2024 March Madness scores winners and losers: James Madison shocks Wisconsin, SEC's struggles continue



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First-round action of the 2024 NCAA Tournament continued on Friday with upsets, thrilling finishes and high-scoring affairs. No. 13 seed Yale delivered the most stunning result of the day by upsetting No. 4 seed Auburn after trailing by 10 points with 7:16 to go. The Bulldogs faced a six-point deficit with 4:07 to go before finishing on a 14-6 run to advance to the second round for the second time in school history.

The upsets continued into the evening as No. 12 seed James Madison defeated No. 5 seed Wisconsin 72-61. JMU picked up its 32nd win of the season and will face No. 4 seed Duke on Sunday with a trip to the Sweet 16 on the line.

No. 10 seed Colorado held off a late surge from No. 7 Florida in a 102-100 win thanks to a go-ahead jumper with two seconds remaining from star guard KJ Simpson; Walter Clayton Jr.’s halfcourt heave at the buzzer never stood a chance for the Gators. Colorado’s shootout with Florida marked the first regulation NCAA Tournament game in which both teams scored at least 100 points since 2005.

No. 1 seeds Houston, Purdue, and UConn took care of business against No. 16 seeds Longwood, Grambling State, and Stetson, respectively. Purdue star big man Zach Edey became the third player in the last 50 years to record at least 30 points and 20 rebounds in an NCAA Tournament game. 

Here are the winners and losers from Friday’s action.

Winner: James Madison pulls upset

James Madison delivered a 72-61 upset over Wisconsin to help close out the first round of the NCAA Tournament for its first victory in the Big Dance since 2013. The Dukes recorded their 32nd win of the season, tying UConn for the most by a team, and set up a date with Duke on Sunday with a trip to the Sweet 16 on the line. James Madison put the college basketball world on notice in the first game of the 2023-24 season when it upset Michigan State in East Lansing. Four months later, it recorded another signature win against the Big Ten in front of a larger national audience — Cameron Salerno

Loser: SEC has another bad day

The SEC’s no-good, very-bad start to the NCAA Tournament on Thursday didn’t improve dramatically on Friday with losses by No. 4 seed Auburn and No. 7 seed Florida lost to Yale and Colorado, respectively, in upsets. While Alabama and Texas A&M cruised to big wins, Auburn blew a 10-point second-half lead, and Florida gave up a go-ahead basket with seconds remaining, in their upsets. That drops the league to 3-5 for the tournament, with all five losses coming to lower seeds. — Kyle Boone

Loser: FAU flames out

Returning nearly every major contributor from last year’s Final Four team, FAU began the season ranked No. 7 in the AP Top 25. The Owls didn’t hoot for long this time around, though. No. 9 seed Northwestern got 12 points from Ryan Langborg in overtime to outlast No. 8 seed FAU 77-65 after the Owls clawed back from a 54-45 deficit in the final seven minutes. While FAU’s consecutive tournament appearances are a program first, the 2023-24 season will be remembered for what could have been. — David Cobb

Winner: Jaedon LeDee puts Mountain West on his back

The NCAA Tournament hasn’t been kind to the members of the Mountain West thus far. It all started with Boise State getting knocked out in First Four action; New Mexico, Nevada, and Colorado State were eliminated in the first round. The one team to avoid a letdown was San Diego State. The Aztecs defeated UAB 69-65 behind a big day from the All-American LeDee, who scored a game-high 32 points.  — Salerno

Winner: UConn sets tone in repeat quest

Reigning national champions set the tone Friday for their bid for a repeat with a resounding 91-52 win over No. 16 seed Stetson. UConn took a 51-19 lead into halftime – its largest halftime lead in an NCAA Tournament game in program history – and yet coach Dan Hurley made his way to the locker room seeming anything but content.

“Everything should be automatic this time of year,” he said, shaking his head. “Just to throttle down like that late [in the first half], that’s not championship level.

“We’ve got to grow up a little. The last couple minutes, I didn’t like,” he added. 

