Arkansas also advanced after a controversial flagrant foul call against Seton Hall.
The No. 3 Baylor Bears entered the NCAA Tournament’s first round with a date with the No. 14 New Mexico State Aggies. There have been a number of upsets that feature the lower No. 14 seed upsetting the higher No. 3 seed. Most recently, we saw Stephen F. Austin defeat West Virginia last year, 70-56. In total, since the tournament expanded to 64 teams, a No. 14 seed has upset a No. 3 seed 17 times in 31 years.
On Friday, it looked like No. 3 Baylor had a slight potential of getting upset by No. 14 New Mexico State. The Aggies took a one-point lead at halftime, thanks to a three-pointer from Braxton Huggins with two seconds left. But in the second half, Baylor started to take over. The Bears held the Aggies to just 29 points in the second half, while the Bears’ offense scored 49. Al Freeman led the way for the Bears, scoring 23 points.
The win over New Mexico State gives Baylor its 26th win of the season, which ties for the third-most victories in program history.
The No. 7 seed Michigan Wolverines also saw a tight contest, facing the No. 10 Oklahoma State Cowboys in the First Round on Friday afternoon. The Wolverines led just 41-40 in the first half, and it remained a close one throughout the game, giving us one of the most exciting matchups of the First Round. Oklahoma State was within two inside the final 10 seconds, but were left to send Michigan to the free throw line. Down four, Oklahoma State made a three-pointer at the buzzer, but it was too little too late, and Michigan walked away with a 92-91 victory.
No. 9 Arkansas Razorbacks got past the eighth-seeded Seton Hall Pirates 77-71, but not without controversy when the Pirates were called for a flagrant 1 call while committing an intentional foul late in the game.