It took until the second day of the tournament, but the first major upset of March Madness has happened as the south region's no. 13 seed University of California Irvine Anteaters knocked off no. 4 seeded Kansas State Friday, 70-64 for the first NCAA tournament win in school history. Junior Makol Mawien collected his second career double-double with 14 points and a career-high 12 rebounds. The good news is this team has depth returning, like sophomore Mike McGuirl, Cartier Diarra, Makol Mawien, and hopefully Xavier Sneed.
We'll now see the departures of both Brown and Wade as well as Kamau Stokes.
TEAM LEADERSHIP: The Anteaters are led by Max Hazzard and Evan Leonard.
The Anteaters are 7-1-1 ATS in their last nine after an ATS win and 12-3-1 ATS in their last 16 after a straight-up win. Then, just seven days later, Davis improved by 33 points to win the conference tourney over Russell Turner and Company. The Wildcats shot just 37.3 percent (22-of-59), including 29.6 percent (8-of-27) from long range, and went 12-of-15 (80 percent) from the charity stripe.
The action opens in San Jose on Friday with one of the more enticing first-round matchups of the NCAA Tournament. The over/under total for the contest is listed at 125.5 points. OR have played below the over/under line in 24 of 36 games. To put this number in perspective, Virginia has the nation's top-ranked scoring defense, allowing 55.1 points per game. The efficient shooting from the field gave K-State an early advantage, leading 17-9, 7 minutes into the game.
Amin hit a three-pointer from the left wing to give OR the lead back (38-37), then drew a charge by UCI's Robert Cartwright (14 points) and King followed with another from long range.
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The Anteaters then sealed the game at the foul line.
UC Irvine shot 44% from the floor and went nine of 23 on their three-point shots. Meanwhile, the Wildcats are converting on just over 35-percent of their shots.
In the second half, Brown found his first points of the game on a jumper that gave K-State the lead at 34-33 at the 18:11 mark. He played only 5:45 in the first half after committing two quick fouls and didn't make his first basket until early in the second half.
The second half between the Anteaters and Wildcats is coming up on TBS.
Ionescu also made five of her nine 3-point attempts, a part of the game that OR turned around in the win over the Hoosiers.