The first eight bids for the Sweet 16 in the men’s NCAA tournament will be blocked on Saturday, while the women’s tournament ends its first round.
Furman and Princeton took the sports world by storm Thursday with upsets of No. 4 Virginia and No. 2 Arizona, respectively. Both are back in action. The 13-ranked Paladins opened the men’s action against No. 5 San Diego State. The 15-seeded Tigers will face Tigers with another stripe in No. 7 Missouri at 6:10 p.m. ET (TNT).
On the women’s side, No. 1 seed Indiana got into action after top seeds South Carolina, Virginia Tech and Stanford traded on Friday. The Hoosiers opened Day 2 of the women’s first round with a 77–47 win against No. 16 seed Tennessee Tech, who defeated Monmouth in a First Four game on Thursday.
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MEN’S TOURNAMENT: Full scores and schedule
Follow the madness: Latest Men’s NCAA Tournament College Basketball Scores and Schedules
LADIES TOURNAMENT: Full scores and schedule
Women’s Final: No. 1 Indiana 77, No. 16 Tennessee Tech 47
Sydney Parrish led the Hoosiers to a 30-point victory over the Golden Eagles with 19 points, eight rebounds and one steal. Indiana had two other starters in double digits: Grace Berger (17 points) and Yarden Garzon (12 points).
But the star of the show was the Hoosiers’ defense with 11 blocks and seven steals in front of a crowd of 14,000 fans at Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall in Bloomington, Indiana. “It’s such an advantage to have a sixth man,” Berger said of the home crowd.
Tennessee Tech was held to eight fourth-quarter points. Maaliya Owens had a team-high 17 points.
The state of San Diego wants to stop Furman’s Cinderella flight
San Diego State is 20 minutes from the Sweet 16 as it leads Furman 39-25 at halftime in the second round in the Southern Region.
The Aztecs took control with an 18-1 run, holding Furman for over 10 minutes without a field goal. The Paladins shot 33 percent in the first half, including 2-of-11 from 3-point range.
Micah Parrish has 14 points off the bench for SDSU, while Furman’s Jalen Slawson has eight points and two rebounds.
– Scooby Axson
Ranking of Saturday’s matches
Saturday’s winners earn a spot in the Sweet 16, and the eight games feature some of the best teams and players in college basketball. Three No. 1 seeds are in action, with the spotlight on first-team All-Americans Jalen Wilson of Kansas and Alabama forward Brandon Miller, and possibly Houston’s all-rounder Marcus Sasser.
Here’s the list of Saturday’s eight games, ranked by how good they are to watch.
- No. 4Tennessee vs. No. 5 Duke (2:40 p.m. ET)
- When. 1 Alabama v. When. 8 Maryland (9:40 p.m.)
- No. 7 Missouri vs. No. 15 Princeton (6:10 p.m.)
- No. 1 Kansas vs. No. 8 Arkansas (5:15 p.m.)
- No. 1Houston vs. No. 9 Auburn (7:10 PM)
- No. 2 UCLA vs. No. 7 Northwestern (8:40 PM)
- No. 2 Texas vs. No. 10 Penn State (7:45 p.m.)
- No. 5 San Diego State vs. No. 13 Furman (12:10 p.m.)
– Scooby Axson
Bill Self out again
Kansas head coach Bill Self will not coach in the team’s second round game against Arkansas on Saturday, the school announced. Self is still recovering from a cardiac catheterization, which caused him to miss the Big 12 tournament. Self, 60, attended Jayhawks practice on Friday, but mostly watched.
Assistant Norm Roberts will once again serve as acting head coach for Kansas. He coached the Jayhawks to a 96-68 victory over Howard in the first round.
The defending national champions will match up against the Razorbacks at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines, Iowa, at 5:15 p.m.
Did that really happen?!?!
In case you missed Friday night (although we can’t imagine how), Purdue became just the second men’s No. 1 seed to drop to a 16 since the group expanded to 64 teams in 1985, when Fairleigh Dickinson shocked the country with a 63-58 upset.
If there’s a winner besides current Fairleigh Dickinson players and freshman head coach Tobin Anderson — not to mention every FDU graduate and fan — it’s probably Virginia coach Tony Bennett, who isn’t the only coach to lose now from a number 16 seed. Yuck. Talk about a club you don’t want to join.
