2023 NCAA Tournament: Round One, Day One
The 2023 NCAA Tournament is upon the college basketball world, with everyone hoping for a stellar March Madness. Def Pen Sports will be providing a live recap of each round this year and hopefully, the upsets will begin early and happen often. There will be 16 games today on day one of the first round of March Madness!
8 Seed Maryland Terrapins Vs. 9 Seed West Virginia Mountaineers
The first game of March Madness in 2023 featured the elusive 8-9 seed matchup. Maryland opened the game up unable to score but closed the first half on a run. West Virginia looked like a classic Bob Huggins defense with plenty of pressing and traps. Despite the rough start, Maryland took a 32-30 lead into halftime. The second half was everything college basketball fans want in an 8-9 seed game. Both teams exchanged blows like two heavyweight fighters. Maryland held a three-point lead with less than one minute to play in regulation. West Virginia cut the lead to one with just eight seconds to play. A buzzer-beating three would not fall for the Mountaineers and they fall 67-65.
Julian Reese led the way for the Maryland Terrapins with 17 points, nine rebounds, three assists, and three blocks. Maryland will play the winner of the game between the one-seed Alabama Crimson Tide and 16-seed Texas A&M- CC Islanders.
The 8-9 games are ALWAYS fun! Maryland with a statement throw down! #MarchMadness
— Def Pen Hoops (@DefPenHoops) March 16, 2023
4 Seed Virginia Cavaliers Vs. 13 Seed Furman Paladins
The classic underdog versus top-seed matchup with Virgina and Furman. Scoring on the Cavaliers is no easy task, but at halftime, Virginia only held a 32-27 lead. While Virginia did control much of the second half, Furman did keep it close and began creeping back in as the game got closer to the final buzzer. The team even took a 57-54 lead over the Cavaliers with less than five minutes to play in the game. A back-and-forth thrilling finish was in store for the Paladins and Cavaliers. With a four-point lead, Virgina fouls and then turns the ball over after two made Furman free throws. An electric three by Furman leads to a one-point Paladins lead with just 2.4 seconds left. The Virgina buzzer-beater did not fall and 2023 has the first upset in March with a 68-67 Furman win.
MADNESS IN MARCH!!! Furman with the improbable steal and WIN!!! The first upset of 2023!! JP Pegues DAGGER! #MarchMadness
— Def Pen Hoops (@DefPenHoops) March 16, 2023
Jalen Slawson led the way for Furman with 19 points, ten rebounds, four assists, one steal, and one block. A thrilling ending with the dagger three by JP Pegues seals the fate of the Cavaliers. Furman will play the winner of five-seed San Diego State and 12-Seed Charleston. March Madness has truly begun!
7 Seed Missouri Tigers Vs.10 Seed Utah State Aggies
The 7 and 10 matchups are often thrilling and this game was no exception. Throughout the game, both Utah State and Missouri traded leads. This game seemed destined to go down to the wire. With just over five minutes to go, Missouri stretched their lead to nine, and Utah State was in a bad position. The Tigers kept control to end the game and won 76-65. Kobe Brown had 19 points while D’Moi Hodge finished with 23 points for the Tigers. They will play the winner between the two-seeded Arizona Wildcats and the 15-seeded Princeton Tigers.
1 Seed Kansas Jayhawks Vs. 16 Seed Howard Bison
While the Howard Bison did keep it close for a time, Kansas pulled away in the first half and went into cruise control. The Kansas Jayhawks won 96-68 with the entire Kanas starting lineup scoring in the double digits. Kansas will play the winner between the eight-seeded Arkansas Razorbacks and the nine-seeded Illinois Fighting Illini. Vice President Kamala Harris was in attendance for the game.
1 Seed Alabama Crimson Tide Vs. 16 Seed Texas A&M-CC Islanders
The 2023 NCAA Tournament one seeds are looking to avoid Virgina-UMBC status. Alabama took the lead early in the game and never really looked like they were in danger of letting the game slip up. The Crimson Tide won 96-75 despite Brandon Miller struggling to score most of the game. The Crimson Tide will play the eight-seeded Maryland Terrapins on Saturday in the Round of 32.
5 Seed San Diego State Aztecs Vs. 12 Seed Charleston Cougars
The infamous 5-12 matchups are often legendary and popular “upset” picks during March Madness. A back-and-forth game looked to be over when San Diego State took control in the second half of the game. Charleston refused to go away in the game and began chipping into the lead despite the physical play from the Aztecs. While it took most of the second half the Cougars fought back and tied the game at 53 with just over three minutes to play. A questionable call would send the Aztecs to the line for three free throws. That play would effectively end the game despite the best effort from the Cougars.
San Diego State escapes the 5-12 game! #MarchMadness
— Def Pen Sports (@DefPenSports) March 16, 2023
The final score had the Aztecs win 63-57 with Matt Bradley leading the way for the team with 17 points, seven rebounds, four assists, and one block. They will play Furman in the Round of 32 on Saturday.
