Day 1 of the NCAA Tournament was filled with upsets, nail-biters, a controversial call and expected romps by the Wildcats of Kentucky, Arizona and Villanova.
In Louisville, things got rolling with a rare 14-seed upset as Alabama-Birmingham knocked off Iowa State, then #11 UCLA won 60-59 over SMU after a last-minute goaltending call against the Mustangs. Those were two of four lower seeds that advanced, and the UCLA win was one of a record five games decided by a one-point margin.
In the nightcap, Cincinnati made a miraculous comeback in the final minute of regulation and tied it on a buzzer beater, then won by a point in overtime over Purdue, the prelude to Kentucky’s dominant win over Hampton. Cincy earned a shot against Kentucky on Saturday.
Louisville native D’Angelo Russell led all scorers on the day with 28 in Ohio State’s win over VCU. And former Louisville guard Kevin Ware played 29 minutes, scoring 4, in the amazing Georgia State upset of Baylor.
Baylor, Texas, SMU, Texas Southern and Stephen F. Austin all lost, giving the state of Texas an 0-5 record on the day.