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COLUMBUS, Ohio — Fairleigh Dickinson, a No. 16 seed in the N.C.A.A. tournament, defeated top-seeded Purdue on Friday, 63-58, in the most shocking upset in men’s college basketball in half a decade.
The win was just the second time a No. 16 seed had defeated a No. 1, after the University of Maryland, Baltimore County beat Virginia five years ago in a 20-point rout.
F.D.U., located in Teaneck, N.J., just across the Hudson River from Upper Manhattan, had never advanced to the second round of the tournament before Friday. It had to defeat Texas Southern on Wednesday in a play-in game just for the right to play Purdue, the Big Ten champion led by the 7-foot-4 center Zach Edey.
Purdue struggled in virtually every aspect of the game. It shot poorly, especially from 3-point range.
F.D.U. is one of the unlikeliest successes in college basketball. It is the shortest team in Division I — 363 out of 363 teams — averaging just 6-foot-1. Almost every Purdue player had a substantial height advantage, especially Edey, who regularly guarded a player a full foot shorter. — Noah Weiland
Xavier escaped an early upset bid.
For much of its first-round game, No. 3 seed Xavier looked like it was sleepwalking against Kennesaw State, a No. 14 seed that was stopping nearly every Musketeer player.
But control in this sport is relentlessly fluid, and Xavier took it with a furious rally to come back against the Owls, eventually holding them off for a 72-67 win that avoided yet another bracket surprise in the first round of the men’s N.C.A.A. tournament. (Baylor, another No. 3 seed, dodged another by trouncing the University of California, Santa Barbara after being down by 1 at halftime.)
The Owls led by 13 with just under 10 minutes to play before Xavier finally woke up. The Musketeers scored the next 15 points — part of a run in which Kennesaw State went roughly 8 minutes without a field goal.
That set up the frantic back-and-forth, with the teams exchanging leads down the stretch until Xavier slipped ahead for good on a Colby Jones free throw. Kennesaw had several chances late, but Spencer Rodgers stepped on the sideline while corralling an inbounds pass, preventing him from attempting a game-tying heave.
A scare for Xavier, to be sure, but not an early exit. — Oskar Garcia
South Carolina dominated in its opening game.
South Carolina made a clear opening salvo early in its first-round game Friday against No. 16 Norfolk State: The No. 1-seeded Gamecocks allowed only 7 points in the first quarter while posting 20 points of their own.
South Carolina comfortably advanced to the second round of the women’s N.C.A.A. tournament, 72-40, as it began its run for a second consecutive national championship. On Sunday, it will face No. 8 South Florida, which beat No. 9 Marquette, 67-65, in overtime on Friday.
The Gamecocks struggled at times to convert solid possessions to points, committing 12 turnovers and missing 16 of their 41 free-throw attempts. But their clear dominance and ease on their home court were too much for the Spartans, who were making their first N.C.A.A. tournament appearance in 21 years.
Still, the Spartans didn’t back down. Kierra Wheeler, a sophomore forward, finished with 13 points and 8 rebounds and often found herself going toe-to-toe with one of the best players in the game: Aliyah Boston, a senior forward and the Gamecock’s centerpiece, who finished the game with 7 points and 9 rebounds. — Remy Tumin
Princeton’s women joined the men in a Round 1 upset party.
The Princeton Tigers continue to disrupt N.C.A.A. tournament brackets.
Grace Stone hit a 3-pointer with 4.7 seconds left on Friday, giving No. 10 seed Princeton a game-winner over No. 7 seed North Carolina State, 64-63.
The thrilling finish came on the heels of Princeton’s shocking 59-55 victory from its men’s team over second-seeded Arizona on Thursday night.
Although the Tigers took an early lead Friday, the Wolfpack went point for point until the end, despite their limited bench and the absence of a key starter, Diamond Johnson, who had been sidelined with an ankle injury.
This is the second consecutive year Princeton has advanced to the second round of the women’s tournament in an upset. It defeated No. 6 Kentucky in the first round last year.
Stone, who had 22 points, said the team hopes to go much further than just one more game. The Tigers play No. 2 seed Utah in Salt Lake City on Sunday. — Remy Tumin
Stanford started its tourney run without Cameron Brink.
Top-seeded Stanford began its run for a championship title without one of its best players.
Cameron Brink, a 6-foot-4 junior forward who is the Cardinals’ leading scorer, sat out the first-round game of the tournament because of a stomach bug, she said on Instagram.
“Not how I expected March Madness to start but cheering my girls on today,” she wrote in a caption of her with an IV drip. “Just a stomach bug and I’ll be back asap.”
Brink, who averages 14.9 points a game, helped the Cardinals secure a championship two years ago. But Stanford didn’t miss a beat without Brink on Friday as it beat Sacred Heart University, 92-49. It was the program’s 100th N.C.A.A. tournament win.
Brink’s status is day-to-day, the school said.
After a tough play-in game, Pittsburgh rolled to the round of 32.
The First Four was no problem for Pittsburgh. Neither was the first round.
No. 11-seeded Pitt on Friday became the 11th at-large team relegated to the play-in games of the men’s N.C.A.A. tournament to win its next contest, with a thorough dismantling of Iowa State.
Another First Four team, No. 16 seed and automatic qualifier Fairleigh Dickinson, also won its first-round game Friday, in a dramatic upset over No. 1-seeded Purdue. Mississippi State on Friday became the first play-in team to win a first-round game in the women’s tournament, which introduced a First Four only last year.
On Tuesday, Pitt played a close First Four game against fellow No. 11 seed Mississippi State, trading leads in the last minute. But in Friday’s first round, the Panthers raced out to a 22-2 lead en route to the 59-41 win. Pitt held the Cyclones to just 23.3 percent shooting, including 2 of 21 on 3-point attempts.
In the second round, Pitt will face No. 3 seed Xavier, which narrowly avoided an upset against No. 14 Kennesaw State.
Could the Panthers have an even deeper run in store? They have a few role models in the recent history of First Four teams.
Of the 10 previous at-large First Four teams that went on to first-round wins since the field expanded in 2011, five won their games in the round of 32 as well. And two of those teams made it to the Final Four, both as No. 11 seeds: Virginia Commonwealth in 2011, which fell to the eighth-seeded Butler, and U.C.L.A. in 2021, which lost to No. 1 seed Gonzaga. — Sara Ziegler
L.S.U. didn’t need all systems firing.
BATON ROUGE, La. — Kim Mulkey threw up her arms as if to say, “Finally.” The crowd erupted that way, too.
It was early in the fourth quarter, and Mulkey’s starting point guard, the veteran Alexis Morris, had just scored her first points of the game.
Morris’s below-average scoring, and Louisiana State’s shaky shooting, didn’t matter much, though, as third-seeded L.S.U. defeated No. 14 Hawaii, 73-50, in the first round of the Division I women’s basketball tournament.
Morris’s first basket started a surge. On the following Hawaii possession, Morris got a defensive rebound, then she made a jumper and assisted on a shot from forward Angel Reese. After another Morris basket pushed the Tigers’ lead to 23, Mulkey implored the crowd to “get up” as Hawaii called timeout. The home fans at the Pete Maravich Assembly Center listened.
Behind their defense, the Tigers had built a lead as large as 16 points even before Morris’s first basket swished through the net. L.S.U. forced three shot-clock violations and limited Hawaii to several other stagnant possessions. Hawaii had 21 turnovers, 12 of them from L.S.U. steals, and shot just 30.8 percent from the field.
The Tigers went more than four minutes without a field goal in the third quarter, but Reese kept them on the scoreboard with 5 points at the free-throw line. She briefly left the game late in the second quarter with what she said was a cramp, after a collision while fighting for a rebound, but returned to finish with 34 points and 15 rebounds — her 29th double-double of the season.
“On the bench, I was like, man I have a cheat code for a teammate,” forward Sa’Myah Smith said. “She’s incredible.”
L.S.U. will play sixth-seeded Michigan, which beat U.N.L.V. earlier Friday, in the second round on its home floor on Sunday before a crowd that should be even larger than Friday’s 8,608, with students returning from spring break. — Evan Easterling
Michigan ended U.N.LV.’s 22-game winning streak.
BATON ROUGE, La. — After studying U.N.L.V., Michigan’s players felt confident enough to call out a couple of the Rebels’ offensive plays during Friday’s game.
“We were dead wrong,” the graduate forward Emily Kiser said.
Still, the Wolverines forced U.N.L.V. into uncharacteristic turnovers and stifled the star center Desi-Rae Young in a 71-59 win on Friday. Sixth-seeded Michigan will face No. 3 Louisiana State, the host for these first- and second-round games, on Sunday.
U.N.L.V.’s 22-game winning streak ended with a second consecutive loss in the first round of the women’s N.C.A.A. tournament. Young did not score her first field goal until there were 8 minutes 15 seconds left in the second half; she finished with 11 points and 8 rebounds.
The Rebels, one of the best teams in Division I at limiting turnovers, nearly matched their season average in the first half.
On the offensive end, the Wolverines knew the Rebels’ press-and-zone style would open up opportunities for corner 3-pointers and gaps for Kiser to work in the middle of the floor, guard Maddie Nolan said. Kiser had a double-double with 18 points and 10 rebounds while adding 6 assists, and the fifth-year guard Leigha Brown had 17 points and 7 assists.
U.N.L.V. battled back after an early run by Michigan, but after a 3-pointer by Alyssa Brown cut the deficit to 5 midway through the third quarter, the Rebels went scoreless for the next 4:33, allowing Michigan to rebuild a double-digit lead. Nolan had 18 points and shot 4 of 6 from 3-point range, including a 3 during the 12-0 run in the third quarter that allowed the Wolverines to gain separation.
“I think she saved us a couple of times,” Kiser said. “When that score starts to get closer and closer, a 3 is huge, I think, just a huge momentum change.” — Evan Easterling