Latest news from first real day of March Madness

  • Butler is into the second round of the NCAA Tournament with a 71-61 victory over Texas Tech.
  • Defending champion Duke downed UNC Wilmington in its first-round contest, 93-85.
  • No. 12 seed Yale upset No. 5 seed Baylor behind 31 points from Makai Mason.

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):

Duke center Marshall Plumlee (40) lets out a yell as he heads up court after hitting a basket against North Carolina-Wilmington on Thursday.

10:45 p.m.

North Carolina ended up doing what No. 1 seeds do: staying perfect against a No. 16 seed. And that secured their coach a milestone win.

The Tar Heels dominated the first part of the second half to turn a one-point edge into an 83-67 win in Thursday’s first round. And that gave coach Roy Williams his 65th NCAA Tournament victory, breaking a tie with late mentor Dean Smith for second all-time to Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski (87).

— Aaron Beard reporting from Raleigh, North Carolina


10:20 p.m.

Ben Bentil is doing it all for Providence.

The Big East’s leading scorer had a hand in 14 of their first 16 points scored by the Friars through the first 6½ minutes of their NCAA Tournament opener against Southern California.

Bentil assisted on the Friars’ first two baskets, then hit three straight buckets for his team. Then, his free throw with 13:52 put them up 16-13 with 13:52 left in the first half.

Bentil averaged 21.2 points this season.


10:10 p.m.

Wichita State’s defense is swarming in Providence, Rhode Island.

The Shockers lead Arizona 17-9 in the first half. Wildcats are 3 for 15 and its big three of Ryan Anderson, Gabe York, and Allonzo Trier are a combined 2 for 8. Connor Frankamp of Wichita State leads all scorers with six points, hitting a pair of 3s.

— John Kekis in Providence, Rhode Island


9:10 p.m.

Miami has beaten Buffalo 79-72 in the first round of the NCAA Tournament in Providence, Rhode Island. The Hurricanes will play either Wichita State or Arizona on Saturday.

Angel Rodriguez had 24 points and Sheldon McClellan 20 to lead five Miami players in double figures. The duo combined to hit 19 of 24 free throws in the foul-plagued game.

— John Kekis in Providence, Rhode Island


9 p.m.

Pretty safe to say Florida Gulf Coast won’t be topping its “Dunk City” heyday by being the first 16-seed to beat a 1.

After hanging with North Carolina in the first half, FGCU fell off quickly in the second.

The Tar Heels went more than 20 points up midway through the second half.


8:50 p.m.

Quote of the day nod may go to Baylor’s Taurean Prince after his team’s loss to Yale.

A reporter asked: How did Yale out-rebound Baylor?

Prince’s response: “Um, you go up and grab the ball off the rim when it comes off, and then you grab it with two hands, and you come down with it, and that’s considered a rebound. So they got more of those than we did.”


8:30 p.m.

Could Chattanooga make it 3-0 for the 12 seeds on Thursday?

The Mocs, who won 29 games and the Southern Conference title, trailed 46-37 at halftime against Indiana. But the Hoosiers shot 60 percent in the first half, and that’s a tough rate to keep up for 40 minutes. Chattanooga shot 50 percent in the first 20 minutes despite hitting just two of eight 3s.

Indiana was knocked out of the Big Ten tournament in its first game. Should the same fate befall the Hoosiers Thursday, it’ll forever mar a season in which they came out of nowhere to win the league title outright.

— Luke Meredith reporting from Des Moines, Iowa


8:20 p.m.

The team best known for its “Dunk City” run to the Sweet 16 as a 15-seed in 2013 opened its game Thursday trying to top that.

No. 16 seed Florida Gulf Coast took it right to No. 1 seed North Carolina in Thursday’s first half, shooting 60 percent (15 of 25) and trailing just 41-40 at halftime. The Tar Heels were coming off a terrific defensive display in winning the Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament, but they struggled to stop penetration and corral Christian Terrell in particular.

It was a half in which those hypothetical scenarios needed for the first 16-over-1 upset happened: UNC shot 41 percent, missed some easy cutaways, missed a few free throws and let an underdog play with free-wheeling confidence.

