We are one step closer to the final field of 64 for the NCAA Tournament, after two of the “First Four” games were played in Dayton, Ohio on Tuesday.
March Madness: Pitt and TACC Advance To Field Of 64 In NCAA Tournament
The first game featured two 16-seeds fighting for the right to play the top-ranked team in Alabama.
Southeast Missouri State were the champions of the Ohio Valley Conference Tournament, having defeated Tennessee Tech in overtime to win their automatic bid. They met up with Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, who were the victors in the Southland Conference.
TACC finished the regular season by winning 9 of 10 games before sweeping their way through their conference tournament, and they stayed hot on Tuesday night. The Islanders defeated the Redhawks 75-71, but it didn’t come without an entertaining near-comeback.
TACC was up by 9 with just 6:28 left, but Southeast Missouri State was able to go on a run, and closed the gap in three minutes by tying the game at 64. Solid free throw shooting down the stretch helped the Islanders to victory, and they’ll try to become the second 16-seed to ever win a first round tournament game.
Pitt Outlasts Mississippi State In An Instant Classic
GAME-SAVING BLOCK FOR @Pitt_MBB! 😱#MarchMadness pic.twitter.com/b5cbmMRuJI
— NCAA March Madness (@MarchMadnessMBB) March 15, 2023
The second game was a battle of 11-seeds, as Pittsburgh took on Mississippi State in a hotly contested game throughout. Neither team held a lead larger than 6 points in the first half, and it was a 1-point game at halftime. The second half was even more evenly played, as there were more lead changes in the game than in any NCAA Tournament game since 2018.
The Bulldogs held the ball for the final possession, down by one point. An excellent defensive play by Pittsburgh stopped MIssissippi State’s first attempt, and a wide open three pointer at the buzzer rimmed out, sending the Panthers to the big dance.
Pittsburgh will take on Iowa State in the Round of 64 of the NCAA tournament, and the game will be played on Friday in Greensboro, North Carolina.
The game between Alabama and Texas A&M-Corpus Christi will be played in Birmingham, Alabama, unfortunately for the Islanders. Tip-off for that contest is scheduled for 2:45ET on Thursday afternoon.
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