College Hoops Player of the Day for Thursday, March 20, 2014
A spate of upsets marked the traditional opening day of the tournament, but one team which held its ground was Michigan State, likely because the Delaware Blue Hens had no solutions for senior forward Adreian Payne, who scored a career-high 41 points in the Spartans' 93-78 triumph.
The 6'10" swingman was incredibly efficient in tear up the opponent, hitting 10 of 15 from the field, including four of five from three-point range and an impressive 17-for-17 mark at the foul line. Payne added eight boards and only turned the ball over twice, all in just 24 minutes of court time.
Coach Tom Izzo has his team as well-prepared for the tournament as usual, coming off the championship in the Big Ten tournament last week.
Michigan State, the #4 seed in the East region,will face upset winner Harvard in the next round, on Saturday. The 12th-seeded Crimson disposed of #5 seed Cincinnati, 61-57, essentially blowing up millions of brackets in the process.
Among the other upsets encountered on Thursday were Dayton's 60-59 win over Ohio State in the South region, an 11 over a six, and, West region #12 seed North Dakota State outing #5 Oklahoma, 80-75, in overtime.
Basically, three regions were blown up on Thursday, leaving only the Midwest unscathed, though #5 St. Louis had to come from 16 back in the second half to hold off #12 NC State in overtime, 83-80.