So the time is finally here, once again, for some nail-biting basketball action in the 2016 NCAA March Madness tournament.
Starting off, the four number one seeds are Kansas (#1 overall, South Conference), Virginia (Midwest Conference), Oregon (West Conference), and North Carolina (East Conference).
Let’s start off with the number one overall seed, Kansas. They dismantled Austin Peay, who looked like a team trying to keep pace all night long with the only team so far to score over 100 points in a game, winning 105-79 over the 16th seed. Perry Ellis lead all starters with on Kansas scoring 21, with Landon Lucas chipping in with 16 and 8 boards, Wayne Selden Jr. scoring 14, and Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk jumping off the bench in a big way scoring 23. Josh Robinson lead the way for the Governers with 24, and Chris Horton getting another double double with 14 and 10 rebounds.
Next, let’s move to the East with North Carolina. The Tar Heels kicked off their tournament with a win over number 16, FGCU 83-67. Brice Johnson had a game high 18 points to lead all scorers, with 4 other Tar Heels chipping in with 10 or more. Christian Terrell had 15 pts., 7 ass., and 7 boards, with a double double from Marc-Eddy Norelia with 10 and 11 rebounds.
Shifting gears to the Midwest, and take a peek at Virginia. They won their first round game with a 81-45 win over the bottom 16 team, Hampton. Anthony Gill lead the Cavaliers with 19 and 7 boards, and Ottawa’s own Marial Shayok coming off the bench with 10. Quinton Chievous scored 17, and Reginald Johnson Jr. sunk 10 for the Pirates in the loss.
Last, but certainly not least, let’s look at Oregon out of the West. They are lead by two of the top Canadians in the NCAA this year. Dillon Brooks leads the Ducks with his 17.2PPG. This 6’6” Sophomore forward, out of Mississauga, ON, helps in other ways with his 5.7RPG, and 3.1APG. The second Canadian on this team is making his mark as well in Chris Boucher, from Montreal, Que. His 12.7PPG, 7.7RPG, and 3.2BPG help this 6’10” Freshman forward have both been a big reason why this team got it’s #1 seed.
Some teams to keep an eye on this tournaments, teams that people think could make a run all the way to the Final Four include Oklahoma (#2 from the West), Texas A&M (#3 from the West), Michigan State (#2 from the Midwest), Indiana (#5 from the East, who won their first round matchup with #12 Chattanooga 99-74), and Kentucky (#4 from the East, won their first round game against 85-57 lead by Kitchener, ON’s Jamal Murray: 6’5” Freshman Guard with regular season stats of 19.9PPG, 4.9RPG, and 2APG; and off the bench is Windsor, ON’s 6’4” Junior Guard, Mychal Mulder.
Some games have already been played as of yesterday. Wichita State (11) upset Arizona (6) 65-55, who also beat Vanderbilt to get into the tournament with a 70-50 win, and are now on their way to a second round birth in the South. Duke (4) put another first round win in the back pocket with a 93-85 win over UNCW (13) from the West. Butler’s back in this year (9) with an upset over Texas Tech (8) 71-61 out of the Midwest. Little Rock (12) pulled one of this year’s biggest upsets so far beating Purdue (5) in a close contest 85-83 to move to the second round in the Midwest. Gonzaga (11, Kyle Wiltjer: dual citizen 6’10” Senior forward with 20.8PPG, and 6.4RPG) next team pulling an upset with a win over Seton Hall (6) 68-52 from the Midwest. Providence (9) won in a last second shot beating USC (8) 70-69 in the East. Iowa State (4) beat Iona (13) 94-81 in the Midwest. Utah (3) won over Fresno State (14) 80-69 in the Midwest. Yale (12) upsets Baylor (5) 79-75 in the West. Miami (FL, 3) wins over Buffalo (14) 79-72 in the South.
This tournament is far from over with many first round games still to watch. We’ll see some shocking upsets, buzzer beaters, future NBA stars, and the end of some of the highest ranked college players. One thing is for sure, this is one tournament that’ll keep you at the edge of your seat until the very end, whether you’re a true sports fan or not!