PROVIDENCE, R.I., Sporting Alert – Scores and results from the first round of games that took place on the opening day at the March Madness – 2016 NCAA Tournament on Thursday.
No. 1 seeds Kansas, Virgina and North Carolina all secured expected victories, but there were exciting shockers as well, with Baylor and Purdue sent home in the first round.
But let’s look on the expected results first.
In the South Region, top see Kansas used a strong first half to easily brush aside Austin Peay 105-79 in the first round.
Svi Mykhailiuk scored a career-high 23 points off the bench on 9 of 11 shooting from the floor, including four 3-pointers and Perry Ellis added 21 on 8 of 12 shooting for the Jayhawks, who led 48-28 at halftime.
Landen Lucas scored 16 points on 6 of 7 shooting and also grabbed eight rebounds while Wayne Selden Jr. finished with 14 points in the win for Kansas (31-4), which shot 55 percent from the field and took 70 shots overall.
Josh Robinson scored 24 points for Austin Peay (18-18), which entered this year’s NCAA March Madness Tournament on a six-game winning streak.
Kansas now moves on to take on former national champion Connecticut on Saturday, after the ninth-seeded Huskies (25-10) defeated Colorado Buffaloes (22-12) 74-67 in their first round battle.
In the East Region, No. 1 seed North Carolina used a solid second-half performance to stifle the Florida Gulf Coast offense and put away the 16th-seed 83-67.
Brice Johnson had 18 points, eight blocks and seven rebounds and Joel Berry II added 14 points and six rebounds for the Tar Heels (28-6), who struggled to get going in the first half and only led by a point, at 41-40, going into the halftime break.
Isaiah Hicks added 12 points off the bench, Justin Jackson scored 12 as well and Marcus Paige ended with 10 points and six assists for North Carolina, which handed head coach Roy Williams his 66th win in the NCAA Tournament.
Christian Terrell led the Eagles (21-14) with 15 points, seven assists and seven rebounds.
Antravious Simmons finished with 14 points and eight rebounds and Marc Eddy Norelia had 10 points and 11 rebounds in the defeat for Florida Gulf Coast, which was outscored 42-27 in the second half.
Meanwhile, over in the Midwest Region, Anthony Gill scored 19 points, grabbed seven rebounds, dished out four assists and had two steals, and No. 1 seed Virginia comfortably put away Hampton 81-45 in their first-round contest.
London Perrantes had 12 points and Malcolm Brogdon finished with 11 and Marial Shayok chipped in with 10 off the bench for the Cavaliers (28-6), who shot 55.2 percent from the floor and made 12 3-pointers on a successful night shooting from long-range.
Quinton Chievous scored 17 points and Reginald Johnson Jr. had 10 for the 16th-seeded Pirates (20-11), who were just 3 of 19 from 3-point range in the defeat.
In the meantime, 12th-seeded Yale delivered the upset of the 2016 March Madness Tournament thus far after the Ivy League ball club stunned fifth-seeded Baylor 79-75 in the West Region.
Makai Mason scored a career-high 31 points, to go along with six rebounds and four assists to lead the way for the Bulldogs (23-6), who led 39-34 at halftime.
Mason, who scored six of Yale’s final nine points on Thursday, was also scoring the highest points in NCAA Tournament in school history.
Justin Sears added 18 points and Brandon Sherrod finished with 10 points and six rebounds for Yale in the win.
Taurean Prince led the Baylor Bears (22-12) with 28 points, while Johnathan Motley finished with 15 points and seven rebounds before fouling out.
The Bulldogs will face defending champion Duke on Saturday in the second round.
In the other shocking result in Thursday’s first round, Arkansas-Little Rock rallied to beat 5th-seeded Purdue 85-83 in double overtime in its Midwest Region matchup.
Josh Hagins, who made the two shots to send the game into overtime and then into double overtime, finished with a career-high 31 points, seven rebounds, six assists and five steals, while becoming the first player with at least 30 points, five assists and five steals in an NCAA Tournament game since Allen Iverson in 1996, according to ESPN Stats and Info.
Lis Shoshi had 14 points and nine rebounds, Roger Woods scored 13 points and Marcus Johnson Jr. finished with 10 points and eight rebounds and three steals for the 12th-seeded Trojans (30-4), who erased a 13-point deficit in the final minutes of regulation to force overtime play.
Vince Edwards scored 24 points and pulled down 13 rebounds while A.J. Hammons 16 points, 15 rebounds and six blocks for the Purdue Boilermakers (26-9) in the defeat.
NCAA MARCH MADNESS RESULTS – FIRST ROUND
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NORTH CAROLINA 83, FLORIDA GULF COAST 67
INDIANA 99, CHATTANOOGA 74
KENTUCKY 85, STONY BROOK 57
PROVIDENCE 70, SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA 69
WICHITA STATE 65, ARIZONA 55
KANSAS 105, AUSTIN PEAY 79
CONNECTICUT 74, COLORADO 67
MIAMI 79, BUFFALO 72
YALE 79, BAYLOR 75
DUKE 93, UNC WILMINGTON 85
LITTLE ROCK 85, PURDUE 83, 2OT
GONZAGA 68, SETON HALL 52
VIRGINIA 81, HAMPTON 45
IOWA STATE 94, IONA 81
BUTLER 71, TEXAS TECH 61
UTAH 80, FRESNO STATE 69