The best and worst of everything from March Madness Day 2

 <img alt="" src="" />      <p>It’s time to recap everything that went right and everything that went wrong on day two of the most exciting postseason in sports. </p> <p id="jzhDkt">The second day of the 2017 NCAA tournament was built up as one that would feature a handful of the highest-scoring teams in the field of 68 squaring off against one another in highly competitive contests where defense would seem at times to be optional. </p> <p id="NSiZ1f">Things didn’t play out exactly like that, but as it always does, the first Friday of the big dance provided us with some of the moments and images that are destined to be remembered from this tournament when all is said and done. We had two early session games go right down to the final buzzer, we had one ridiculous dunk that’s going to be hard to dunk over the next two weeks, and we had some ridiculous and hilarious things happen both on and off the court. </p> <p id="TPzkS8">Let’s get into all of the best and the worst from the second day of first round action at the NCAA tournament. </p> <h2 id="7hbrjy"><strong>2 BEST GAMES</strong></h2> <p id="bBzooq"><strong>1. (11) USC</strong><strong> Trojans</strong><strong> 66, (6) SMU</strong><strong> Mustangs</strong><strong> 65 (East)</strong></p> <p id="iNX8tr">Everybody knows about the success that 12 seeds have had in the first round of the tournament over the years. Even with that being the case, the wildest phenomenon currently at play in March Madness might be the fact that at least one at-large team from the First Four has won one or more games in the main draw of the tournament in every season since the advent of the First Four in 2011. </p> <p id="pQtWv1">USC made sure that trend will live into 2018 by erasing a 12-point deficit to stun an SMU team that many believed could play its way deep into the tournament. Elijah Stewart’s corner three-pointer with 36 seconds to go proved to be the game-winner. SMU had one final chance to answer, but star guard Shake Milton’s potential game-winning floater came up just short. </p>   <figure class="e-image">         <img alt=" " src="">   </figure> <p id="XlW3Zv">The victory was especially painful for SMU when you consider that the Mustangs were beaten in similarly heartbreaking fashion in their last tournament appearance. Facing an 11th-seeded UCLA team that had advanced out of the First Four, the 2014-15 Mustangs were beaten in the closing seconds on a <a href=";rct=j&amp;q=&amp;esrc=s&amp;source=web&amp;cd=1&amp;cad=rja&amp;uact=8&amp;ved=0ahUKEwjux-Pyx97SAhWB4CYKHdC5DiAQtwIIGjAA&amp;;usg=AFQjCNGEL92-nG-ayRei9_SHN1O_yMH6YQ&amp;bvm=bv.149760088,d.eWE">controversial goaltending call</a>. Despite its recent success, SMU still hasn’t won a game in the big dance since 1988, and it hasn’t won multiple games since 1956. </p> <p id="QAgvJK"><strong>2. (7) Michigan</strong><strong> Wolverines</strong><strong> 92, (10) Oklahoma State </strong><strong>Cowboys </strong><strong>91 (Midwest)</strong></p> <p id="JSiVbS">Depending on your own personal criteria for what constitutes a “great game,” there’s certainly a case to be made for this game sitting at No. 1 on the list. No tournament game so far has been more consistently entertaining than the offensive showcase clinic that Michigan and Oklahoma State put on Friday afternoon.</p> <p id="9OB1AV">Red-hot Michigan made a school record 16 three-pointers, and it needed every last one of them to take down the Cowboys. In the second half alone, the Wolverines were 11-of-15 from beyond the arc, with star guard Derrick Walton’s 6-of-9 effort leading the barrage. Walton is <a href="">looking an awful lot like former Michigan star Trey Burke</a> these days, and his team just <a href="">might be riding more momentum</a> than any other still dancing. It’ll put that momentum (<a href="">which includes beating a plane accident</a>) to its toughest test yet on Sunday against the second-seeded Louisville Cardinals for