SportsPulse: USA TODAY’s Trysta Krick recaps all the biggest moments from the first day of March Madness and looks ahead to Friday’s action.
March Madness is in full swing, with Thursday’s first-round action delivering on excitement but leaving our thirst for bracket-busting upsets not relatively quenched. Now we’re back for more, providing wall-to-wall college basketball for the entire day as the remaining teams start the first round.
Follow all of Friday’s NCAA tournament action here with in-game and post-game analysis on all 16 games, as well as the biggest news of the day. All times Eastern.
No. 7 Cincinnati vs. No. 10 Iowa (CBS)
FINAL — IOWA 79, CINCINNATI 72: The Hawkeyes’ offense really came to life in the second half against one of the country’s toughest defenses, getting new life in this NCAA tournament after struggling in the latter part of the season before Friday’s clash with a Bearcats team that was heavily favored due to its seemingly homecourt edge playing in Columbus. Iowa’s inside-out game was the difference-maker, with big man Luka Garza (20 points, seven boards) and sharpshooter Joe Wieskamp (19 points on 4-for-6 three-point shooting). That win makes the Big Ten 6-0 in these NCAAs.
WHAT TO WATCH: Ranking Friday’s 16 first-round matchups
ROAD TO MINNEAPOLIS: 2019 NCAA tournament schedule and results
- 2:15 p.m.: Iowa leads 73-67 with a minute to go. Jordan Bohannon’s and-1 was followed by a JarronCumberland three-pointer. 1 minute remaining.
- 2:12 p.m.: Joe Wieskamp’s three-pointer gives Iowa its largest lead of the game in crunch time. The Hawkeyes are up 70-64 on Cincinnati. 1:39 remaining.
- 2:07 p.m.: The Hawkeyes lead 64-62 at the last TV timeout of the game. Cincinnati technically has homecourt advantage playing in Columbus and was expected to challenge Tennessee in the second round. Not if they can’t get past Iowa. 3:44 remaining.
- 2:02 p.m.: Iowa takes a decisive 62-59 lead off Nicholas Baer’s huge three-pointer. 5:45 remaining.
- 1:53 p.m.: Cincinnati is up 59-55 in a back-and-forth affair. The Bearcats haven’t had much of an answer for Iowa’s Luka Garza in the paint, but their offense (Justin Jenifer’s 17 points namely) has been keeping them on top. 7:30 remaining.
- 1:44 p.m.: Iowa takes its first lead of the game off a Conner McCaffery three-pointer. It’s 53-52 Iowa right after the second TV timeout of the second half. 11 minutes remaining.
- 1:32 p.m.: We’ve got a ball game here, folks. Cincinnati leads Iowa 44-40 at the first TV timeout of the second half. 14:30 remaining.
- 1 p.m. (halftime): Freshman Joe Wieskamp is keeping Iowa in this thing with his outside shooting (10 points), as it’s only a five-point game. The Hawkeyes started penetrating and their offense ignited because of it. But Cincinnati’s defense is still smothering (although coach Mick Cronin was not happy at halftime). Cincinnati leads 36-31 at the break.
- 12:53 p.m.: At the last TV timeout of the first half, Cincinnati leads Iowa 32-21, larely as a result of guard Justin Jenifer’s hot shooting (10 points). 3:52 remaining in half.
- 12:40 p.m.: Finally, Iowa is coming to life offensively as 6-11 big man Luka Garza connects on an and-1 and the Hawkeyes are starting to get into the paint to slice the deficit to 22-15. 8 minutes remaining.
- 12:30 p.m.: Iowa coach Fran McCaffery calls a timeout with his Hawkeyes falling behind 14-5, failing to find an offensive rhythm and struggling to stop the hot-shooting Bearcats on the other end. 12:47 left in the first half.
- 12:23 p.m.: Cincinnati has an early 8-5 lead at the first TV timeout. Isaiah Moss has all of Iowa’s points, whereas four differents Bearcats have scored. 15:41 remaining in the first half.
- 12:15 p.m.: And we’re off. Day 2 is officially underway, with the American Athletic tournament champion Bearcats looking to ride their homecourt advantage playing in nearby Columbus. The Hawkeyes have lost five of six and are looking to get back on track. One key for Cincinnati will be managing Iowa’s size edge with forwards Tyler Cook and Luka Garza.
