5:45 PM: Marquette Survives
The 3rd ranked Marquette Golden Eagles survived a scare from 14-seed Davidson today in the East Bracket winning 59-58. This is the first win for the Big East (who’s soon-to-be former member Pitt lost earlier). Marquette’s win sets up a 3rd round meeting with Butler. Vander Blue led Marquette with 16 points.
4:25 PM: Wichita St and St. Louis win
In the West, Wichita State blows out now former Big East member Pitt 73-55setting up a likely clash with top seeded Gonzaga. Malcolm Armstead led the way with 22 points and 5 assists.
In the Midwest, St. Louis blew out New Mexico State 64-44. Next up is the winner of the Oregon vs. Oklahoma State matchup. St. Louis was led by Dwayne Evans with 24 points and 6 rebounds.
3:15 PM Butler Tops Bucknell
In the 2nd game of the 2013 tournament, the Butler Bulldogs showed why they made it to the finals 2 of the last 3 years as they ousted the Bucknell Bison 68-56. Bucknell, a popular upset pick, was unable to compete from the line, getting outscored 25-5 on free throws. Rotnei Clarke led the Bulldogs in scoring. Butler will advance to play the winner of Davidson v Marquette who square off later today.
Can the Bulldogs make another run at the finals? Can they still be considered an underdog?
2:20 PM Michigan State Advances
No Cinderella slipper for Valpo as the Michigan State Spartans out of the Big 10 advance to the next round, winning their 2nd round game 65-54. Next up for the Spartans will be the winner of the Memphis vs. Saint Mary’s game later this afternoon.
In other news Butler and Bucknell are locked in a 1 point game with 6:00 left to play.
Pittsburgh and Wichita State are also underway in a battle between 8 and 9 seeds in the West Region.
1:30 PM Butler/Bucknell – Where Are the Points?
In the East Region, the “Battle to break 40” is at the half with 6-seed Butler leading 11-seed Bucknell 21-14. Both teams are shooting well below 40% from the field and not a single 3 point shot has been converted by either team. Joe Willman has over half of Bucknell’s points while Roosevelt Jones leads Butler with 7 at the half.
Those who bet the “Under” in this game are smiling.
1:15 PM Spartan Sensation
In the Midwest Region, the Michigan State Spartans surged out to a big lead at the half 35-18 ..Michigan State is shooting 42% from the field including 44% from behind the 3 point line. Derrick Nix and Keith Appling are the leading scorers for the Spartans. Valpo will need to improve on their 23% FG percentage if they are going to make this a competitive game.
12:35 PM President Obama Tournament Picks
President Obama kept his March tradition going of selecting his NCAA Tournament Winners. The President sat down and filled out his brackets with Louisville, Ohio State, Florida, and Indiana heading to Atlanta for the Final Four. He picked the Hoosiers to top the Cardinals in the National Championship game on April 8.
He correctly picked two Final Four teams — Ohio State and Kentucky– last season, but his national champion selection of North Carolina lost in the Elite Eight.
No word on whether Republicans on Capitol Hill have protested the picks yet.
Ready for the madness? If you haven’t filled out your brackets yet, you better get on it. The countdown is on and the 2013 NCAA Tournament kicks off in just under an hour. There are 16 games on tap today across all regions and Men’s Fitness will be following them all with a close eye. Check back here all day as we live blog the tournament results, the latest news and the updates you won’t want to miss. Up first: 14th seeded Valparaiso and 3rd seeded Michigan State go head to head at 12:15 EST followed by the battle of the B schools 11th seeded Bucknell and 6th seeded Butler, which we see as a possible upset special. Let the games (and the madness) begin.