a trip to the Sweet 16. </p> <h2 id="BmvksI"><strong>THE TEAM(s) THAT WON IT BEST</strong></h2> <p id="eSHThf"><strong>The No. 1 seeds</strong></p> <p id="lUAg6E">We <a href="">ripped on No. 1 seeds</a> for looking lackluster on Thursday, so we feel obligated to reward the North Carolina Tar Heels and Kansas Jayhawks for doing the exact opposite on day two. UNC wasted no time breaking the will of the Texas Southern Tigers and could have named whatever score it wanted in a 103-64 first round romp. Kansas started a little slower, but still had absolutely no issue dispatching of the UC Davis Aggies, 100-62. The dream of a 16 seed playing its way into round two will have to hibernate for another year.</p> <p id="BPHxsa">Honorable mention goes to the Baylor Bears for exorcising their first round demons of the past two years and taking care of New Mexico State by 18.</p> <h2 id="kuQRLE"><strong>THE TEAM THAT WAS THE BIGGEST DISAPPOINTMENT</strong></h2> <p id="qXpheX"><strong>SMU</strong></p> <p id="qLMMvV">It’s hard to label a team that was a few inches away from winning as a “disappointment,” but this was a Mustang squad that a lot of people believed was under-seeded and would play its way into the second weekend. You can say what you want about USC making all the plays down the stretch and I won’t disagree with you, but what’s disappointing about SMU’s early exit is that it was even in that position in the first place. The Mustangs seemed to be in control of the contest for most of the afternoon, and had ample opportunity to put the game away before it entered the closing seconds. </p> <h2 id="a1psrv">THE ALL-DAY TWO TEAM</h2> <p id="kn72Zy"><strong>Derrick Walton Jr., Michigan </strong></p> <p id="Btu0KJ">Nobody is hotter on America’s hottest team than Walton. He drilled 6-of-9 three-pointers, scored a game-high 26 points, and dished out 11 assists in Michigan’s 92-91 win over Oklahoma State. </p> <p id="88rIgh"><strong>Norbertas Giga, Jacksonville State</strong><strong> Gamecocks</strong></p> <p id="tPjM42">Giga almost single-handedly kept the Gamecocks in their game with Louisville, scoring a career-high 30 points on 11-of-13 shooting. He also grabbed nine rebounds. Giga had made just eight three-pointers heading into Friday’s game, but was 5-of-5 from beyond the arc against the Cardinals. He had scored 20 points just once before this game.</p> <p id="iegq6I"><strong>Semi Ojeleye, SMU</strong></p> <p id="KludCC">In what may well wind up being his last college game, the junior big man for SMU scored 24 points, grabbed 10 rebounds, and threw down the best dunk of the tournament so far. </p> <p id="DdkoO2"><strong>Moses King</strong><strong>sl</strong><strong>ey, Arkansas</strong><strong> Razorbacks</strong></p> <p id="cLtBG0">Despite being in college for what feels like a decade, it still seems Kingsley is one of the more under-appreciated players in the country. Perhaps scoring 23 points on 10-of 13-shooting, snagging six rebounds, and blocking four shots against the Seton Hall Pirates will help change that. </p>   <figure class="e-image">         <img alt=" " src="">   </figure> <p id="o1Nt0O"><strong>Scoochie Smith, Dayton Flyers</strong></p> <p id="OXtMek">Playing in his final college game, Smith carried Dayton as far as he could. He scored a game-high 25 points, had four assists and made four steals in the Flyers’ 64-58 loss to Wichita State. </p> <h2 id="H31znK"> <strong>THREE</strong><strong> DAY TWO JEERS </strong> </h2> <p id="BUiDMO"><strong>1. Pretty much everything that happened at the end of Arkansas-Seton Hall</strong></p> <p id="7c35ny">This could have also just been the entire Arkansas-Seton Hall game since both sides did some really ridiculous things throughout, but let’s just focus on the end. </p> <p id="p43N51">For starters, Seton Hall’s Khadeen Carrington -- who was terrific for most of the day — did this with his team down by a single point in the game’s final minute. </p>   <figure class="e-image">         <img alt=" " src="">   </figure> <p id="IH2e3S">Arkansas attempted to give the ball right back with an inexcusable travel of its own, but the officials refused to let them be so generous. </p> 
