The Sacramento games of the March Madness Tournament tipped off on Thursday, with four great games and the upset of the tournament.
(7) Missouri handled business against (10) Utah State, 76-65. (15) Princeton became the story of the tournament thus far, beating (2) Arizona, 59-55. (7) Northwestern picked up its second ever March Madness win over (10) Boise State, 75-67, and (2) UCLA handily moved on, beating (15) UNC Asheville 86-53.
Takeaway #1: Missouri shoots the lights out
Utah State kept it close, leading by 2 midway through the second half. However, a 13-2 Missouri run gave the Tigers a comfortable lead, which the rode until the final buzzer.
Missouri looked great from the field in their win, making 10 three pointers in the win. The Tigers took a little less than half of their total shots from beyond the arc, and converting on 40% of those shots is a great formula for success, especially in March.
(7) Missouri plays (15) Princeton at 6:10 p.m. ET on Saturday in the round of 32.
Takeaway #2: The Princeton Tigers: America’s team
Another year, another mid-major 15 seed from New Jersey beating a Wildcat. Princeton pulled off the biggest upset of the year so far, beating the second seeded Arizona Wildcats in a defensive showdown. Arizona was held scoreless for the last 4:45 of the game, as Princeton made a 9-0 run and won.
This is what March is all about. There were talks that Princeton was under seeded, but the Tigers decided it did not matter, as they beat the Pac-12’s champion and made history. The Princeton defense against the red-hot Missouri offense next round should be a fun one to watch.
(15) Princeton plays (7) Missouri at 6:10 p.m. ET on Saturday in the round of 32.
Takeaway #3: Boo! Northwestern in the Round of 32
Boo Buie led the Wildcats in scoring, scoring 22 on 8-14 shooting. Northwestern’s big three of Buie, Chase Audige, and Ty Berry combined for 55 of the teams 75. Despite being outrebounded by Boise State by 8, including 20 BSU offensive boards, Northwesters high shooting percentages got them through to the next round.
Northwestern now moves on to the Round of 32 for the second time in school history, looking to make it to the second weekend for the first time. The game showed a lot of positives, including their top scorings being incredibly efficient. However, the rebounding needs to improve, as UCLA will capitalize off of second chance opportunities.
(7) Northwestern plays (2) UCLA at 8:40 p.m. ET on Saturday in the round of 32.
Takeaway #4: UCLA handles business
UCLA did not follow suit to their fellow Pac-12 two-seed Arizona, as they handily beat UNC Asheville, 86-53. Jaime Jaquez Jr. and Amari Bailey both had 17 points apiece. UCLA did not shoot particularly well from three, but they were able to dominate in the paint and win without question.
The Bruins started the game on a 14-0 run and never trailed in the game. It was a true showing of domination, and although they were expected to win, UCLA exceeded expectations. Northwestern has their hands full with the potential West Region favorite.
(2) UCLA plays (7) Northwestern at 8:40 p.m. ET on Saturday in the round of 32.