Just a few things from the first day that I felt were relevant to us as Gator fans...
- First off, although it may be the most recent outcome from today, Virginia Commonwealth got a huge first-round victory over The Duke Blue Devils tonight 79-77. Of course this is a pretty good outcome for those who follow Florida basketball, as VCU head coach Anthony Grant spent 10 seasons as an assistant coach to Billy Donovan.
VCU used their athleticism to create 13 steals and 17 total Duke turnovers. The Rams also shot the ball very well from beyond the three-point line, going 9-16 (56%) in the game. VCU guard Eric Maynor was the hero of the game, scoring 22 points and dishing out eight assists in total, including hitting the game-winning jumper with 1.8 seconds to go in the game.
Congrats to Coach Grant and the Rams. We will continue to cheer them on throughout their tourney run, no doubt.
- Maryland and Davidson faced off in the first Midwest bracket game of the tournament, a game that resulted in an 82-70 Terps' win. This game was a very close one in the first half thanks to the three-point shooting effort of Davidson (they made 10 in the game), led by Stephen Curry's 30 point performance.
This was an impressive balanced offensive game for the Terps, who managed to get six total players in double-figure scoring. Maryland also outrebounded Davidson 54-35, a dominating performance on the glass.
Pretty good game for Maryland today, creating some good momentum headed into future games. Their rebounding and scoring balance will both be things to watch in future games.
- Also out of the Midwest bracket today, fifth-seed Butler took out Old Dominion 57-46. The Bulldogs used a 17-0 run in the second half to jump out to a comfortable lead, and ODU was unable to overcome it.
- Vanderbilt got off to a roaring start in this tournament as they dismantled the George Washington Colonials 77-44. The Commodores held a 45-20 advantage heading into the halftime locker room, a lead that resulted from a near-flawless performance in the first-half.
The Colonials shot 28% on the game, while the Commodores made 12 three pointers. Vandy G Shan Foster scored 18 points, while Derrick Byars added 12.
Good start by the SEC in the tourney, as Arkansas, Kentucky, Florida and Tennessee are yet to play.