March 29, 2023 11:00 pm


Could Fairleigh Dickinson be the greatest Cinderella story in NCAA tournament history?

USA Currently Sports’ Paul Myerbeg breaks down why Fairleigh Dickinson has a opportunity to be the greatest Cinderella story in NCAA tournament history.

USA Currently

When Sunday’s NCAA tournament organization closes, the men’s Sweet 16 will be set when the females will have half of the Sweet 16 field decided. 

Currently two No. 1 seeds have been knocked out on the men’s side, highlighted by No. 1 Purdue’s amazing loss to No. 16 Fairleigh Dickinson. Now FDU aims to do what no 16-seed has ever carried out: Attain the Sweet 16. 

The Knights will attempt to make it come about Sunday (7:45 p.m. ET, truTV) against Florida Atlantic, a potent mid-big that is 32-three on the year immediately after its dramatic win more than Memphis. But 1st, No. 11 Pitt and No. three Xavier get the celebration began at 12:ten p.m. ET on CBS. 

The women’s action began with the defending champs, No. 1 South Carolina, beating  South Florida (1 p.m. ET, ABC). Iowa standout Caitlin Clark then requires the national stage in the subsequent game on ABC has her No. two Hawkeyes take on No. ten Georgia. 

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MEN’S TOURNAMENT:  Complete scores and schedule

WOMEN’S TOURNAMENT:  Complete scores and schedule

SATURDAY’S PLAY:  Catch up on all the men’s, women’s action

Compared to the 1st men’s game of the day, this a single is significantly far more of a slog. 

No. three Kansas State and No. six Kentucky each struggled from the field in the 1st half, combining for 22 created field targets on 63 attempts (34.9%). Each teams at occasions employed swarming defenses and halfcourt and fullcourt stress, producing it far more hard for each offenses to ease into their systems. The fantastic news is that each offenses settled ahead of the finish of the half, with Kansas State major 29-26.

Not coincidentally, three-point shooting let each teams down. Kansas State failed to convert on any of its 12 attempts from beyond the arc, when Kentucky hit just two-of-11.

The game’s major scorer, Kentucky forward Oscar Tshiebwe, currently has a double-double, with an 11-point, 11-rebound 1st half. In every single of the 3 halves Kentucky has played this tournament, Tshiebwe has recorded at least ten boards.

Kansas State’s major scorer did not crack double figures, as forward Nae’Qwan Tomlin recorded eight points and six rebounds ahead of intermission. Point guard Markquis Nowell, even so, has been obtaining players and his 5 assists match the complete Kentucky team’s output.

Recall when South Carolina was in problems against South Florida? Yeah, me neither.

The leading-seeded, undefeated and defending champion Gamecocks had been tested early by South Florida, trailing by four with 7:36 left in the second quarter. But South Carolina buckled down in response, grabbing manage of the game with a 9-two run, and wound up undertaking what it generally does: Winning in a rout.

Final score: South Carolina 76, South Florida 45. 

Zia Cooke was South Carolina’s only player in double figures till the final three minutes of the game, but it didn’t matter mainly because the Gamecocks had ten other players with points. Cooke completed with 21 points, Aliyah Boston had a double-double in what could be her final dwelling game with 11 points and 11 rebounds, and Laeticia Amihere added ten.

It was South Carolina’s 34th win this season, and 40th going back to final season. 

The Musketeers, for the 1st time given that the 2016-17 season, are headed to the Sweet Sixteen.

No. three Xavier (27-9) had all 5 starters reach double figures in scoring in a pretty comfy 84-73 victory against No. 11 Pittsburgh. The Panthers (24-12) had been a second-half group all season lengthy and closed the deficit to eight points late in the second half, but they left themselves as well significantly operate to overcome.

Xavier forward Jack Nunge led the way with 18 points and 3 rebounds, even though he fouled out with three:19 left in the game. With reserve guard Desmond Claude chipping in a further 11, Xavier really had six players attain double figures in scoring.

Xavier controlled the game in most big offensive categories: the Musketeers recorded assists on 22 of their 30 field purpose attempts, compared to Pittsburgh’s 11 assists they had been far more effective from the floor, shooting 47.six% on 30-of-63 shooting, compared to Pittsburgh’s shooting 38.six% and Xavier outrebounded Pittsburgh 44-41.

