The Latest: Nevada bettor wins $78K on Little Rock, Yale
The Latest on the first full day of the men's NCAA Tournament, including games being played in Providence, Rhode Island, Raleigh, North Carolina, Des Moines, Iowa and Denver. (All times EDT):
Good luck trying to find someone happier about Yale and Little Rock's upsets than one Nevada bettor.
A gambler who wagered $15,000 on each of the No. 12 seeds to win netted $78,000 for his bets at Buffalo Bill's Resort & Casino in Primm, Nevada.
Spokesman Michael Grodsky of William Hill Race & Sports Book says 71 percent of bettors gambling on the money line were backing Yale, while 85 percent of money line bettors took Little Rock.
As expected, North Carolina's blue-clad fans have made themselves at home in a rival school's arena.
The Tar Heels opened the NCAA Tournament in nearby Raleigh, roughly 30 minutes from their Chapel Hill campus and home to North Carolina State. And there's plenty of blue in the arena for the start of this one to give UNC a decided edge in crowd noise.
The Tar Heels are 15-4 all-time in PNC Arena, including 13-2 under Roy Williams. That run includes two wins in the 2008 NCAA Tournament on the way to the Final Four.
– Aaron Beard reporting from Raleigh, North Carolina
It's finally over in Denver.
Arkansas Little Rock has upset fifth seed Purdue 85-83 in double overtime.
The Boilermakers had a chance to win it when Little Rock's Maurius Hill missed two free throws with 9.8 seconds left and Arkansas-Little Rock ahead 84-83.
But Johnny Hill stumbled as he drove toward the basket and the ball never got to the rim.
Little Rock's Josh Hagins got the rebound and was fouled with 1.3 seconds left.
He sank one free throw, missed the second and Vince Edwards' desperation heave was nowhere near the basket.
-Arnie Stapleton reporting from Denver.
Just another 12-5 upset: Little Rock takes down Purdue 85-83 for the second of the day on Thursday.
In Yahoo's bracket game, just 11.2 percent of users picked Little Rock in the first round.
So nice, let's do it twice.
Purdue and Little Rock are headed for overtime number two in Denver.
Who tied the game? Who else? Little Rock's Josh Hagins hit a short shot off glass over the outstretched Rapheal Davis to tie it at 75 with 17.8 seconds left.
Purdue's Vince Edwards missed a chance to win it just before the buzzer.
-Eddie Pells reporting from Denver.
We're headed to OT in Denver.
Josh Hagins made a 30-footer with less than a second left to send Little Rock to overtime against Purdue, tied at 70.
The Trojans outscored the Boilermakers 18-5 over the final 3:33 of regulation.
– Eddie Pells reporting from Denver
Kansas is cruising into the second round of the South Region after little resistance from No. 16 seed Austin Peay. The next game for the No. 1 overall seed Jayhawks promises to be a lot tougher, with UConn waiting on Saturday.
These fellow college basketball blue bloods, interestingly, have never before met in an NCAA Tournament game despite a combined 89 appearances and seven championships, most recently by the Huskies in 2014. Kansas and UConn have played only twice before, nonconference games in 1995 and 1997.
– Dave Campbell reporting from Des Moines, Iowa
College basketball fans love picking on the NCAA Tournament selection committee. But one area the committee clearly has a handle on is No. 8 vs. No. 9 games.
Nine seeds won their first two games this March, with Butler beating Texas Tech by 10 and UConn getting past Colorado 74-67. Those victories left 8-9 matchups tied at 63-all since the tournament expanded to 64 teams in 1985.
It turns out that picking the tossup games truly is a tossup.
— Luke Meredith reporting from Des Moines, Iowa
Yale got 31 points from Makai Mason in its 79-75 upset of Baylor.
The Bulldogs will play fourth-seeded Duke in the round of 32 in Providence, Rhode Island on Saturday. The Blue Devils beat UNC Wilmington 93-85 earlier Thursday.
The Bears rallied from 13 points down with 7 minutes to play, a 3 by Taurean Prince bringing them within 76-75 with 12.9 seconds left. But a turnover on a drive in the lane by Baylor's Lester Medford with 2.2 seconds left allowed the Bulldogs to escape.
UPSET ALERT: No. 12 seed Yale holds off a final push from fifth-seeded Baylor to pull off an upset, 79-75. Yale gets a win in its first NCAA Tournament game since 1962.
Vince Edwards made a 3-pointer at the first-half buzzer to give Purdue a 31-28 lead over Little Rock heading into halftime.
The 12th-seeded Trojans are staying close, and have held Purdue's 7-foot center, A.J. Hammons, to six points.
Little Rock has enjoyed a 16-win improvement this season under first-year coach, Chris Beard, a one-time assistant to Bob Knight.
Beard broke his hand last Sunday, smashing a greaseboard to get a point across at halftime of the Sun Belt Conference final, which Little Rock won to make March Madness.
–Eddie Pells reporting from Denver
Nigel Hayes became the poster-boy for Wisconsin's rollicking, care-free quest for the Final Four last year, musing on everything from Super Smash Bros. to the art of transcription during media sessions.
On Thursday, he spent his time on the dais professing his love for former ''Glee'' star Lea Michele.
''I have, like, a celebrity crush,'' the Badgers' leading scorer said. ''So if she's watching, if she hears this – hello. I'm available. You know – call, text, call the Kohl Center, coach (Greg) Gard's number. If you could get this out, tweet this out, maybe send her a poke on Facebook.''
Consider it done.