<p id="5BA6Kn">What the officials <em>did </em>call was an extremely questionable flagrant foul on this play:</p> <figure class="e-image"> <img alt=" " src=""> </figure> <p id="MPoOmu">The call gave Arkansas two shots and the ball and effectively ended the game. NCAA National Coordinator of Men's Basketball Officiating J.D. Collins <a href="">attempted to explain the call </a>after the game, but his words did little to ease the pain of Seton Hall fans. </p> <p id="RKjSbh">Arkansas won, 77-71, and will face top-seeded North Carolina on Sunday. </p> <p id="gZRTWQ"><strong>2. Butler Blue still being banned from the tournament </strong></p> <p id="gKjebe">Butler Blue III is the official mascot of Butler Bulldog athletics, as well as <a href="">a noted very good dog</a>. Unfortunately, BB3 (as his friends call him) won’t be in attendance when his guys take on the Middle Tennessee State Blue Raiders in a big second round game on Saturday. The reason is because the NCAA has a ban against live mascots in the early rounds of championship competitions. This is very dumb, and there is a <a href="">simple and persuasive counter-argument for each one of the NCAA’s points</a>. </p> <p id="390vQD">#FreeBB3 </p> <p id="lAOvIG"><strong>3. The missed dunk trend continuing</strong></p> <p id="BghJq7">Players getting rejected by the rim on uncontested dunk attempts was both the most troubling and kind of hilarious storyline <a href="">from day one</a> at the big dance. The trend carried over into day two, with Jaylen Johnson <a href="">doing this </a>early on in Louisville’s game against Jacksonville State. </p> <figure class="e-image"> <img alt=" " src=""> </figure> <h2 id="nDpHNG"> <strong>THREE</strong><strong> DAY TWO CHEERS</strong> </h2> <p id="Ps9CXA"><strong>1. The First Four magic continuing</strong></p> <p id="0GpGO5">In every season since its inception in 2011, the First Four has produced at least one at-large team that has won at least a game in the main draw. It’s also spawned one Final Four team and four Sweet 16 squads. That last number has the potential to grow this season after USC’s upset of SMU.</p> <p id="L27Rln">The Trojans advanced to the main draw after toppling the Providence Friars in Dayton on Wednesday. In both of their tournament wins, Andy Enfield’s team trailed by double-digits. They’ll face Baylor on Sunday with a trip to the tournament’s second weekend on the line. </p> <p id="AdzD3a"><strong>2. LeVar Burton’s handling of misguided LaVar Ball hecklers </strong></p> <p id="U7rZAK">To be fair, both the overbearing father and the<em> Reading Rainbow</em> host have a shared belief in the notion that anything is possible. </p> <figure class="e-image"> <img alt=" " src=""> </figure> <figure class="e-image"> <img alt=" " src=""> </figure> <p id="UVVxXN">Friend to know<br>Ways to grow<br>And a son named Lonzoooo</p> <p id="TW8DOg"><strong>3. Everybody being right about picking </strong><strong>the </strong><strong>Rhode Island</strong><strong> Rams</strong><strong> to “upset” </strong><strong>the </strong><strong>Creighton</strong><strong> Bluejays</strong></p> <p id="qXAZTo">I’m not sure I’ve ever seen America so united in a belief that a double-digit seed was going to win an NCAA tournament game before. Congrats, everybody. <a href="">We all nailed it</a>. Free pizza for everyone tomorrow. </p> <p id="VnG7GT">If you picked Creighton, you still get pizza, but it has to have pineapple on it. </p> <h2 id="FwBk4v"><strong>THE 3 BEST DAY TWO DUNKs</strong></h2> <p id="TCTxPT">1. It’s going to be hard for anyone else in this tournament to top what SMU’s Semi Ojeleye did on Friday. </p>
<p id="GzgTEu">2. Northern Kentucky’s Lavone Holland did the best he could later in the day.</p> <figure class="e-image"> <img alt=" " src=""> </figure> <p id="W4DeE8">3. If T.J. Leaf’s ankle isn’t 100 percent right now, he’s certainly hiding it well. The big man threw down on Kent State. </p>