The trick now is for the Eagles to do it again.

— Aaron Beard reporting from Raleigh, North Carolina


8:10 p.m.

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.

7:40 p.m.

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


7:35 p.m.

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.


7:30 p.m.

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.


7:10 p.m.

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.


6:55 p.m.

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

6:30 p.m.

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


6:20 p.m.

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

5:40 p.m.

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.


5:35 p.m.

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.


5:30 p.m.

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


5:20 p.m.

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.

5:10 p.m.

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.


5:05 p.m.

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


5:01 p.m.

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


4:53 p.m.

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.

4:52 p.m.

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.


4:50 p.m.

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.


4:45 p.m.

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


4:35 p.m.

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.


4:25 p.m.

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.

4:17 p.m.

Whelp, it's over.

Iowa State has defeated Iona 94-81 to advance in the NCAA Tournament.

The fourth-seeded Cyclones (22-11) got 28 points from Georges Niang and will next face the winner of Thursday afternoon's game between Purdue and Little Rock.

Oh, and for those keeping track at home — or elsewhere — the 175 total points did surpass the over/under line in Vegas: 165.5.

— Eddie Pells reporting from Denver.

4:10 p.m.

Virginia coach Tony Bennett fell to the floor during the final minute of the first half of the Cavaliers' first-round NCAA Tournament game against Hampton.

Bennett fell with 34.1 seconds left after Anthony Gill hit a layup through contact.

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.

There was no immediate word on his status.

— Joedy McCreary reporting from Raleigh, North Carolina.

4:05 p.m.

Iowa State travels so well to the Big 12 Tournament in Kansas City that Cyclones fans jokingly call the Sprint Center "Hilton South."

Kansas fans have turned Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines, a 30-minute drive from Hilton Coliseum in Ames, into "Phog Allen North."

Kansas earned a trip to nearby Iowa after earning the top seed in the South Regional. Its fans followed in droves, packing the gym in a sea of red and blue for the Jayhawks opener against Austin Peay.

The Governors, 18-17, figure to have a hard enough time with the Jayhawks. Playing them in what will feel like a KU home game likely won't help their cause.

— Luke Meredith reporting from Des Moines

3:52 p.m.

UConn keeps rolling along — the men's team, that is.

The Huskies took charge in the second half with Rodney Purvis finishing with 19 points — 15 in the final 20 minutes — in a 74-67 win over Colorado in the NCAA Tournament.

While the women's team is No. 1, unbeaten and heavily favored to win a fourth straight national title, the Huskies made a dramatic run through the Big East to get into the men's field and now move into the second round after their latest win.

UConn (25-10) plays the winner of Thursday night's Austin Peay-Kansas game.


3:27 p.m.

Colorado's inability to hit free throws could be its downfall.

The Buffaloes led by as many as 11 points late in the first half over Connecticut in Des Moines, but they also missed 10 of their first 18 free throws. That allowed the Huskies to hang around — and a 24-6 run midway through the second half put them firmly in front.

3:25 p.m.

Perhaps those least surprised by President Barack Obama selecting 13th-seeded Hawaii to beat No. 4 seed California in the first round were the Warriors themselves.

"I hope he would pull for his hometown team, so we got to make him proud," Hawaii guard Roderick Bobbitt said.

Obama again filled out an NCAA Tournament bracket for ESPN. He made only one major upset pick in the first round, selecting his home state school to knock out the Golden Bears. It was one of four lower seeds Obama picked to win in the first round, but the Warriors were by far the biggest underdogs.

"It was exciting and pretty cool that he chose us and to see our name up there," Hawaii guard Aaron Valdes said.

__ Tim Booth reporting from Spokane, Washington.

3:23 p.m.

Too much talkin'. The refs just called a double technical on Iowa State's Jameel McKay and Iona's Jordan Washington, who were jawing at each other before Washington's free throw.

After the Ts, Washington made the shot to complete a three-point play and pull Iona within 54-44. Washington leads all scorers with 19 points.

—Eddie Pells reporting from Denver.

