Day 1 of the tournament is over. How is your bracket?

Did you fill out your bracket in ink or are you trying to sneak in some edits with a good old pencil eraser? For the most part, the favorites tended to lead the way on Thursday, but what will Day 2 have cooked up for us?

No. 1 Villanova, No. 1 Gonzaga pull away after sluggish starts; Northwestern wins, and FSU out-dunks Dunk City

No. 1 seed Villanova took over 18 minutes to take a lead, but was in full control after halftime.

The top seeds may have gotten off to some slow starts against their overmatched No. 16 seed opponents, but Villanova and Gonzaga went on to defeat Mount St. Mary’s and South Dakota State by a combined 40 points (each with a 20-point victory), so they should be just fine heading into the second round. Both top seeds will take on a Big Ten opponent in the next round. Villanova will be getting Wisconsin after edging Virginia Tech.

Gonzaga will take on the Northwestern Wildcats, who we’ll discuss a little bit more down below. The perfect streak for No. 1 seeds continues with Kansas and UNC on deck today. There was only one two-seed in action yesterday, with Arizona getting a mild second half scare from North Dakota before going on to put them away in the West region.

East Tennessee State head coach Steve Forbes took some shots at the Florida Gators in his pregame speech. That proved to be ineffective, to say the least. Florida State needed to take advantage of the free throw line to hold off Florida Gulf Coast. Big 12 schools West Virginia and Iowa State each held off upset bids from Bucknell and Nevada, respectively. Villanova head coach Jay Wright, a Bucknell alum, stopped in the Bucknell locker room to offer his words of encouragement to the Bison.

Most of the day went according to plan, with a few bumps and bruises to some higher seeds here and there. So for those of you who like to load your bracket with upsets, Thursday did not get you off to a great start.


In the South region, 12-seeded Middle Tennessee took out No. 5 seed Minnesota, 81-72.

The Blue Raiders were one of two double-digit seeds to score a victory on the first full day of the tournament, with No. 11 Xavier pulling the upset on No. 6 Maryland in the West region.

There were some good showings from some other Cinderella candidates, but No. 12 UNC-Wilmington couldn’t quite keep pace with No. 5 Virginia in the East and No. 12 Princeton made No. 5 Notre Dame earn a 60-58 victory in the West. The Tigers came this close…


From Florida Gulf Coast…


No. 11 Rhode Island vs. No. 6 Creighton

I haven’t watched one game Rhode Island played this season, and unlike Mike Francesa I won’t try to BS my way through a reason why I am calling for this one. It just feels like a potential upset pick that could play out well. Vegas had this one as a pickem the last I checked, and the line seems to be swinging in favor of the Rams here. When in doubt, trust Vegas.

Northwestern won and yadda, yadda, yadda, Doug Collins was crying

Doug Collins has always been an emotional guy, so proud papa fighting it back should be no shock.

This may have been the most bizarre and unfortunate ending of the day, so let’s quickly remind you how Doug Collins was brought to happy tears. Vanderbilt took a late lead on Northwestern when Matthew Fisher-Davis picked up a go-ahead bucket, but then he made the odd decision to foul Northwestern, giving the Wildcats two shots to retake the lead.

Northwestern held on for the win in the final 14 seconds and sent tournament starved Northwestern fans into a frenzy after decades upon decades of waiting. Their moment to celebrate had finally arrived. Among those celebrating was Collins, of course. Julia Louis-Dreyfus was there to celebrate as well.

And of course, Northwestern got to zing Skip Bayless in the end.

 Quick Hits

See ya.

– The Indiana Hoosiers executed the most well-placed news dump college basketball has seen in some time. Just as Notre Dame was tipping off against Princeton in the first NCAA tournament game of the day, Indiana announced it had fired head coach Tom Crean. Now, who will the Hoosiers turn to next?

– Dwyane Wade’s season is done in Chicago. An MRI revealed an elbow fracture. While it does not require surgery, it will put Wade on the bench for the rest of the season. We may have seen the last of Wade in a Bulls uniform too.

– This pass between the legs of an opponent by Russell Westbrook was simply amazing.

– An investigation into the boat accident that claimed the life of Miami Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez and two others has determined Fernandez was at fault in the accident and driving the boat while intoxicated.

– Spring training is coming to a close soon, but Ryan Braun sure seems to have had more than his fill of the preseason.

– Should the NHL keep allowing players to play in the Olympics? Commissioner Gary Bettman seems to be losing interest in the idea.

– Raiders QB Derek Carr with his good deed of the day.

– By the way, how are YOU watching the tournament? This guy seems to have a nice setup…

– What do you do when an alligator crawls on the golf course? Cody Gribble doesn’t back down.

– Everybody panic! Netflix is about to change the way you rate movies.

– Matthew Perry once beat up Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

One last gratuitous moment of procrastination

When you wear a green tie on TV, you are just begging for this…

What happens when you wear a green tie on TV

About Kevin McGuire

Contributor to Athlon Sports and The Comeback. Previously contributed to Host of the Locked On Nittany Lions Podcast. FWAA member and Philadelphia-area resident.