March 31, 2023
Sunday's action kicks off with No. 3 Xavier and No. 11 Pittsburgh

Sunday’s action kicks off with No. 3 Xavier and No. 11 Pittsburgh

When NCAA tournament business closes on Sunday, the men’s Sweet 16 will be set, while the women will have half of the Sweet 16 field decided.

Already two No. 1 seeds have been eliminated on the men’s side, highlighted by No. 1 Purdue’s shock loss to No. 16 Fairleigh Dickinson. Now FDU aims to do what no 16 seed has done: reach the Sweet 16.

The Knights will try to make that happen Sunday (7:45 pm ET, truTV) against Florida Atlantic, a powerhouse mid-major that is 32-3 in the year since its dramatic win over Memphis. But first, No. 11 Pitt and No. 3 Xavier get the party started at 12:10 pm ET on CBS.

The women’s action gets underway with the defending champions as No. 1 South Carolina tries to move to 34-0 against South Florida (1 pm ET, ABC). Iowa standout Caitlin Clark takes the national stage in the next game on ABC, where her No. 2 Hawkeyes take on No. 10 Georgia.

Do you think you have what it takes to beat your friends? Test your college basketball skills (or your luck) here with USA TODAY’s Survivor Pool. Also bookmark our brackets page!

MALE TOURNAMENT: Complete scores and calendar

FEMALE TOURNAMENT: Complete scores and calendar

SATURDAY GAME: Catch up on all the men’s and women’s action

The Miami men and women have advanced and will play Indiana. The men play on Sunday and the women meet on Monday.

Sunday action underway

Xavier Musketeers forward Jack Nunge (24) and Pittsburgh Panthers forward Guillermo Diaz Graham (25) give a call at the start of the game in the second round of the 2023 NCAA men's basketball tournament at the Greensboro Coliseum.

Xavier Musketeers forward Jack Nunge (24) and Pittsburgh Panthers forward Guillermo Diaz Graham (25) give a call at the start of the game in the second round of the 2023 NCAA men’s basketball tournament at the Greensboro Coliseum.

The first game of the day, a men’s matchup between No. 11 Pittsburgh and No. 3 Xavier, began shortly after noon Sunday. And if the offensive pace to start is any indication of what’s to come for the rest of the day, the score will be in the offing.

The Musketeers were the leading scoring team in the Big East this season and broke away from Pittsburgh midway through the first half, opening up a 28-18 lead. Xavier went on a 14-3 run and is shooting 57.1% from the field on 12-of-21 shooting. Guard Colby Jones and forward Jack Nunge each have eight points to lead the Musketeers.

Pittsburgh is shooting 7-for-16 from the field, at a 46.7% pace.

The matchup also provides a bit of nostalgia and familiarity, as Xavier’s head coach Sean Miller played a guard for the Panthers from 1987 to 1992, where he started 124 of the 128 games he played.

This men’s tournament is really on the line

All season long, this promised to be the most open NCAA men’s tournament in a generation. Bluebloods weren’t that blue. The top ranked teams had obvious flaws. The combination of an extra year of COVID for older players, an out-of-control transfer environment and a crop of freshmen largely not ready for prime time meant that the fortunes of the teams turned around. game to game, week to week.

Now here we are, nearly over with the first weekend of March Madness, and there’s one important question to ask: Who’s going to win the national championship?

Perhaps it would be better to say it another way. If you’re still alive Sunday night in this crazy tournament, go ahead and dare to dream. Even you, Princeton. It’s really that at stake.

clouds give

Double trouble? Indiana and Miami will meet in men’s and women’s

No, you’re not seeing double.

Indiana and Miami will meet in the second round of the men’s and women’s tournaments. The men’s game is Sunday night in Albany, New York, while the women’s teams will meet on Monday in Bloomington, Indiana.

“That’s great. I mean, what a great situation,” said Katie Meier, the Miami women’s coach. “I know our athletic director was also on a plane going back and forth with someone from Indiana.”

The NCAA doesn’t keep track of how many times the schools have met in each of the tournaments, let alone in a single round. But suffice it to say that it hasn’t happened often. Meier had been asked about the potential of the double dip before Saturday’s game, but she didn’t want to answer and cursed herself. The good thing is that the Hurricanes fell behind by 17 before rallying to beat Oklahoma State.

Top-seeded Indiana had rolled earlier in the day, while the IU and Miami men’s teams clinched their spots on Friday.

