
Isaiah Whitehead [SH]: 10 points (4-24 FG, 0-10 3FG), 8 Ast
Damontas Sabonis [GONZ]: 21 points, 16 Reb
Rebounds: SH 34 GONZ 48
Just a disappointing game. Seton Hall is a young time on the rise and I feel like the experience just was not there. That excuse is so overused and annoying to hear but with this unit I think its true. Seton Hall is on the rise and they will be back. In the mean time hats off to Gonzaga playing great defense and taking advantage of a young team with a lack of XP.
Gonzaga pulls out the win over Seton Hall 68-52
Did Phil get it right: No (14-16)
Overall boring day but some great basketball was played. Not the most exciting day 1 ever but their is plenty of basketball left to be played and more upsets are coming, trust me I know.