Got a little room for Cinderella on your Monday schedule?
For much of Saturday’s First Round action, upsets were eluding competitive mid-major teams against their higher-seeded competition. Late on Saturday though, two tournament darlings came alive, with 13 seed Ohio knocking off defending champion Virginia, and 14 seed Abilene Christian scoring the winning points with a second left against in-state colossus Texas.
Both underdogs now have opportunities to extend their unlikely runs into the Sweet 16 next weekend.
Abilene Christian takes the floor first Monday, taking on 11 seed UCLA at 5:15 p.m. ET on TBS. The Wildcats are coming off their biggest win in program history, with Joe Pleasant’s last-second free throws capping off a 53-52 win over Texas in a wild finish. It was also ACU’s first ever win in the NCAA Tournament, coming in just its second appearance in its young Division I history.
After taking down a school with its own network, the school of about 5,300 students will next take on the program with the most national titles. The UCLA Bruins snuck into the tournament after a late season slide, but won their first two tourney games to set up another David vs. Goliath tilt. It will be a tall order for ACU, but the Wildcats proved Saturday that their active defense must be reckoned with, forcing 23 turnovers against the more talented Longhorns and overcoming for a poor shooting night of their own. With a defense allowing the fourth-fewest points and forcing the sixth-most turnovers in the nation, they are more than capable of creating another closely contested rock fight.
Around the time that game should hit halftime, across town in Hinkle Fieldhouse, the Ohio Bobcats are scheduled to tip against 5 seed Creighton at 6:10 p.m. ET on TNT. (THE) Ohio University actually has some history winning games as a double-digit seed – Saturday’s win was its fourth when seeded 13 or worse, tied for the most of any program all-time. In the Bobcats’ most recent tournament appearance, also as a 13-seed in 2012, the Bobcats advanced to the Sweet 16 and barely fell to top-seed North Carolina in overtime.
Ohio features an electrifying player in Jason Preston, someone who fills up the stat sheet with 16.3 points, 7.3 assists, 7.2 rebounds per contest. His incredible control of the game was on full display in their 62-58 upset win. Now Preston and a convoy of other offensive weapons will take on a Creighton team who is 0-8 in the Round of 32 in the current tournament format.
If you’re in the Eastern Time Zone, you might be able to clock out just in time to catch both of these matchups in full. If you’re not…work, schmerck. Here’s more information on the matchups, tip times, and networks – and don’t forget, all games can also be streamed on March Madness Live.
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