Round One Recap of NCAA Tournament Hosted in Pittsburgh

Basketball Going through Hoop ( Generic Picture)

Villanova, Ohio State, Illinois, and Houston Advance to 2nd Round

March Madness has once again descended upon Pittsburgh Pa. With Duquesne University as the host school, a portion of the NCAA Tournament’s First and Second Rounds were played at the PPG Paints Arena, home of the Pittsburgh Penguins and located a street away from the Duquesne campus.

At 12:15pm, the local and national crowds came in to watch basketball in person for the first time since 2019. Here is a recap of the four first round games:

Game 1-Ohio State 54, Loyola-Chicago 41:

Although Sister Jean was once again in attendance, the Loyola-Chicago Ramblers could not find the spark that led them into the Final Four in 2018 as they struggled to find the basket thanks to 26.8% shooting from the floor and 8-28 from 3-point range. The Ohio State Buckeyes were not as successful finding the basket either (41.9 % FG, 1-15 from 3-point range) but they were able to catch fire in the second half to secure the
victory. E.J Liddell led the Buckeyes with 16 points and 10 rebounds. Braden Norris led the Ramblers with 14 points.

Game 2-Villanova 80, Delaware 60:

In what was considered the main event of the day, the Villanova Wildcats looked like they were about to become a victim of the Upset Special after trailing the Delaware Blue Hens 15-8 minutes after the opening tip. Many felt like their struggles were a result of a ‘hangover’ after winning the Big East Conference. But Head Coach Jay Wright’s team found their mojo and overtook Delaware in the second half to advance to the
second round. Justin Moore led four players in double-figures with 21 points, and Jermain
Samuels led with 9 rebounds. For Delaware, Jyare Davis led with 17 points.


Game 3-Illinois 54, Chattanooga 53:

In what was the most entertaining game of the day, it looked like the Chattanooga Mocs was about to pull of a huge upset as they started strong with a 20-7 lead and led the majority of the game, until they squandered the lead with under a minute to
play as Alfonso Plummer’s go-ahead free throws snatched victory from the jaws of defeat.
Plummer finished with 15 points, while Kofi Cockburn led all scorers with 17 points. Malachi Smith led the Mocs with 12 points and Darius Banks led with 13 rebounds. Former NFL star Terrell Owens (Chattanooga alum), Pitt Panthers football Heisman Finalist Kenny Pickett, Pittsburgh Mayor Ed Gainey and his wife Michelle were in attendance.

Game 4-Houston 82, UAB 68: -In the second blowout of the day, the Houston Cougars easily dispatched the UAB Golden Eagles to advance to the second round. Kyler Edwards led all scorers with 25 points and 7 rebounds. Jordan Walker led UAB with 17 points.

Round two will take place on Sunday with Houston vs. Illinois tipping off at 12:10pm, followed by Villanova vs. Ohio State at approximately 2:40pm

Ray Porter Jr July 2021

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