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NCAA Tournament Round Of 64, Day 1: The Upsets Begin

Andie Hagemann |
March 16, 2012 | 1:34 a.m. PDT

Staff Writer

Anthony Davis and the Wildcats took care of business, defeating WKU, 81-66. (Creative Commons/BasketballElite)
Anthony Davis and the Wildcats took care of business, defeating WKU, 81-66. (Creative Commons/BasketballElite)
Day one of the most anticipated tournaments of college athletics is officially in the books.

Some have probably deemed their bracketology as over, while others are basking in first day wins. Despire no upsets in the early games, two upsets rocked the brackets in the latter half of Thursday's games: No. 12 seed Virginia Commonwealth (VCU) defeated No. 5 seed Wichita State, 62-59, and No. 11 Colorado rocked No. 6 UNLV, 68-64. 

Early favorites largely prevailed over lower seeds, as expected, despite the tremendous tenacity exhibited by their underdog opponents. 

Number One Stays on Top:

No. 1 seeded Kentucky trampled the 16th-seeded Western Kentucky Hilltoppers, 81-66. The stage was set early as Kentucky came out of the gate on an early 10-0 run. Western Kentucky answered back minutes later with 12 straight points at the 14-minute mark in the first half (their only lead in the entire game).  

Kentucky came into the second half leading by 19 and looking to clinch its first victory in the tournament. The Wildcats maintained their early lead, garnering the victory over the Hilltoppers. The impressive Kentucky victory was surged by the performances of forwards Terrance Jones and Anthony Davis along with guard Doron Lamb. Jones recorded 22 points, 10 rebounds, two assists and one steal. Davis added 16 points, nine rebounds, three assists and one steal. 

Kentucky continues its road to the Final Four as it will face Iowa State on Saturday. 

Huskies No Longer the Lead Dog in the Pack:

In the second round of tournament action, the reigning national champion University of Connecticut Huskies lost to Iowa State, 77-64. The Huskies' loss marks the first loss by the defending champion in the tournament opener since 1996. 

No. 9-seeded UConn trailed early in the first half and entered halftime with a deficit of 10 to the Cyclones. UConn guard Ryan Boatright made three straight shot sending the Huskies into a manageable position to regain the lead with over eight minutes left in the game. Following the run by Boatright, the Huskies were unable to score for more than five minutes.   

UConn guard Shabazz Napier led all scorers with 22 points and also posted two rebounds, six assists and one steal. The performance by the Huskies was also fueled by the 19 points scored by guard Jeremy Lamb, in addition to his four rebounds and two steals. 

Iowa State was led by the ensemble of guard Chris Allen, forward Royce White, guard Scott Christopherson and forward Melvin Ejim, who scored 20, 15, 15, and 11 points, respectively.

Buffaloes Continue to “Go Dancing”:

Pac-12 conference champion and No. 11 seed Colorado defeated No. 6 UNLV, 68-64, sending the Buffaloes into the third round of the tournament. Colorado forged ahead early, sending the message that the Buffaloes deserved to be in contention for the title. 

Colorado’s tournament hopes were nearly dashed as the UNLV Rebels rallied late in the second half. Colorado was led by forward Austin Default, who posted 14 points against the Rebels along with five rebounds, one assist and one steal. Forward Andre Roberson and Carlon Brown each added 12 points. Roberson also posted 16 rebounds, one assist, one steal and two blocks. 

Colorado advances in tournament action to play Baylor on Saturday. This marks the first appearance for the Buffaloes since 2003.

Other Scores:

(12) Virginia Commonwealth 62,    (5) Wichita State 59 

(7) Gonzaga 77,    (10) West Virginia 54

(3) Baylor 68,    (14) South Dakota State 60

(4) Indiana 79,    (13) New Mexico State 66

(2) Ohio State 78,    (15) Loyola MD 59

Contact Andie via email or Twitter.



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