3:01 p.m.

The Butler Bulldogs are into the second round of the NCAA Tournament with a 71-61 victory over Texas Tech in a Midwest Regional.

Kelan Martin scored all 11 of his points in the final 8 1/2 minutes, including consecutive 3-pointers to break a tie game.

Kellen Dunham scored 23 points to lead the Bulldogs (22-10), a No. 9 seed.

Butler will play next on Saturday against the Hampton-Virginia winner.

2:36 p.m.

Duke moves on in its long shot bid to repeat as national champion.

The Blue Devils trailed at halftime, but a maskless Marshall Plumlee led a second-half surge that powered Duke to a 93-85 win over UNC Wilmington.

"I thought the key to the game was Marshall's play in the second half," coach Mike Krzyzewski said after Plumlee finished with a career-high 23 points.

Duke moves into a West Regional second-round matchup against the winner of Thursday's Yale-Baylor game.

Plumlee wore the mask to protect a broken nose, but it was removed in the first half. Early in the second half, the Blue Devils took charge.


Oregon a surprising NCAA No. 1 seed

2:32 p.m.

Some arenas may have been only partially full for the opening games of the NCAA Tournament, but it was tough to find a seat in Las Vegas.

Fans and bettors started lining up at 4:30 a.m. to get into the sports book at the Mirage, nearly five hours before the first game tipped off.

Oddsmaker Jay Rood said there were even long lines Wednesday night as people got wagers in early because they thought they feared crowds might be too big on opening day.

At the South Point hotel-casino, veteran oddsmaker Jimmy Vaccaro said two ballrooms had already been set up with big screens and betting kiosks in advance of the first game. When those filled up quickly, a third ballroom was opened up to handle the overflow.

In sports books across the city, fans drank and gambled in what has been a growing tradition in recent years.

Betting on the NCAA Tournament has become comparable to the Super Bowl. A record $132.5 million was bet on the Super Bowl in February, and oddsmakers say up to $150 million could be wagered legally on the NCAA Tournament.

—Tim Dahlberg reporting from Las Vegas.


2:17 p.m.

So much for easing into things.

Barely three minutes into Iona-Iowa State, we've seen four 3-pointers, one alley-oop and 16 points. Iowa State 11, Iona 5.

And now, during a timeout, we're getting video of Charles Barkley butchering "One Shining Moment" on the big screen.

—Eddie Pells reporting from Denver.


2:10 p.m.

Keep the calculators handy. Iona and Iowa State have tipped off. The over-under for the game between these two running teams is 165.5 — a full 13 points higher than Thursday's next-highest game, which is the Kansas-Austin Peay matchup.

—Eddie Pells reporting from Denver.


2:08 p.m.

Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim spent most of his session with the media Thursday talking about the Orange's postseason ban from a year ago and his own nine-game suspension from violations of NCAA rules.

The curmudgeonly coach at least did so with a smile.

Boeheim said taking the ban last year, rather than putting it off until this year, wound up being the right decision. He did so for a couple reasons: the Orange were only losing one senior last year who would be deprived of playing in the NCAA Tournament, and his team would have struggled to make the field anyway.

"The other thing is one month knowing you're not going to the tournament is one thing," said Boeheim, whose No. 10 seed Orange play seventh-seeded Dayton on Friday in St. Louis. "To sit in Syracuse and for 10 months know we're not going to the tournament next year, that would not have been good."

— Dave Skretta reporting from St. Louis.

2:02 p.m.

Duke looks to be taking charge over UNC Wilmington in the second half of their NCAA Tournament game in Providence, Rhode Island.

After trailing by three at the half, Duke was up 70-62 with less than eight minutes to go. A thunderous dunk by Marshall Plumlee had gotten the lead up to 12 points, but UNC Wilmington wasn't quitting in only the second game between the schools.

There was a scary collision near mid-court between UNCW Chris Flemmings and Duke's Derryck Thornton. Both players stayed down on the floor for about a minute, but were able to make it to their bench under their own power. They appear to be OK.

— Kyle Hightower, reporting from Providence, Rhode Island


1:43 p.m.