This marked Xavier’s 16th game this season with 20 or far more assists, which is most in D-I this season. Xavier will now face No. two Texas on Friday in the Midwest bracket.

Following a 1st 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 group controlled the boards by outrebounding the Bulls 23-16, which includes ten offensive rebounds. South Carolina also got the no cost throw line, going eight-for-12 from the line, when South Florida went 1-for-two.

South Florida’s Elena Tsineke leads all scorers with 12 points, half of which came from behind the three-point line. 

The Bulls jumped out to a 16-12 lead at the finish 1st quarter ahead of South Carolina took manage of the second quarter, going on a 15-four scoring run to lead by as significantly as seven in the quarter. South Florida ended the quarter on a 7-two run to close the gap.

— Jordan Mendoza

There is 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 incredibly 1st women’s NCAA tournament in 1982 in spite of then getting a Division II group.

Coached by Hall of Famer C. Vivian Stringer, Cheyney State created it all the way to the title game that year ahead of losing to Louisiana Tech. Cheney State is nonetheless the only HBCU to attain a Division I Final 4, undertaking it once again in 1984. 

— Nancy Armour

In their Round of 64 victory against No. 6 Iowa State, No. 11 Pittsburgh permitted 41 points in the complete game. In the Round of 32, it is a distinctive story. No. three Xavier had scored 42 points by the five:01 mark … of the 1st half. The Musketeers have opened up a 48-34 lead at the half on a torrid 19-of-36 performance (52.eight%) from the field. 

One particular massive portion of the distinction has been beyond the arc, exactly where Xavier has converted half of its 14 attempts. In certain, guard Adam Kunkel is on fire, going a fantastic five-of-five from three-point variety, with a group-higher 15 points. Forward Jack Nunge is suitable behind him, chipping in 14 points on six-of-ten shooting. 

The Panthers began hot but then cooled off, acquiring outscored by a margin of 27-16 to close the half. Generating matters even far more regarding for Pittsburgh, Xavier guard Souley Boum, who led the Musketeers this season with 16.five points per game, has however to score a single point and is -of-six from the field.

The 1st game of the day, a matchup in the men’s bracket involving No. 11 Pittsburgh and No. three Xavier, tipped off just immediately after noon Sunday. And if the offensive pace to begin is any indication of what is to come the rest of the day, scoring will be on show.

The Musketeers had been the major scoring group in the Massive East this season and have separated themselves from Pittsburgh midway by way of the 1st half, opening a 28-18 lead. Xavier ripped off a 14-three run and is shooting 57.1% from the field on 12-of-21 attempts. Guard Colby Jones and forward Jack Nunge every single 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 delivers an fascinating bit of nostalgia and familiarity as Xavier head coach Sean Miller starred as a guard for the Panthers from 1987-92, exactly where he began 124 of the 128 games in which he played. 

All season lengthy, this promised to be the most wide-open NCAA men’s tournament in a generation. The bluebloods weren’t as blue. The leading-ranked teams had apparent flaws. The mixture of an additional COVID year for older players, an out-of-manage transfer atmosphere and a crop of freshmen that largely weren’t prepared for prime time meant teams’ fortunes yo-yoed from game to game, week to week. 

Now right here we are, almost carried out with the 1st weekend of March Madness, and there’s an crucial query to ask: Who is going to win the national championship? 

Possibly it would be superior to say it a further way. If you are nonetheless alive by Sunday evening in this crazy tournament, go ahead and dare to dream. Even you, Princeton. It is definitely that up for grabs.

– Dan Wolken

No, you are not seeing double.

Indiana and Miami will play every single other in the second round of each the men’s and women’s tournaments. The men’s game is Sunday evening in Albany, New York, when the women’s teams will face off Monday in Bloomington, Indiana.

“That’s amazing. I imply, what a fantastic predicament,” stated Katie Meier, coach of the Miami females. “I know our athletic director was on a plane going back and forth with an individual from Indiana as nicely.”

The NCAA does not have a record of how quite a few occasions schools have played every single other in every single of the tournaments, let alone in the very same round. But suffice to say, it hasn’t occurred normally. Meier had been asked about the prospective for the double dip ahead of Saturday’s game, but she didn’t want to answer and jinx herself. Very good issue, as the Hurricanes fell behind by 17 ahead of rallying to beat Oklahoma State.