2 Seed Arizona Wildcats Vs. 15 Seed Princeton Tigers
Sometimes a 15 seed is given life and that is never a good thing for the two seed. The Princeton Tigers closed the first half on an 8-0 run and trailed Arizona 31-30. Each time the Wildcats tried to pull away in the second half, the Tigers found a way to respond. With two minutes to go Princeton took a 56-55 lead. an Arizona foul with 21.7 seconds left put the Tigers at the line. Caden Pierce hit both to take a 58-55 lead for the Tigers. That would seal the fate of the two-seed Arizona Wildcats with the 59-55 win for Princeton. Tosan Evbuomwan led the way for the Tigers with 15 points, seven rebounds, four assists, one block, and one steal. The Princeton Tigers will take on the seven-seeded Missouri Tigers on Saturday in the 2023 NCAA Tournament Round of 32!
The 15 seed Princeton Tigers are CINDERELLAS!!!! They take down Arizona 59-55! #MarchMadness
— Def Pen Sports (@DefPenSports) March 16, 2023
8 Seed Arkansas Razorbacks Vs. 9 Seed Illinois Fighting Illini
If college basketball was just 30 minutes then Arkansas would have dominated the entirety of this game. The last ten minutes saw Illinois storm back into the game and make the Razorbacks sweat as we neared the end. Despite the comeback attempt, Illinois could not get enough shots to fall late and lose to Arkansas 73-63. Ricky Council IV and Davonte Davis led the way for Arkansas with 18 points and 16 points respectively. Arkansas will play the one-seed Kansas Jayhawks in the round of 32 on Saturday.
8 Seed Iowa Hawkeyes Vs. 9 Seed Auburn Tigers
This was not a game where the two teams lit up the rim from beyond the arc, but those numbers did improve in the second half. Auburn maintained a lead for the majority of the game, with the Hawkeyes staying within striking distance. Iowa in particular struggled to get their shooting game going throughout the course of the game, while Auburn did start hitting at a better clip. The Tigers prevented any comeback attempts and held on to win 82-73. Johni Broome led the way with 19 points, 12 rebounds, one assist, and five blocks. Auburn will play the winner between one-seeded Houston Cougars and 16-seeded Northern Kentucky Norse in the round of 32.
Auburn it looking to stomp out any comebacks! #MarchMadness
— Def Pen Sports (@DefPenSports) March 17, 2023
5 Seed Duke Blue Devils Vs. 12 Seed Oral Roberts Golden Eagles
The Duke Blue Devils opened up the game on a dominating run and just never looked back and won in the first round of the 2023 NCAA Tournament with a score of 74-51. Jeremy Roach led the way with 23 points in the game. The Blue Devils cruise to play the winner of four-seeded Tennessee and 13-seeded Louisana in the round of 32.
7 Seed Northwestern Wildcats Vs. 10 Seed Boise State Broncos
This game was incredibly fast-paced with the Northwestern Wildcats winning for most of the game. Despite that Boise State was nipping at their heels throughout the entire game. The Broncos would need a run late in the game, but Northwestern never allowed that to happen. Northwestern closed out the game and won 75-67 and was led by Boo Buie who posted 22 points, five rebounds, and five assists. Boise State falls to 0-9 in NCAA Tournament games with the loss. The Wildcats will play the winner of the two-seeded UCLA Bruins and 15-seeded UNC Asheville Bulldogs.
2 Seed Texas Longhorns Vs. 15 Seed Colgate Raiders
Despite a late comeback attempt from the Colgate Raiders, the Texas Longhorns held firm and handled the 15 seed throughout the game. The Longhorns won 81-61 with Dylan Disu and Marcus Carr leading the way with 17 points each. Texas will advance in the 2023 NCAA Tournament and play the winner between the seven-seeded Texas A&M Aggies and the ten-seeded Penn State Nittany Lions in the Round of 32.
1 Seed Houston Cougars Vs. 16 Seed Northern Kentucky Norsemen
Houston entered the game with star guard Marcus Sasser hobbled and because of that he did not play much in the game after re-aggravating his injury. Northern Kentucky was in the mood to recreate some of that UMBC magic. Despite shooting abysmal from the three-point line, Northern Kentucky was nipping at the heels of the one seed the entire game. Despite that Houston found the baskets they needed and won the game 63-52. Houston had a strong team effort despite losing Sasser and found a way to win. They will play the nine-seeded Auburn Tigers in the Round of 32 on Saturday.
4 Seed Tennesee Volunteers Vs. 13 Seed Louisana Ragin’ Cajuns
This was a popular upset pick because the Volunteers entered the game without Zakai Zeigler who tore his ACL. Despite a late surge from the Ragin’ Cajuns, Tennesee controlled most of the game and won 58-55. It was a team effort for the team after they lost one of their better players for the year earlier in the season. Tennessee will play the five-seeded Duke Blue Devils on Saturday in the 2023 NCAA Tournament Round of 32.
2 Seed UCLA Bruins Vs. 15 Seed UNC Asheville Bulldogs
This game was never really in doubt with the UCLA Bruis learning the lesson from earlier today with their PAC-12 rivals Arizona. UCLA dominated the game and won 86-53. Amari Bailey and Jamie Jaquez Jr. led the way with 17 points each for the Bruins. They will play the seven-seeded Northwestern Wildcats in the Round of 32 on Saturday.
7 Seed Texas A&M Aggies Vs. 10 Seed Penn State Nittany Lions
The final game of day one was also not much of a contest with Penn State taking a commanding lead and holding it for most of the game. Texas A&M never found its footing in the game. Penn State won the game in dominating fashion by a score of 76-59. Andrew Funk led the way with 27 points, four rebounds, one assist, and one steal. Penn State will play the two-seeded Texas Longhorns in the Round of 32 on Saturday.