Highlights

Live NCAA Tournament Coverage from Salt Lake City:

First round action at the NCAA Tournament tips off from Vivint Smart Home Arena today. You can find live coverage of the four games on the slate here:

  • GAME 1: No. 5 Auburn vs No. 12 NMSU 

Auburn wins 78-77

The SEC champion Tigers have won eight straight games heading into this one. Not to be bested, the WAC tournament champion Aggies have won 19 in a row! The contest marks the first ever meeting between the two schools as Auburn is tabbed as the six-point favorites.

Starting lineups:

  • Auburn: G Jared Harper, G Bryce Brown, F Malik Dunbar, F Chuma Okeke, C Anfernee McLemore
  • New Mexico State: G AJ Harris, G Terrell Brown, G Clayton Henry, F Eli Chuha, F C.J. Bobbitt

AT THE HALF

NMSU kept things tight in the first half, reeling off a late run to head into the locker room down by just 3. Auburn’s first half struggles came thanks in part to PG Jared Harper getting into early foul trouble.

J. McCants led NMSU with 10 points off the bench. Aggies out-rebounded Auburn 20-14.

SECOND HALF

Auburn began the second period with a 10-0 run, kicking down from deep and taking over in the paint. NMSU answer with a run of their own, 9-0 to cut the lead back to single digits with under five minutes to play. Aggies making things very interesting late in this one. Late rally is in full effect.

FINAL 

Despite a valiant comeback effort by the Aggies, No. 5 Auburn hangs on to beat NMSU 78-77 in the first round. Auburn will move on to play Kansas.

Box Score(click to enlarge):

  • GAME 2: No. 4 Kansas vs No. 13 Northeastern

Kansas wins 87-53 

The 25-9 Jayhawks are making their 48th NCAA Tournament appearance as they face the 23-10 Northeastern Huskies. The Huskies clinched their ninth trip to the big dance with a CAA Tournament win over Hofstra.

FINAL 

Kansas won its 13th-straight NCAA opening round game dating back to 2007 with the 87-63 win against Northeastern.

Junior forward Dedric Lawson led the Jayhawks, scoring 25 points and reeling in 11 rebounds.

Box Score(click to enlarge):

Hear from Bill Self, Dedric Lawson, and KJ Lawson postgame:

Next, KU faces No. 5 Auburn.

  • GAME 3: No. 1 Gonzaga vs No. 16 FDU

Gonzaga wins 87-49

We wouldn’t see another 16-over-1-seed stunner in this one. The 38-point shellacking was the biggest win in Zags tournament history and marks their 11th straight first-round W. The dominating performance shows that Gonzaga is a real threat to reach the Final Four. As he has much of the season, Rui Hachimura led the Bulldogs with 21 points and 8 rebounds.


Box Scores(click to enlarge):

  • GAME 4: No. 8 Syracuse vs No. 9 Baylor 

Baylor wins 78-69

ESPN700’s JP Chunga reports:

Was it perfect? No, but neither were the teams. Both finished 10-8 in conference play. Separating these two took all 40 minutes. In the most competitive matchup of the day, the West’s No. 9 seed Baylor edged the No. 8 seed Syracuse 78-69 on Thursday night.

Playing similar defenses allowed two normally stingy defenses to get shredded from the perimeter. Syracuse and Baylor combined to shoot 28-of-63 from three. The 28 triples was the most in tournament this decade. The Bears 16 were a program tournament record.

Makai Mason paced the Bears with 22 points on 4-of-7 shooting from distance.

Baylor’s zone gets the ultimate test in taking on Gonzaga in the Round of 32.

Box Scores(click to enlarge):


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