Oh, one more thing: ''If Ms. Lea has a friend,'' Hayes said, elbowing teammate Bronson Koenig, ''I have a friend. You know, like Biggie said, `Your friend can be my friend and we can be friends.''
– Dave Skretta reporting from St. Louis.
California point guard Tyrone Wallace broke a bone in his right hand during a non-contact drill in practice on Wednesday.
Cal coach Cuonzo Martin said Wallace's hand got caught in the shirt of a teammate and suffered the injury. It's the same hand Wallace injured earlier this season, which caused him to miss five games, but a different injury. Wallace is expected to miss 3-to-5 weeks and will be out for the NCAA Tournament.
Wallace did not travel with the fourth-seeded Golden Bears to Spokane. Sam Singer will start in his place on Friday against No. 13 seed Hawaii.
– Tim Booth reporting from Spokane, Washington.
UConn is moving on to the second round of the South Region on the heels of a stellar showing at the foul line.
The No. 9 seed Huskies made 22 of 23 free throws to secure their 74-67 first-round victory over Colorado. That's the second-best single-game percentage, 95.7, in UConn history for a minimum of 15 attempts. The program record is 96.2 percent, a 25-for-26 performance in 2003 against Rutgers.
The success should hardly have been a surprise. UConn is the best free-throw shooting team this season in country. The Buffaloes, on the other hand, finished just 19 for 30 from the foul line.
– Dave Campbell reporting from Des Moines, Iowa
Wayne Selden's NCAA Tournament struggles have dogged him for years.
Selden started putting those behind him with a strong start against Austin Peay.
Selden scored seven points in the first 12 minutes – including a dunk off an alley-oop feed from Devonte Graham, to help KU jump ahead 26-14. That marked a career high in the NCAA tournament for Selden, who averaged just 2.5 points as a freshman and sophomore and was notably shut out in a round of 32 loss to Wichita State last year.
If Selden can keep it up, the Jayhawks can go a long way in March.
-Luke Meredith reporting from Des Moines, Iowa
Even spring training baseball fans can't get enough of March Madness. An AP freelancer received the following note through the press box window while covering the Boston Red Sox in Fort Myers, Florida: ''$5 or a cold Bud Light if you can put on college basketball on the T.V. Happy St. Paddy's.''
– AP freelancer Maureen Muller in Fort Myers, Florida.
Michigan State has used St. Louis for a launching pad in past tournaments and coach Tom Izzo has been consistently entertaining. Among the highlights from his media session Thursday, he explained passionately that there's no way the Big Ten tournament champions will take 15th seed Middle Tennessee State lightly.
''Complacency isn't really legal in our program at all,'' Izzo said. ''And if it is, we have the ability to get rid of it quick. I mean that about as forcefully as I can say it because that to me is the biggest disease on the planet for all of us.''
-R.B. Fallstrom reporting from St. Louis.
Purdue and Little Rock are underway in Denver.
It's a meeting of two defensive-minded teams. The Trojans are Sun Belt Conference champs, and Purdue finished tied for third in the Big Ten.
Winner plays Iowa State on Saturday.
Before their appearance in the NCAA tournament in Providence, Rhode Island, Yale got a pep talk from one of the state's most high-profile Yale alums: Democratic Gov. Gina Raimondo.
Raimondo visited the team Wednesday evening, before Thursday's game against Baylor. She posted photos on Twitter with the team and said she told the Bulldogs she had picked them in her bracket for Thursday's game.
Raimondo said she was proud of her alma mater and told them she would be rooting for the underdog. Her staff says she isn't attending the game.
The winner of Thursday's matchup will advance to a West Regional second-round matchup against Duke.
Raimondo graduated from Yale Law School in 1998. She played rugby as an undergraduate at Harvard.
– Michelle R. Smith in Providence, Rhode Island
Expelled Yale player Jack Montague didn't return to his spot in the stands to watch his former team after halftime.
– John Kekis reporting from Providence, Rhode Island
Expelled Yale player Jack Montague, dismissed last month because of a sexual assault allegation, was in the stands Thursday watching the Bulldogs take on Baylor in the NCAA Tournament in Providence, Rhode Island.
Wearing a pink hat and sitting with a bunch of fans across from the Yale bench, Montague said he was there as a fan to cheer for his teammates but declined comment.
It's Yale's first appearance in the NCAA Tournament since 1962.
Montague, the team captain, was expelled Feb. 10 from the university over a sexual encounter that occurred in October 2014. Montague's attorney, Max Stern, said this week that the dispute is about whether the woman consented to the sex. Montague claims she consented, she claims she did not, Stern said.
Montague has not been charged with any crimes and police and prosecutors say there is no investigation. Stern said Montague plans to sue to school over his dismissal.
As Yale made its run to the Ivy League title, it struggled to gain support on campus as groups spoke out against Yale's players for supporting Montague and used the incident to speak out more broadly about sexual misconduct.
Virginia coach Tony Bennett is back for the second half of his team's NCAA Tournament opener against Hampton after he collapsed with what team officials say was dehydration.
Bennett fell to the floor with 34.1 seconds left in the first half after
Anthony Gill made a layup and was fouled. He sat on the bench and talked to his assistants for a few moments and looked to be in noticeable pain.
Team trainers helped him to the locker room with 5.3 seconds left in the half and both teams still on the court.
He returned to the court for the start of the second half and received a loud ovation from the thousands of Virginia fans who made the short trip here.
Bennett told the TruTV broadcast crew during his halftime interview that he ''blacked out'' because he was dehydrated when he crouched down.
''You get up quick and you get a blood rush,'' he said.
– Joedy McCreary reporting from Raleigh, North Carolina.