Best-seeded Indiana had rolled earlier in the day when IU and Miami’s men’s teams each secured their spots Friday.

“We’re searching forward to playing Indiana,” Meier stated, “and hopefully the ‘Canes come out on leading in two.”

Nancy Armour

This was a tournament to try to remember for the Ivy League even ahead of Princeton’s males reached the second round.

This is the 1st year the Ivy’s teams have won 1st-round games in each tournaments. A day immediately after the Princeton males stunned Arizona, the 10th-seeded Princeton females upset N.C. State on Friday evening on a three-pointer with seven seconds left.

“We had been watching (the males) in the locker space suitable ahead of practice,” Julia Cunningham stated Friday evening. “Watching them, all the coverage they are acquiring from the media, it was so nicely deserved. We looked at every single other and believed, we’re subsequent, now it is our turn.

“It is particular,” she added. “A particular week to be a Tiger.”

– Nancy Armour

How quite a few teams will you have in your Sweet 16? We’ll know who advances immediately after Sunday’s eight-game slate featuring some of the highest seeds nonetheless standing immediately after a wacky and unpredictable begin to the NCAA men’s basketball tournament.

But we’ll all be paying close interest to the outlier, as No. 16 Fairleigh Dickinson appears to make off Friday night’s historic upset of No. 1 Purdue with a second-round matchup against No. 9 Florida Atlantic.

Maintain this in thoughts, even though: Of the eight games played Sunday, six function the highest probable seeds — No. six against No. three, No. five against No. four and No. 7 against No. two.

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)

two. No. five Saint Mary’s vs. No. four Connecticut (six:ten)

three. No. six Kentucky vs. No. three Kansas State (two:40)

four. No. three Baylor vs. No. six Creighton (7:ten)

five. No. three Gonzaga vs. No. six TCU (9:40)

six. No. 7 Michigan State vs. No. two Marquette (five:15)

7. No. five Miami vs. No. four Indiana (eight:40) 

eight. No. three Xavier vs. No. 11 Pittsburgh (12:ten)

– Paul Myerberg 

With its upset of No. 1 seed Purdue, the Knights gave the Northeast Conference its 1st win in the 1st round of the NCAA men’s tournament in 4 decades. But the Knights would not be right here without the need of Merrimack, which won the conference title but was ineligible mainly because of its shift to Division I – NCAA guidelines state a college ought to sit out 4 years immediately after such a transition.

So Merrimack coach Joe Gallo and the rest of the group stayed dwelling and watched Fairleigh Dickenson choose Purdue – and massive man Zach Edey – apart. So is there jealousy amongst its Northeast foes?

“To quote my six-year-old, ‘Dad, we beat them, so we want them to win,’ ” Gallo told CBS Sports. “Persons have also been challenging on our league all year, so I am satisfied for the win.”

– Heather Tucker

The UMBC Twitter account lastly has a ideal pal. It is the Farleigh Dickinson men’s basketball team’s Twitter account. What do they have in frequent? They each thrive in generating absolute chaos and busting brackets.

The UMBC Twitter account celebrated Fairleigh Dickinson’s victory more than Purdue, which likely destroyed many NCAA men’s tournament brackets. The FDU Twitter account caught wind of this and declared their new friendship with each other.

It was usually going to be difficult for UMBC to discover an individual who understood it. Following all, it is not normally that you get a 16 seed upsetting a 1 seed. UMBC was the 1st men’s plan to do it when it knocked off No. 1 Virginia in 2018. But if there’s any person who understands the feeling, it is FDU.

— Mike D. Sykes II, For the Win

OPINION: Why never NCAA schools spend college athletes who make them billions?

Houston entered the NCAA Tournament with the No. 1 ranking in the USA Currently Sports coaches poll, in spite of its loss in the American Athletic Conference championship game just prior to the unveiling of the brackets final Sunday.

The Cougars, who had been playing without the need of major 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 immediately after winning the SEC title in impressive style.

Houston handled Northern Kentucky in its 1st-round game and Auburn in its second-round game, when Alabama routed Texas A&ampM Corpus Christi in its tournament opener. The Crimson Tide knocked off No. eight seed Maryland late Saturday.

— Eddie Timanus

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