UConn outscored the Hatters 39-32 in the second half en route to winning its 22nd game in its last 23 outings. –– Boone

Winner: Colorado continues Pac-12’s hot start 

Colorado star KJ Simpson connected on one of the biggest shots in program history during a 102-100 win over Florida. After the Buffaloes squandered a 10-point lead with less than four minutes remaining, Simpson knocked down a corner jumper near the Colorado bench that proved to be the game-winner. Colorado is the latest team to go from the First Four to first-round winners. The Pac-12 has a perfect 5-0 record in the NCAA Tournament. — Salerno

Loser: Nebraska’s defense goes limp

Fans of No. 8 seed Nebraska had to travel farther than fans of No. 9 seed Texas A&M for the showdown between former Big 12 foes in Memphis, Tennessee. But the Cornhusker faithful turned out in droves to see their team seek its first-ever NCAA Tournament victory. Despite the massive edge in support, Nebraska needed a literal sixth man on the floor instead of a figurative one in the stands. Texas A&M started hot and never cooled off as it continued a solid run of late-season play. After losing five straight in February, Texas A&M has now won six of its last seven to set up a likely showdown with No. 1 seed Houston on Sunday. The Aggies entered ranked No. 353 nationally in 3-point percentage at 28.4% but drilled 13 of 23 against Nebraska to mark the third time in the last five games the Aggies have hit at least 10 3-pointers. If Texas A&M is going to play offense like it has the past few weeks, it is capable of beating virtually anyone in the bracket.  — Cobb

Winner: Full-strength Marquette looks dangerous

A fast start by No. 15 seed Western Kentucky saw the Hilltoppers lead by as many as 10 points on No. 2 Marquette, but the Golden Eagles hit a gear in the second half that erased the deficit and then some in an 87-69 blowout. The comeback was propelled in part by star guard Tyler Kolek, who missed the last six games with an oblique injury. Kolek finished with 11 assists, and co-star Kam Jones scored 28 points. It was the first time in nearly a month that Marquette has been at full strength. — Boone

Winner: Baylor shows its strength 

No. 3 seed Baylor entered the day ranked No. 8 nationally in 3-point shooting percentage at 38.8%, and it put its outside touch on display in a 92-67 win over No. 14 seed Colgate. Four different players hit at least two triples for the Bears, who made 16 of 30 from beyond the arc as a team. As the first No. 3 seed in action since fellow No. 3 seed Kentucky suffered a stunning upset loss on Thursday, Baylor quickly showed that it wasn’t going to suffer a similar fate. The Bears opened up a 10-point lead in the opening six minutes and never looked back. — Cobb

Winner: Clemson finally clamps down

No. 6 seed Clemson isn’t known for defense, but it held No. 11 seed New Mexico to just 29.7% shooting in a 77-56 win to advance the Tigers in the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2018. It was the first time all season Clemson held an opponent below 30% shooting. The Lobos hit just 7 of 29 attempts from the field and were 1 of 12 from beyond the arc in the second half as their comeback efforts proved futile. Slowing down Baylor in the second round on Sunday will be a more significant challenge, but the Tigers certainly looked up for it in their opener. –-Cobb

Winner: Edey, Smith shine in Purdue’s opener

Purdue co-stars Zach Edey and Braden Smith guided Purdue to a blowout 78-50 win over Grambling. Edey, the reigning national player of the year, became the third player in the last 50 years to record at least 30 points and 20 rebounds in an NCAA Tournament game. Edey finished with 30 points and 21 rebounds for his third career 30-20 game — the most of any Division l in the last 25 seasons. After recording a career-high seven turnovers in a first-round loss to No. 16 seed Fairleigh Dickinson last season, Smith recorded a double-double with 11 points and 10 assists with zero turnovers. — Salerno

Winner: Alabama’s offense goes off

Alabama fans got not one but two wins on the day with rival Auburn losing to Yale early in the afternoon and the Crimson Tide rolling past Charleston, 109-96, in a blowout. The Tide eclipsed the 100-point mark for the 10th time this season, led by a 30-point outing from Mark Sears and 13 made 3-pointers as a team. Latrell Wrightsell led the way in that department with six. Alabama will face either Saint Mary’s or Grand Canyon in the second round for a chance to make their second Sweet 16 appearance in three seasons. — Boone





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