College Hoops Player of the Day for Friday, March 21, 2014
The Massachusetts Minutemen will have plenty of time to think about their brief trip to the NCAA tournament, after Jordan McRae, Jarnell Stokes and the Tennessee Volunteers routed them, 86-67, in their opening game at PNC Arena in Raleigh, NC.
The Vols took a 3-2 lead on McRae's three-pointer 1:23 into the contest and never trailed or were tied again, forging a 19-point lead by the break, 41-22, and maintaining their edge throughout the second half.
McRae scored 21 points for the Vols, who won their second straight game in the tourney after knocking off Iowa, 78-65, in the First Four play-in round.
Stokes was impressive, leading all scorers with 26 points and topping the rebounding charts with a game-high 14, four of them off the offensive glass. Tennessee's inside force was 7-for-11 from the field and 12-for-13 at the foul line, the Minutemen finding no answer to his might but to foul him.
The Vols are the #11 seed in the Midwest region and will face Mercer on Sunday.
One of the other big stories of the day came before Tennessee's win, when Mercer, the #14 seed in the Midwest, upset the #3 seed Duke, 78-71, making the Blue Devils the most recent one-and-done tournament victim.
In the South region, the Mountaineers of Stephen F. Austin - the #12 seed - took down #5 seed, VCU, 77-75 in overtime, when senior leader, Desmond Haymond sent the game into overtime, knocking down a three-point shot with three seconds remaining and getting fouled in the act. Haymond hit the free throw to tie the game and contributed another trey in the overtime.
#1 seeds Arizona, Wichita State and Virginia all advanced, joining the overall #1 seed, Florida.