If Day 1 of the 2023 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament was any indication of how Friday will play out, college hoops fans are in for a real treat, and we’ve got you covered with all the top moments from start to finish!
Action kicked off with No. 7 Michigan State taking down No. 10 USC in the East Region, followed by 3-seed Xavier barely escaping 14-seed Kennesaw State, which made its first tournament appearance in program history, in the Midwest.
The No. 1 seed Purdue Boilermakers are currently taking on No. 16 seed Farleigh Dickinson in the East, while No. 4 Indiana goes up against No. 13 Kent State at 9:55 p.m. in the Midwest Region.
Follow along with the most up-to-date bracket here.
Here are the highlights!
14. Grand Canyon vs. 3. Gonzaga
Drew Timme’s been making big plays for quite some time as a Bulldog, and this block is just another addition to the list.
11. Providence vs. 6. Kentucky
Coast to coast
Devin Carter got things going early for the Friars, jumping the passing lane and taking off the other way for a two-handed slam.
Bryce Hopkins put in a deuce on another coast-to-coast drive midway through the half, getting the and-1 against his former team.
Cleared for takeoff!
The Friars continued their hounding effort on the defensive end, buying more fast break points on pretty alley-oop from Carter to Corey Floyd, who absolutely stuck the landing.
What a sequence!
UK pulled away towards the end of the first half, stretching its lead to double-digits on this wild play – a tough block from Jacob Toppin that led to a deep 3.
16. Fairleigh Dickinson vs. 1. Purdue
Fairleigh Dickinson got off to a hot start as Grant Singleton drilled a deep 3-pointer to give the Knights an early lead.
Kiss it off the glass
Singleton continued to star for the Knights as the first half wore on, getting to the cup with this nifty finish with just over three minutes to play.
Game of runs
Purdue charged back after FDU’s fiery start, stringing together a 7-0 run to reclaim control.
In a game that many predicted would be a blowout, FDU hung around with vigor, and bought itself a lead just before halftime.
The Knights led 32-31 after 20 minutes.
Going for it!
The Knights kept at it in the second half, kick-starting an 8-0 run midway through to take another lead.
4. UConn 87, 13. Iona 63
Rising to the occasion
Iona opened the game with two triples, but UConn used that as momentum to get the wheels turning early.
Iona continued its hot streak from beyond the arc, keeping itself in the matchup with a barrage of 3s in the first half.
Get big on ’em
Adama Sanogo is a problem inside, and he began to flex his muscle in the second half to help UConn grow its lead to double-digits.
Sanongo finished with 28 points and 13 rebounds as the Huskies cruised to an impressive 87-63 win.
To complement the team’s dominance inside, the Huskies’ shooters began flashing their brilliance as well, extending the team’s already comfortable lead.
6. Creighton 72, 11. NC State 63
Creighton came out strong against North Carolina State, setting a new program record right off the bat.
Back and forth
The Wolfpack cut the Bluejays’ lead to two points, 28-26, just before the break after a hard-fought first half.
In the second half, both squads pushed to gain momentum, and the game saw multiple lead changes as it approached 10 minutes remaining.
Statue of Liberty!
Oh my goodness, Terquavion Smith! The smooth lefty made his way to the rack and threw down a picturesque dunk to pull the Wolfpack within three points.
Despite Smith’s jam, Creighton kept its composure and hit several big shots to close out the affair, including this corner trey from Baylor Scheierman.
11. Pittsburgh 59, 6. Iowa State 41
Pittsburgh was on fire to start Friday’s game, sinking one big-time bucket after another right out of the gate.
Pitt took a quick double-digit lead over Iowa State, draining three 3-pointers in the first few minutes with ease.
Within arm’s reach
The Cyclones kept things close, bringing the score within single digits just ahead of the half.
Still, Pitt held a 30-23 lead at the break.
Up high, down hard
Pitt owned the second half, pulling away from Iowa State with a number of big shots and big dunks, including this mammoth slam from Diaz Graham.
2. Marquette 78, 15. Vermont 61
Vermont got the opening bucket, but Marquette took the lead within the game’s opening minute and never lost it.
On to the next
Despite the Catamounts’ best efforts, the Golden Eagles continued to put distance between them, taking a 39-30 lead at the break en route to a statement 78-61 win.
5. Saint Mary’s 63, 12. VCU 51
Neck and neck
It was a back-and-forth battle from the jump between VCU and Saint Mary’s, with the two teams trading the lead numerous times in the first half.
The Rams picked it up in the second half, but the Gaels held a one-point lead at halftime, 29-28.
Saint Mary’s continued to apply pressure on VCU as the second half got underway, coming up with one clutch bucket after another to keep things close. In the end, the Gaels punched their ticket to the next round with a solid double-digit win.
3. Baylor 74, 14. UC Santa Barbara 56
As the first half got underway, UC Santa Barbara didn’t let Baylor get more than eight points ahead. Midway through the opening frame, the Gauchos found a groove and took the lead.
UCSB led by one point at halftime, 36-35.
Baylor kicked it into high gear in the second half, cruising to double-digit win with ease.
3. Xavier 72, 14. Kennesaw State 67
Xavier jumped out to a 7-0 lead right out of the gate, setting the tone early.
It was a fast-paced battle from the tip-off, and both sides were showing off in a big way early. Exhibit A:
Xavier was commanding the court from the start, but Kennesaw State hit back-to-back 3s midway through the first half to knot things up en route to taking its first lead of the game, 25-23.
Kennesaw State continued to heat up as things wound down, grabbing a seven-point lead at the break, 43-36.
The Owls picked up where they left off as the second half got underway, exploding for a 13-point lead over Xavier.
There was no quit in the Musketeers as the second half wound down, coming up with a 13-0 run late in the frame.
Kennesaw State retook the lead with two minutes to go, but Xavier still had a few tricks up its sleeve. In the end, the Musketeers narrowly escaped defeat, 72-67, to advance to the second round.
7. Michigan State 72, 10. USC 62
USC was first to score, but Michigan State found a rhythm early and went on a 6-0 run to grab a quick first-half lead.
The Spartans extended their lead to double-digits midway through the opening frame.
Both teams traded off huge dunks late in the first half, with Michigan State holding a slight advantage. Then, USC answered with an 8-2 run to pull within three points as the first half winded down. Things were tied 34-all at the break.
Making a statement
The Spartans extended their lead to nine points, 49-40, early in the second half, courtesy of Carson Cooper’s wild dunk.
From that point on, Michigan State never relinquished the lead, cruising to a double-digit win.
12. Drake vs. 5. Miami (Fla.)
Miami (FL) Hurricanes
9. Florida Atlantic vs. 8. Memphis
Florida Atlantic Owls
14. Montana State vs. 3. Kansas State
Montana State Bobcats
Kansas State Wildcats
13. Kent State vs. 4. Indiana
Kent State Golden Flashes
11. Arizona State vs. 6. TCU
Arizona State Sun Devils
TCU Horned Frogs
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