The first day of the NCAA Tournament is complete. As expected it provided basketball fans with a full day of upsets, memorable moments, and an abundance of entertainment on a Thursday afternoon. Here's what we learned from the first day of the 2016 NCAA Tournament.
Upsets Are Here
Upsets aren't a surprise at this point; we've seen then happen each and every year. But predicting those upsets is never easy and we've already had a few so far. And no, we're not counting No. 9 seeds taking down No. 8 seeds. Yale knocked off Baylor 79-75 (more on the below) and Arkansas-Little Rock defeated Baylor in double-OT. That win came thanks to this shot from Josh Hagins to force OT.
Little Rock eventually ousted the Boilermakers 85-83 in double overtime, making them one of the early darlings in the tournament. Purdue shot themselves in the foot and blew a lead (more on that below), but hats off to Little Rock.
Wichita State almost blew out Arizona, but had to settle for a 65-55 win. The Shockers are once again causing upsets, but we'll spare you any and all Shocker related puns.
The final upset of the day came in the final game. Gonzaga defeated Seton Hall 68-52, as the Bulldogs now have a chance to make it back to the Sweet 16.
Yale Gets 1st NCAA Tournament Ever
In the first of the two 5/12 upsets of the day, the Yale Bulldogs controlled the tempo throughout the entire course of the game and hit a pair a free throws late to knock off Baylor 79-75. What was impressive about the win was how they won. Yale, a much smaller team, absolutely took it to Baylor on the glass, out-rebounding them 36-32. Baylor was one of the best rebounding teams in the country coming into the tournament, but Yale simply outworked them.
No. 1 Seeds Stay Perfect
While Oregon still needs to play Holy Cross, the other three No. 1 seeds defeated their No. 16 seeded opponents. Kansas and Virginia and little trouble, and UNC's 83-67 win would indicate the Tar Heels didn't either. However, FCGU was down just one at halftime and the Eagles gave UNC trouble. Those that picked UNC to win it all in their brackets are likely a little bit worried.
Leads Aren't Safe
The NCAA Tournament always provides us with a plethora of close games, but these contests have been closer than normal - even when they don't appear that way. Colorado had a double-digit lead on UConn - and lost. Same goes for Purdue. Even in games that didn't turn out to be upsets, Iona, Fresno State, Buffalo and UNC-Wilmington made extremely strong pushes late to turn what looked like blowouts into relatively close games at the end. Heck, Wichita State saw its 24-point lead slip to eight late. USC had a win in the bag against Providence, but missed free throws late the Friars score with seconds left for the win. It's another reminder that you can never take your foot off the gas pedal in March.
Thanks to Yale and Little Rock, 99 percent brackets in both CBS and Yahoo! pools are no longer perfect. That came before the Wichita State and Gonzaga upsets, and it's likely very close to 100 percent now. Perfection in brackets in March is pretty much impossible, but it's a testament to the chaos of this year that so few perfect brackets are left on the first day.
We're In For Another Fun March
This might not even qualify as something we learned. We know every March that we're going to be treated to upsets and thrilling finishes. Still, it's nice to get confirmation on the first day. Hopefully Day 2 is just as fun, if not more so.