Sunday’s March Insanity: South Carolina Trails Early however Then Rolls

Kentucky turned the newest faculty basketball blue blood to be ousted from the N.C.A.A. males’s match in its first weekend.

Someday after Duke and Kansas, the reigning champion, have been knocked out within the second spherical, No. 6 seed Kentucky was overwhelmed by Kansas State, 75-69. Although Kansas State was seeded No. 3, Kentucky had been favored within the recreation, by 3 factors.

Kentucky’s loss mirrored one other on Saturday by Duke, which was seeded fifth and misplaced to No. 4 seed Tennessee by 13, regardless of odds that mirrored its reputation and betting assist.

Markquis Nowell, Kansas State’s 5-foot-8 level guard, had an excellent recreation with 27 factors and 9 assists, carving up the Kentucky protection with well timed passes, large 3-point pictures and clutch free throws.

“They have been taking part in me for the move as a result of I dropped loads of dimes within the first half,” Nowell stated. “I attempted to search for my very own shot somewhat bit extra and be extra aggressive, and I wished to go to New York.”

Nowell, a Harlem native, will return dwelling for his subsequent recreation: Kansas State (24-9) will play within the spherical of 16 on Thursday at Madison Sq. Backyard in opposition to the winner between No. 2 seed Marquette and No. 7 seed Michigan State.

Ismael Massoud and Florida switch Keyontae Johnson hit back-to-back 3-pointers to place Kansas State up 67-62 after it trailed by 1. Nowell made six foul pictures within the closing seconds.

The loss was the newest stinging defeat for Kentucky Coach John Calipari, the highest-paid coach in faculty basketball, and is prone to spur additional unrest among the many rabid Kentucky followers generally known as Large Blue Nation.

Calipari led Kentucky to the nationwide championship in 2012 and to a few different Remaining 4 appearances. However final yr, the Wildcats have been shocked as a No. 2 by the No. 15-seeded St. Peter’s within the first spherical, they usually missed the match altogether in 2021.

“There’s a excessive expectation stage, and it’s Kentucky,” Calipari stated. “You place that on. The opposite staff goes to play out of their minds, they usually’re going to play like they don’t have anything to lose.”

Below its first-year coach, Jerome Tang, Kansas State was picked to complete final within the Large 12 Convention however has loved its first successful season since 2018-19. It final made the spherical of 16 in 2018, beneath its earlier coach, Bruce Weber, who retired after final season.

For Kentucky, Oscar Tshiebwe, the nationwide participant of the yr final season, was dominant within the paint with 25 factors and 18 rebounds, whereas freshman Cason Wallace notched 21 factors and 9 rebounds earlier than fouling out within the closing seconds. — Adam Zagoria

Second-seeded Iowa and its star shooter, Caitlin Clark, are heading to the ladies’s spherical of 16 after simply holding off Georgia in a tightly contested recreation.

The groups traded blows and exchanged the lead 9 occasions, however the Hawkeyes took a lead on the finish of the third quarter that they wouldn’t relinquish. Iowa managed sufficient elbow room within the fourth quarter to carry off the Bulldogs, 74-66, at the same time as they pulled inside 2 with simply over 2 minutes left on Audrey Warren’s 3-pointer, her solely basket of the sport.

From there, Clark spent a lot of the remainder of the sport attempting to weave between Georgia defenders as they tried to foul her, hitting the ground a number of occasions. Clark hit a jumper and 4 free throws within the closing minute, maybe her most necessary moments in a recreation during which she by no means left the ground and tallied 22 factors and 12 assists regardless of taking pictures solely 35 %.

Georgia, which hasn’t made the spherical of 16 since 2013, tried to stifle Clark with fast protection, which caught the Hawkeyes off guard for a lot of the primary half. Diamond Battles stored issues shut together with her outdoors taking pictures and completed with 21 factors.

Nonetheless, it was no match for Clark’s wizardry and ball management, particularly within the closing minutes.

The Hawkeyes will meet the winner between Duke and Colorado, which play Monday evening, on Friday in Seattle. — Remy Tumin

It regarded, for a number of early moments, like girls’s faculty basketball was in for a seismic upset.

South Carolina, the general No. 1 seed and odds-on favourite to win the N.C.A.A. match, was trailing eighth-seeded South Florida, 16-12, after one quarter. The Gamecocks have been hitting lower than 36 % of their pictures and had dedicated 5 turnovers. South Florida was taking part in prefer it wasn’t afraid of the reigning champion.

However the recreation is 40 minutes, not 10.

After the rocky begin, extra of South Carolina’s pictures began falling, and the Gamecocks raised the defensive strain significantly on the Bulls. South Carolina pulled forward by 4 factors at halftime after which hit the gasoline within the second half, working away with the 76-45 victory.

Ahead Aliyah Boston stated in a postgame TV interview that the gradual begin was a product of South Florida’s defensive depth.

“We have been simply attempting to determine them out somewhat bit,” she stated.

And so they did. South Carolina moved the ball freely within the second half and dedicated simply 4 turnovers, whereas holding South Florida to only 7 factors within the third quarter and 9 within the fourth.

Elena Tsineke led the early cost for South Florida with 7 factors within the first. She completed with a team-high 20.

Guard Zia Cooke paced South Carolina with 21 factors. Boston added 11 factors and 11 rebounds for her 81st profession double-double. The staff’s depth was additionally on show, with 14 gamers hitting the ground and 11 of them scoring.

The Gamecocks pushed their document to 34-0 and can play within the spherical of 16 for the ninth consecutive match. — Sara Ziegler

One component of the N.C.A.A. tournaments that emerges with so many groups taking part in concurrently and in speedy succession: No program desires to finish up a cautionary instance of their bracket, and generally a staff takes out that sentiment on its opponent.

That was how No. 3 seed Xavier approached Pittsburgh, a No. 11 seed that had come into the Sunday matchup trying prefer it had a recent mandate after sneaking into the sphere, then successful a play-in recreation and dispatching Iowa State with ease within the first spherical.

In the end that was all simply fodder for the Musketeers, who obtained spooked by Kennesaw State in a first-round recreation early Friday afternoon after which watched over the following 48 hours as so many large packages — Purdue, Duke, Kansas — faltered.

They took that out on the Panthers, working up the rating by taking part in nicely down low, passing skillfully and steeling themselves for a run, very like a tennis or boxing mismatch during which one aspect desires to dominate by instantly rattling and outmaneuvering their opponent.

So when Pitt had its one good run late, to get inside 8 factors with lower than two minutes left, it was too little too late to cease Xavier from advancing to the spherical of 16, 84-73, and searching robust whereas doing it. — Oskar Garcia