BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — Johni Broome scored 19 points, grabbed 12 rebounds, and blocked five shots as No. 9 Auburn defeated No. 8 Iowa 83-75 in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament. In the final four minutes, the 21-12 Tigers converted 11 of 12 free throws to secure a second-round meeting with either the No. 1 seed Houston or Northern Kentucky. With 16 minutes remaining, Broome scored his ninth 3-pointer of the season to increase the lead to double figures for the first time. Payton Sandford scored 21 points to lead Iowa.
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — After the Crimson Tide’s victory over Texas A&M-Corpus Christi in the first round of the NCAA Tournament on Thursday, Alabama and star freshman Brandon Miller faced a new wave of questions regarding a tragic shooting involving Crimson Tide players. Miller and teammate Jaden Bradley were present at the shooting site in January, although neither has been prosecuted. In the death of 23-year-old Jamea Harris, their former comrade Darius Miles has been charged with capital murder, along with another guy. On the eve of Thursday’s game, the New York Times revealed that another Alabama player, Kai Spears, was present at the gunshot site. Spears, his family, and Alabama all denied the validity of the rumor.
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Arkansas prevailed 73-63 against Illinois in the first round of the NCAA Tournament after enduring some tense moments in the second half against an Illinois squad that refused to let up. Devo Davis and Ricky Council IV each scored 16 points to lead the eighth-seeded Razorbacks, who utilized tenacious defense and rebounding to create large leads but were unable to relax until the last minute. Arkansas advances to Saturday’s second-round contest against top-seeded Kansas in the South Region. Twenty points were scored by Terrence Shannon Jr. for the Illini. They suffered their first first-round defeat in five tournament appearances since 2011.
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — Alabama annihilated Texas A&M-Corpus Christi with an early barrage of 3-pointers, driving the top seed in the NCAA Tournament to a 96-75 first-round rout despite the fact that star freshman Brandon Miller went scoreless. Less than an hour from campus, the Crimson Tide defeated the 16th-seeded Islanders with ease at Legacy Arena, sinking ten 3-pointers in the first half en route to a predictable victory. It did not matter that All-American Miller missed all five field goal tries in the final 14 minutes of the game. On Saturday, Alabama meets Maryland in the second round of the South Region.
TULSA, Okla. (AP) – Cornell’s Yianni Diakomihalis and Iowa’s Spencer Lee are in position to win their fourth Division I wrestling championships, while Penn State leads the team standings following the first day of competition at the national championships. Penn State advanced seven wrestlers to the quarterfinals on Friday. Penn State is ahead of Iowa 26-21.5. Missouri is positioned third with 17.5 total points. Roman Bravo-Young at 133, Carter Starocci at 174, and Aaron Brooks at 184 remain in contention after winning two matches on day one.
ATHENS, Ga. (AP) — Jalen Carter pleaded no guilty to misdemeanor counts of careless driving and speeding in connection with an incident that resulted in the deaths of Bulldogs offensive lineman Devin Willock and a recruiting staff member. Carter has been given a 12-month probationary period and a $1,000 fine. Carter is predicted to be one of the best NFL draft prospects next month. He must complete 50 hours of community service and a defensive driving course certified by the state. Willock and Chandler LeCroy perished in a plane crash on January 15, only hours after Georgia’s second consecutive national championship celebration.
(AP) — GREENSBORO, N.C. Bryce Hopkins of Providence and Blake Hinson of Pittsburgh are ready for NCAA Tournament battles against former colleges. Kentucky faces the Friars in the East Region. In the Midwest Region, the Panthers will play Iowa State. On Friday, these games will be played consecutively in Greensboro, North Carolina. Hopkins played one season for the Wildcats before going to Providence and became the team’s standout player. Hinson never played for the Cyclones and departed following a change in coaching staff. Hopkins is thrilled to face familiar opponents in his upcoming encounter. Hinson refused to discuss his experience at Iowa State.
BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) – The narrative of LSU’s recovery under Kim Mulkey continues with the Tigers’ first-round NCAA Tournament game in Baton Rouge versus the No. 14 seed Rainbow Warriors. LSU has missed two consecutive NCAA tournaments prior to Mulkey’s arrival. The coach has led Baylor to three national championships. Yet, the prospect to return to her home state drew her to LSU. The Tigers have won 54 of their last 62 games and are hosting the first round of the competition for the second consecutive year. Angel Reese, an All-American forward for LSU, lauds Mulkey’s motivating skills. According to guard Alexis Morris, Mulkey mixes a will to win with the capacity to adapt and grow. On Friday, the sixth-seeded Michigan and the eleventh-seeded UNLV meet in Baton Rouge.