<h2 id="fgihSU"><strong>THE BEST DAY TWO PICTURE </strong></h2> <p id="LU6ZCU">It feels almost wrong to refer to something like this as “the best,” but the obvious emotion flowing out of Iona’s Jordan Washington in the final moments of the Gaels’ loss to Oregon was a brutal reminder of the other side of March Madness. This photo was especially moving. </p> <figure class="e-image"> <img alt="NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-First Round-Oregon vs Iona" src=""> <cite>Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports</cite> </figure> <h2 id="1sGqTI"><strong>THE BEST DAY TWO QUOTE</strong></h2> <blockquote><p id="xgl17y">We're playing against the Golden State Warriors on Sunday. So I've never seen -- I watched the second half. I've never seen shooting like that since I've been a coach. It's incredible the way they shoot the basketball.</p></blockquote> <p id="TtU9qK">—Rick Pitino discussing Michigan’s shooting performance on Friday and his team’s matchup against the Wolverines on Sunday</p> <h2 id="uMSNG2">FULL SATURDAY SCHEDULE</h2> <p id="1JnO3j">If I told you that you could have more of this, would that be something you might be interested in? You’re in luck then. The show isn’t stopping. </p> <p id="poNlMN"><strong>No. 4 West Virginia</strong><strong> Mountaineers</strong><strong> vs. No. 5 Notre Dame</strong><strong> Fighting Irish</strong><strong>, 12:10 p.m.</strong></p> <p id="ZUeTR2"><em>West region | Buffalo, N.Y.</em></p> <p id="PXissQ"><em>TV: CBS | Announcers: Verne Lundquist, Jim Spanarkel, Allie LaForce</em></p> <p id="W3KFk2"><strong>No. 1 Villanova </strong><strong>Wildcats </strong><strong>vs. No. 8 Wisconsin</strong><strong> Badgers</strong><strong>, 2:40 p.m.*</strong></p> <p id="4Pkhqc"><em>East region | Buffalo, N.Y.</em></p> <p id="AVuerZ"><em>TV: CBS | Announcers: Verne Lundquist, Jim Spanarkel, Allie LaForce</em></p> <p id="IWxhY9"><strong>No. 1 Gonzaga</strong><strong> Bulldogs</strong><strong> vs. No. 8 Northwestern</strong><strong> Wildcats</strong><strong>, 5:15 p.m.</strong></p> <p id="45KvNy"><em>West region | Salt Lake City, Utah</em></p> <p id="HC5PAd"><em>TV: CBS | Announcers: Andrew Catalon, Steve Lappas, Jamie Erdahl</em></p> <p id="nbG8qH"><strong>No. 3 Florida State</strong><strong> Seminoles</strong><strong> vs. No. 11 Xavier</strong><strong> Musketeers</strong><strong>, 6:10 p.m.</strong></p> <p id="w5vbg2"><em>West region | Orlando, Fla.</em></p> <p id="1QshtL"><em>TV: TNT | Announcers: Ian Eagle, Steve Lavin, Evan Washburn</em></p> <p id="cgPQoW"><strong>No. 4 Butler vs. No. 12 Middle Tennessee, 7:10 p.m.</strong></p> <p id="pikLR8"><em>South region | Milwaukee, Wisc.</em></p> <p id="Org9Yq"><em>TV: TBS | Announcers: Carter Blackburn, Mike Gminski, Debbie Antonelli, Lisa Byington</em></p> <p id="gRyEad"><strong>No. 2 Arizona</strong><strong> Wildcats</strong><strong> vs. No. 7 Saint Mary’s</strong><strong> Gaels</strong><strong>, 7:45 p.m.*</strong></p> <p id="ud8KEh"><em>West region | Salt Lake City, Utah</em></p> <p id="q9BjLN"><em>TV: CBS | Announcers: Andrew Catalon, Steve Lappas, Jamie Erdahl</em></p> <p id="SsQCX1"><strong>No. 4 Florida</strong><strong> Gators</strong><strong> vs. No. 5 Virginia</strong><strong> Cavaliers</strong><strong>, 8:40 p.m.*</strong></p> <p id="cjP1DR"><em>East region | Orlando, Fla.</em></p> <p id="cIB1sd"><em>TV: TNT | Announcers: Ian Eagle, Steve Lavin, Evan Washburn</em></p> <p id="ubHU2u"><strong>No. 4 Purdue</strong><strong> Boilermakers</strong><strong> vs. No. 5 Iowa State</strong><strong> Cyclones</strong><strong>, 9:40 p.m.*</strong></p> <p id="SxyStt"><em>Midwest region | Milwaukee, Wisc.</em></p> <p id="H4beeF"><em>TV: TBS | Announcers: Carter Blackburn, Mike Gminski, Debbie Antonelli, Lisa Byington</em></p> <p id="iVRNE7"><em>*game time estimated, after the conclusion of previous game in region</em></p> – All Posts