Murray State guard Ja Morant is an early star of the NCAA men’s basketball tournament.Credit…Robert Deutsch/USA Today Sports, via Reuters
By The New York Times
- March 22, 2019
Here is who won on the first day (and night) of the N.C.A.A.’s men’s basketball tournament.
(No. 10) Minnesota 86 — (No. 7) Louisville 76
Minnesota, coached by Richard Pitino, came alive with 3-pointers, a hallmark of Louisville, once coached by his father, Rick Pitino. Family drama settled, on to the next one.
(No. 3) LSU 79 — (No. 14) Yale 74
Yale, which trailed by 9-0 and by 16 points at halftime, could not come all the way back against L.S.U., which made enough free throws down the stretch to win.
(No. 5 Auburn) 78 — (No. 12) New Mexico State 77
It was the buzzer-beater that wasn’t. New Mexico State’s Trevelin Queen fired a would-be 3-pointer that could have provided an astonishing upset. But it was an air ball.
(No. 4) Florida State 76 — (No. 13) Vermont 69
Despite the right game plan and a virtual home crowd in Hartford, Conn., Vermont failed in its upset bid in a long, grinding game that served as a reminder that, sometimes, many times even, Goliath wins.
(No. 2) Michigan State 76 — (No. 15) Bradley 65
Bradley gave Michigan State a scare but then the Spartans put it away in the final minutes.
(No. 6) Maryland 79 — (No. 11) Belmont 77
Maryland, fifth in the Big Ten this season, rallied to beat Belmont. Belmont actually had the ball last, but turned it over on an ill-advised pass in the lane with only seconds left.
(No. 4) Kansas 87 — (No. 13) Northeastern 53
Believe us, it wasn’t this close. Dedric Lawson had 25 points and 11 rebounds, and Kansas dominated inside.
(No. 12) Murray State 83 — (No. 5) Marquette 64
Ja Morant of Murray State has become the early talk of the tournament. He finished with 17 points, 11 rebounds and 16 assists. If you haven’t seen Morant play yet, make a point to clear some time Saturday to see him and the Racers take on No. 4 Florida State.
(No. 10) Florida 70 — (No. 7) Nevada 61
Experience only goes so far. Poor shot selection and some Florida free throws spelled doom for Nevada, bitterly disappointed — again.
(No. 2) Kentucky 79 — (No. 15) Abilene Christian 44
Keldon Johnson led the Wildcats with 25 points on 10-of-16 shooting in a thumping.
(No. 1) Gonzaga 87 — (No. 16) FDU 49
Gonzaga’s Rui Hachimura (21 points) and Killian Tillie (17) combined for 38 points — the exact margin of the Zags’ victory.
(No. 6) Villanova 61 — (No. 11) Saint Mary’s 57
The defending national champions were not ready to give up their title. Villanova’s Phil Booth had 20 points.
(No. 7) Wofford 84 — (No. 10) Seton Hall 68
Wofford got its first national tournament win on its fifth try, as Fletcher Magee hit seven 3-pointers to break the N.C.A.A. career record for the most shots made from behind the arc.
(No. 2) Michigan 74 — (No. 15) Montana 55
The Wolverines led by as much as 27 points while advancing to the round of 32 for the third straight year.
(No. 9) Baylor 78 — (No. 8) Syracuse 69
The winners made 16 3-pointers, and the losers made 12.
(No. 3) Purdue 61 — (No. 14) Old Dominion 48
Purdue’s win capped a 5-0 day for the Big Ten, which has three more teams playing on Friday.
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