But perhaps the biggest winners are fans of college hoops. Now that we’ve seen two 16-seeds beat 1-seeds in the past five years is proof that parity continues to grow in men’s college basketball, making the NCAA tournament more unpredictable and ultimately more fun.
—Lindsay Schnell and Paul Myerberg
Sisters could face wins on Saturday in the second round
Lior Garzon’s first thrill on Sunday’s roster show was Oklahoma State receiving the No. 8 seed in the NCAA women’s tournament versus No. 9 Miami (Fla.). It took the junior forward less than a minute to realize that not only were the Cowgirls dancing, but they were heading to Bloomington, Indiana, where her younger sister, Yarden Garzon, is a freshman guard for No. 1 seed Indiana.
At their respective schools in Ra’anana, Israel, the Garzon sisters never discussed the possibility of finishing in the group together before Sunday, but they knew it could at least be in the game. Indiana tip against Tennessee Tech at 11:30am ET, followed by Oklahoma State-Miami at 2pm
Thursday’s reunion at the team hotel marked the first time the sisters had seen each other since Yarden visited Stillwater, Oklahoma during winter break.
“I’m really excited to see her play,” said Lior, who averages 11 points and shoots 43% off the bench.
As for the possibility of a second-round matchup between Indiana and Oklahoma State — and Lior was quick to point out that they have yet to win their first-round matches — it would be the sisters’ first time going head-to-head since she played in a club game shortly before Lior left for the United States.
— Brian Haenchen, Indianapolis star
Princeton party like it’s 1996
No. 15-seeded Princeton dominated inside, throwing the southern region into chaos with a shock from Arizona.
Perhaps this wasn’t quite the same as when the Tigers inflicted a momentous defeat of UCLA in 1996, when they were seeded 14th and defeated the third-seeded and defending champion Bruins 43-41. There was more offense and given how common misfortunes are now, it probably didn’t shock that many people. But it’s still a big problem. And it’s only Princeton’s second tournament victory since that game. The Tigers defeated UNLV in the first round in 1998.
— Lindsay Schnell
What is a Paladin?
Princeton might have caused the biggest upset on Thursday, but 13-seeded Furman’s defeat of No. 4 Virginia was a fun (unless you’re a Cavaliers fan, of course) start to the 2023 NCAA Men’s Tournament.
It’s been a long wait for Paladins men’s basketball fans. It had been more than 40 years since Furman last competed in the tournament, and more than 45 years since the last victory in March Madness.
The American Heritage College Dictionary defines a paladin as a “paragon of chivalry” or “a heroic champion.” A paladin was also one of 12 legendary nobles or knightly champions present at the court of Charlemagne, or Charlemagne, in the 8th century.
— Jordan Mendoza
Alabama’s greatest adversary may well be the exhaustion of endless chaos
The athletics director issued a statement at halftime. The most watched 20-year-old in basketball couldn’t get a shot before finally taking to the bench to rest a sore groin. The walk-on that no one had heard of until Wednesday night threatened to sue the New York Times. And the coach loses his mind with every dribble for two straight hours in a game he was nowhere near losing.
In other words, it was just another day in Alabama basketball.
— Dan Clouds
Houston ruins title hopes by playing Marcus Sasser before he was ready
That failed spectacularly.
Just five days after Marcus Sasser pulled his groin during the semifinals of the American Athletic Conference tournament, he was back in the starting lineup for the Cougars on Thursday night. For a first round match against a No. 16 team.
To a surprise for almost no one, Sasser did not even make it to halftime. Now top-seeded Houston may not make it through the second weekend, let alone the Final Four in its home city.
— Nancy Armor
Latest poll of USA TODAY sports coaches
Houston entered the NCAA tournament ranked No. 1 in the USA TODAY Sports coaches’ poll, despite losing in the American Athletic Conference championship game just before the unveiling of the brackets on Sunday.
The Cougars, playing without leading scorer Marcus Sasser in the loss to Memphis, retained 21 of 32 No. 1 votes to fend off second-place Alabama. The Crimson Tide earned eight first place finishes after impressively winning the SEC title on Sunday.
Houston dealt Northern Kentucky in their first-round matchup, while Alabama defeated Texas A&M Corpus Christi in the tournament opener. The Cougars clash with No. 9 Auburn on Saturday, while the Crimson Tide takes on No. 8 Maryland.
— Eddie Timanus