No. 4 Kansas State vs. No. 13 UC Irvine
2:44 p.m.: A frustrated Kansas State coach Bruce Weber called a timeout as UC Irvine used a 12-1 run to get back in this thing and cut the deficit to 28-27. 3:07 remaining in the first half.
2:33 p.m.: The Anteaters called a timeout with KSU pulling ahead 26-16. In an NCAA tournament game like this, controlling the momentum and having good counter-punches will be important for this 30-win club. 7:12 remaining.
2:15 p.m.: The Wildcats called a timeout midway through the first half to regroup as UC Irvine has come out punching to make this a close one, 17-16 KSU edge. 11:27 remaining in the first half.
No. 3 Texas Tech vs. No. 14 Northern Kentucky (TNT)
2:25 p.m. (halftime): The Red Raiders lead 30-26 at the break in a game that shows Northern Kentucky is here for a game. Don’t expect the Norse to go out quietly in the second half.
2:11 p.m.: Texas Tech’s Jarrett Culver is proving why he’s an All-American, with 12 first-half points to keep Northern Kentucky back. 2:35 remaining in the half.
1:50 p.m.: It’s tied up at 10-10 at the second TV timeout, as NKU looks to become this tournament’s first true Cinderella. 12 minutes remaining in first half.
1:40 p.m.: The Big 12 champion Red Raiders are leading Cinderella candidate Northern Kentucky 8-6 at the first TV timeout, but the Norse’s full-court pressure has been effective early on. 15:12 remaining in the first half.
No. 8 Ole Miss vs. No. 9 Oklahoma
FINAL — OKLAHOMA 95, OLE MISS 72: This one wasn’t even close, as the Sooners came out as hot as any team in this tournament and didn’t take their foot off the gas. They only missed 10 shots in the first half and finished the game shooting 58 percent (34-for-59 from the floor). OU had four players score more than 18 points in this rout.
- 2:30 p.m.: This game’s as good as over as Oklahoma leads 93-64 at the lasst TV timeout. A pretty impressive showing for Lon Kruger’s team after finishing below .500 in the Big 12. 3:18 remaining.
- 2 p.m.: The game’s still out of reach here in the second half, as OU leads 66-48 and isn’t taking its foot off the gas pedal. 14:42 remaining.
- 1:30 p.m. (halftime): Oklahoma missed just 10 shots in the entire first half, and the blisteringly hot Sooners are way ahead 50-33 at halftime. But hey, it’s March Madness, so let’s not pencil this one in yet. Can Kermit Davis’ Rebels stage an epic comeback?
- 1:23 p.m.: As far as first-round NCAA tournament outings go, Oklahoma has hit the jackpot — putting this game out of reach early and scoring its most points in a half all season before it’s even over. Veteran Rashard Odomes has the hottest hand (he’s 6-for-7 from the field with 14 points). 1:39 remaining.
- 1:13 p.m.: Oklahoma has really come out firing on all cylinders, shooting 67 percent from the floor (16-for-24) and 4-for-6 from three-point range. The Sooners lead a disenchanted Ole Miss 41-24. 5:45 remaining in the half.
- 1:02 p.m.: The Sooners lead Ole Miss 29-18 at the second TV timeout, and now that the Rebels have gotten going they’re trying to turn it into a game. 10:33 remaining in the first half.
- 12:46 p.m.: Did the Rebels forget there was a game today? Seems like that’s the case as they trail Oklahoma 12-0 right out of the gate. 17 minutes remaining in the first half.
Need help determining which games to hone in on? We’ve got you covered with our watchability rankings showing which games are best.
And here’s a look at what’s on tap this afternoon before the evening game slate:
► 2:45 p.m.: No. 2 Tennessee vs. No. 15 Colgate (CBS)
► 3:10 p.m.: No. 1 Virginia vs. No. 16 Gardner-Webb (truTV)
► 4 p.m.: No. 6 Buffalo vs. No. 11 Arizona State (TNT)
► 4:30 p.m.: No. 5 Wisconsin vs. No. 12 Oregon (TBS)