“We expect to play Indiana,” Meier said, “and we expect the ‘Canes to come out on top in two.’

nancy armor

Princeton men, women win first-round games in same year, make Ivy history

This was a tournament to remember for the Ivy League even before the Princeton men reached the second round.

This marks the first year that Ivy teams have won first-round games in both tournaments. A day after the Princeton men stunned Arizona, the 10th-seeded Princeton women stunned NC State Friday night with a three-pointer with seven seconds left.

“We were looking at (the men) in the locker room right before practice,” Julia Cunningham said Friday night. “To see them, all the coverage they’re getting from the media, it was very well deserved. We look at each other and think, we are next, now it’s our turn.

“It’s special,” he added. “A special week to be a Tiger”.

nancy armor

Princeton players celebrate a win over North Carolina State in a first round game.

Princeton players celebrate a win over North Carolina State in a first round game.

Classification of the matches of Sunday

How many teams will you have at your Sweet 16? We’ll find out who advances after Sunday’s eight-game slate with some of the highest seeds still standing after a crazy and unpredictable start to the NCAA men’s basketball tournament.

But we’ll all be paying close attention to the outlier, as No. 16 Fairleigh Dickinson looks to build on Friday night’s historic upset of No. 1 Purdue with a second-round matchup against No. 9 Florida Atlantic.

Keep this in mind, though: Of the eight games played on Sunday, six feature the highest possible seeds: No. 6 vs. No. 3, No. 5 vs. No. 4 and No. 7 against No. 2.

Here’s a list of Sunday’s games ranked by how watchable they are:

1. No. 16 Fairleigh Dickinson vs. No. 9 Florida Atlantic (7:45 p.m. ET)

2. number 5 Saint Mary’s vs. No. 4 Connecticut (6:10)

3. No. 6 Kentucky vs. No. 3 Kansas State (2:40)

4. Number 3 Baylor vs. No. 6 Creighton (7:10)

5. Number 3 Gonzaga vs. No. 6 TCU (9:40)

6. No. 7 Michigan State vs. No. 2 Marquette (5:15)

7. number 5 Miami vs. No. 4 Indiana (8:40)

8. Number 3 Xavier vs. No. 11 Pittsburgh (12:10)

–Paul Myerberg

Merrimack coach endorses Fairleigh Dickenson

With the win over No. 1 seed Purdue, the Knights gave the Northeast Conference their first NCAA men’s tournament opening round victory in four decades. But the Knights wouldn’t be here without Merrimack, who won the conference title but was ineligible due to his move to Division I: NCAA rules state that a school must sit out four years after such a transition.

So Merrimack coach Joe Gallo and the rest of the team stayed home and watched Fairleigh Dickenson pick Purdue, and the big man Zach Edey on the side. So is there jealousy among his northeastern enemies?

“To quote my 6-year-old son, ‘Dad, we beat them, so we want them to win,'” Gallo told CBS Sports. “People have been tough on our league all year as well, so I’m happy for the win.”

heather tucker

UMBC find a friend on Twitter

The UMBC Twitter account finally has a best friend. It’s the Twitter account for Farleigh Dickinson’s men’s basketball team. What do they have in common? Both thrive by creating utter chaos and breaking parentheses.

The UMBC Twitter account celebrated Fairleigh Dickinson’s victory over Purdue, which likely destroyed many a NCAA Men’s Tournament bracket. FDU’s Twitter account found out about this and declared their new friendship together.

It was always going to be difficult for UMBC to find someone who understood him. After all, it’s not often that you get a 16 seed defeating a 1 seed. UMBC was the first men’s show to do so when it defeated No. 1 Virginia in 2018. But if anyone understands the sentiment, it’s FDU.

Mike D. Sykes II, For Victory

USA TODAY Final Poll of Sports Coaches

Houston entered the NCAA Tournament ranked No. 1 in the USA TODAY Sports Coaches Poll, despite its loss in the American Athletic Conference championship game just before the bracket presentation last Sunday.

The Cougars, playing without leading scorer Marcus Sasser in the loss to Memphis, retained 21 of 32 No. 1 votes to prevent second-ranked Alabama. The Crimson Tide received a first eight after winning the SEC title in impressive fashion.

Houston managed Northern Kentucky in their first round game and Auburn in their second round game, while Alabama defeated Texas A&M Corpus Christi in their tournament opener. The Crimson Tide eliminated No. 8 seed Maryland on Saturday night.

—Eddie Timanus

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: March Madness live support updates: Xavier, Pittsburgh kick-off action

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