There's a reason the NCAA Tournament keeps coming to North Carolina seemingly every year.

PNC Arena was about three-quarters full for the first game of the day, an 8-9 game between Butler and Texas Tech.

Fans of the Bulldogs and Red Raiders showed up, of course, but there was no doubt that the two anchor teams here are North Carolina and Virginia.

It helps that three of the eight schools here are only a short drive away — the Tar Heels, Cavaliers and 16th-seeded Hampton.

— Joedy McCreary reporting from Raleigh, North Carolina.


1:40 p.m.

California will be without point guard Tyrone Wallace for the NCAA Tournament.

Wallace broke a bone in his right hand in practice on Wednesday. The Golden Bears play Hawaii in a first-round game on Friday in Spokane, Washington.

He averaged a team-high 15.3 points and 4.4 assists per game, along with 5.4 rebounds.

— Tim Booth reporting from Spokane, Washington.

1: 25 p.m.

Those Tobacco Road rivalries never stop.

A few North Carolina fans who showed up early at PNC Arena gathered around the huge video board near the tailgate area outside the gates.

They were loving what they saw — Duke losing to UNC Wilmington.

There were audible cheers when Chris Flemming's basket put UNCW up by four points with a stickback slam dunk late in the first half.

— Joedy McCreary reporting from Raleigh, North Carolina.

1:18 p.m.

Duke has five national titles. UNC Wilmington is playing in the NCAA Tournament for the fifth time.

And then there's this: At the half, it's UNC Wilmington 43, Duke 40 in an East Regional at Providence, Rhode Island.

UNC Wilmington, about 160 miles from the Duke campus in Durham, played the defending national champions only once before. And Duke needed overtime to pull out a 67-57 win on Feb. 8, 1982, one of only 10 victories for the Blue Devils in coach Mike Krzyzewski's second season.

Maybe the Seahawks remember.


12:51 p.m.

Every year, it seems like one host city for the NCAA Tournament gets a lucky draw for the first two rounds.

Des Moines, Iowa, hit the jackpot this March.

The city's first shot at hosting the tournament drew top-seeded Kansas, Kentucky, Indiana and Connecticut. Those programs have combined to win 20 national championships, including the Jayhawks in 2008, Kentucky in 2012 and Connecticut two years ago — over the Wildcats, no less.

Naturally, such big programs are led by big stars. Perry Ellis, Yogi Ferrell, Tyler Ulis and Jamal Murray are among the talents sharing the same arena Thursday — along with unheralded guys like Stony Brook's Jameel Warney and Austin Peay's Chris Horton hoping to steal the spotlight.

"I'd I think this is one of those rare moments where we're all in one place together, and it should be exciting because it should be some great basketball," Kentucky coach John Calipari said.

— Luke Meredith reporting from Des Moines, Iowa.


12:39 p.m.

Our first basket on the first full day of the NCAA Tournament was a jumper by Duke's Brandon Ingram 43 seconds into the game against UNC Wilmington.

Fans are streaming into Dunkin' Donuts Center for the first of four games. It's St. Patrick's Day, and the place already is packed. All tickets have been sold.

With under nine minutes left in the half, the game was tied at 19.

— John Kekis reporting from Providence, R.I.


11:50 a.m.

We're a few minutes away from tipoff on the first full day of the NCAA Tournament, which just happens to fall on St. Patrick's Day.

So if you're looking for a little luck o' the Irish, you may have to wait until Friday when Notre Dame (Fighting Irish) plays Michigan in an East Regional game in New York.

The early games Thursday are UNC-Wilmington vs. Duke in Providence (12:15 p.m.); Texas Tech vs. Butler in Raleigh (12:40 p.m.); Colorado vs. UConn in Des Moines (1:30 p.m.); and Iowa State vs. Iona in Denver.

In downtown Providence, though, tourney-goers will mingle with crowds of St. Patrick's Day partiers. Although alcohol sales aren't allowed at the games, the city temporarily suspended a law prohibiting open containers of alcohol in two neighborhoods Thursday through Saturday.