NCAA Tournament: Recapping the B1G Ten- Day 1


The NCAA tournament started off with a bang on Thursday with major upsets (Iowa State and Baylor, anyone?) and many brackets busted. We had some special moments, too.

Take a look at Georgia State’s coach Ron Hunter after his son R.J. Hunter hit a three to send Georgia State past the aforementioned 14-seed Baylor Bears. Also, let’s not talk about Iowa State anymore. If you read the Husker Corner NCAA Tournament predictions you’d have noticed I had the Cyclones going to the championship game. I suppose that’s what I get for trusting a team from Iowa?

But to focus more closely to home, how did the Big 10 teams fare? Let’s take a look at the conference’s day one.

Purdue Boilermakers vs Cincinnati Bearcats

Purdue, a team that features 7’0” post player A.J. Hammons, fell in overtime to the Cincinnati Bearcats 66-65 on day one of the tournament. It wasn’t for lack of effort on Hammons’ part. The sophomore played 29 minutes, scored 17 points on 70% shooting and added 10 rebounds and two assists.

Mar 19, 2015; Louisville, KY, USA; Cincinnati Bearcats forward Shaquille Thomas (3) drives to the basket against Purdue Boilermakers center A.J. Hammons (20) and Purdue Boilermakers guard Rapheal Davis (35) during the second half in the second round of the 2015 NCAA Tournament at KFC Yum! Center. Mandatory Credit: Jamie Rhodes-USA TODAY Sports

Cincinnati, who had been playing without their usual head coach Mick Cronin since January 2, 2015 when he was diagnosed with an unruptured brain aneurysm, battled back from a late deficit to steal the game away in overtime. It was Troy Caupain who got the buzzer-beating layup that rolled all over the rim to send it to OT and the Bearcats were able to score 7 to the Boilermakers 6 to finish off Purdue and move on to play….Kentucky. Some prize, right?

While Purdue won’t be moving on to the next round, fans of fellow Big 10 schools should be paying attention to Hammons in the future. Will he leave for the NBA or will he stay in school? If he decides another year in West Lafayette is in order he’ll be making life very difficult for any teams he plays against.

Ohio State Buckeyes vs Virginia Commonwealth

Overtime was the word of the day for the Big 10 schools participating in the NCAA tournament. This time, however, the Buckeyes overcame the Rams to give the B1G their first Round of 32 qualifier winning 75-72.

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The player of the game for Ohio State was superstar freshman D’Angelo Russell who scored 28 points. He provided the offense for OSU to knock off the higher seeded VCU Rams. He dropped four of his seven three point attempts as well as adding six rebounds, two steals and two blocks.

Russell is a special player, who like Hammons will provide nightmares to coaches in the Big 10 if they stick around (hint, they won’t, especially not Russell).

Speaking of Russell, he suffered a nasty elbow in the second half that covered his face in blood before being cleaned up to shoot the free throws awarded for a flagrant one foul. Despite having to leave the floor to get the blood cleaned off, Russell played 44 minutes.

VCU used a more balanced approach to send this game into overtime, with four players scoring more than 10 points including 17 from Melvin Johnson off the bench. Guard Treveon Graham added a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds.

Up next for Ohio State will be the Arizona Wildcats in the Round of 32. See what smack talk they had early on.

Don’t forget to put your name in the chance to go to the Final Four: