Best of Thursday at the NCAA tourney
It was a slow start Thursday at the NCAA tournament, but the drama ramped up during one of the day's final games. We take a look at our favorite moments from the day.
Harvard gets upset of the day
It was bound to happen. On a day that went according to plan for the most part, No. 14 Harvard pulled off the biggest stunner, topping No. 3 New Mexico 68-62.
The Crimson, who advance to face No. 6 Arizona on Saturday, notched their first-ever tournament victory, prompting one of Harvard's most famous alums to tweet:
YYYYYEEEEESSSSSSSSS!!! HARVARD winssss!!! hahahahhah i told you.... #threepointgoggles #bracketbusters twitter.com/JLin7/status/3…
— Jeremy Lin (@JLin7) March 22, 2013
But this isn't the first time the Ivy League has made its presence known in the tournament.
Gonzaga's near upset and the John Stockton face
It was a dicey, unconvincing win for the Zags, who were scrutinized all week as a questionable No. 1 seed. They didn't exactly prove the doubters wrong with a narrow six-point win over No. 16 seed Southern.
On the plus side, John Stockton was in attendance to watch his son, and he was nice enough to gave us this face.
Wichita State is up next for Gonzaga.
Marquette squashes Cinderella's bid
Our only fantastic finish of the early action belonged to Marquette-Davidson. The No. 14 seed Wildcats nearly wore Cinderella's slipper again — they made a run to the Elite Eight in 2008 as a No. 10 seed behind the brilliance of Steph Curry — but a disastrous ending did them in Thursday.
Marquette cut a five-point deficit to one before a horrendous Davidson turnover on an inbounds pass spelled the ultimate doom for the Wildcats. Vander Blue gave Marquette the win with a layup with one second remaining.
Pitt's Tray Woodall gets emotional
Amidst all the fun of an event like this, there's often some pain, too. Pitt's Tray Woodall had an emotional moment after the Panthers' loss to Wichita State, breaking down in tears in the postgame press conference.
Woodall, a senior, shot just 1-for-12 in his final game, calling it one of the worst of his career, and couldn't contain himself when a reporter asked him after how it felt to go out on a low note.
Sim Bhullar, we hardly knew ye
Unfortunately, we won't have a chance to get to know New Mexico State's Sim Bhullar better. The 7-foot-5 center and his 13th-seeded Aggies fell 64-44 to Saint Louis on Thursday. Bhullar scored four points and hauled in 11 rebounds in 27 minutes. This is what it feels like to be in his presence (click to enlarge):
Inside the mad mind of Marshall Henderson
Perhaps the best story of the day came from off the court, where Ole Miss' brazen baller Marshall Henderson gave a legendary press conference.
Among his many gems:
"I’ve been a Duke fan since my dad ever told me anything about basketball. It was all about Duke, Duke, Duke. I love the way they play."
"I’m trying to get paid here soon because I’m tired of doing all this stuff for free. And this is where you make your money, the NCAA tournament."
If you're like us, you can't get enough of the guy. So read a little more about him. He's no slouch on the court either; he leads the Rebels with 20.1 points per game.
CBS announcers botch the handshake/fist bump
Ernie Johnson and Greg Gumbel are only part-time colleagues, and it showed on Thursday. The two studio hosts looked a little rusty when trying to give each other props, as this gif shows.
Hey, it's Day One of the tourney. We're all shaking off the dust.
Hairstyles worth a second look
Yes, hair was a big topic Thursday. From a blue mohawk to ditched dreads, the lovely locks had Twitter ablaze. Wichita State's Carl Hall violated every superstition rule in the book by shedding his dreadlocks in the time between the Missouri Valley Conference and NCAA tournaments. Here's a look at the before and after (click to enlarge):
And then, there is Cody Ellis, whose blue mohawk was a buzzing topic last week in the Atlantic 10 tournament. Here is Cody and a few of other favorite hair sightings of the day (click to enlarge):
(From left: Ellis, Wisconsin's Mike Bruesewitz and Ryan Evans, James Madison head coach Matt Brady, and Saint Louis guard Jordair Jett)
The day in Twitter
Steph Curry is bummed his Davidson Wildcats didn't pull it off:
One for the road! youtu.be/HVhOgoQzCaQ— Stephen Curry (@StephenCurry30) March 21, 2013
John Calipari was not supposed to be doing this today:
With Kobayashi, world-class eating champion, at Carnegie Deli: twitter.com/UKCoachCalipar…— John Calipari (@UKCoachCalipari) March 21, 2013
Speaking of Kentucky ... the Wildcats may be out, but Ashley Judd is still a fan of the game:
Boy, St Louis is good. #Marchmadness— ashley judd (@AshleyJudd) March 21, 2013
Craig Sager strikes again with bracket tie
The Turner sideline reporter and infamous dresser broke out a special tie for the NCAA tournament. And wouldn't you know it, the theme fits the season.
Feel-good story of the day
Once nearly paralyzed senior Rotnei Clarke hit the decisive buckets for Butler in its 68-56 win over No. 11 Bucknell. His tournament debut is easily as sweet as it gets on this day.