What We Learned From The First 8 Games Of The NCAA Tournament

The NCAA Tournament isn't even a day old yet, but it has already provided us with a couple of upsets, several memorable moments, and an abundance of entertainment on a Thursday afternoon. Here are four things we've learned from the first eight games of the tournament:

We already have the shot of the tournament
Last year, Georgia State's R.J. Hunter captured the hearts of America with his buzzer-beater to beat Baylor in the first round. This year, Arkansas-Little Rock's Josh Hagins may have done the same with the moment of the tournament already.

The Trojans trailed Purdue by 13 points with three minutes remaining, but this shot from Hagins capped off a 15-2 run to send the game into overtime:

Little Rock eventually ousted the Boilermakers 85-83 in double overtime, making them one of the early darlings in the tournament.

Yale gets first NCAA Tournament win in school history
In the first 5/12 upset 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, outrebounding them 36-32. Baylor was one of the best rebounding teams in the country coming into the tournament, but Yale simply outworked them.

A star is born
Yale was led by point guard Makai Mason, who has put on the best performance of anyone to this point. He dropped 31 points on Baylor, on top of dishing out four assists while grabbing six rebounds while pulling off jaw-dropping moves like this:

He also called out Yale's next opponent, Duke, who the Bulldogs lost to 80-61 early in November. He said that Yale was going to show they were a much better team than what they showed last time, and that the Blue Devils better be ready for them.

If he can produce another top performance like that and back up his strong words, Mason will become THE star of the tournament.

Big leads are never 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 and UALR. Even in games that didn't turn out to be upsets, Iona and UNC-Wilmington made extremely strong pushes late to turn what looked like blowouts into relatively close games at the end. Another reminder that you can never take your foot off the gas pedal in March.

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Related Topics: NCAA Basketball, Sun Belt Basketball, Yale Bulldogs Basketball, Makai Mason, College Basketball, 2016 NCAA Tournament, Josh Hagins, Arkansas-Little Rock Trojans Basketball