NCAA Tournament: Day 1 Recap

Vanderbilt came to play: A Vanderbilt team fresh off a SEC Tournament title came out clicking on all cylinders both offensively and defensively. Guards John Jenkins and Jeff Taylor, both future pros, showed off some deep range on their perimeter shots and a quick trigger, which opened up the paint for center Festus Ezeli to score inside. If this trio plays like this (how we expected them to play all season long, hence the pre-season top ten ranking), Vanderbilt may finally start to live up their potential.

Prospect rising: John Jenkins, G, Vanderbilt
Prospect falling: Kyle Casey, F, Harvard

Long Beach State was as good as we thought, but New Mexico was better: This was a matchup of two of our favorites Cinderellas to make a run in the Tournament, but when they were seeded against each other, we knew it was going to be a great game. The offensive force for the 49ers, Casper Ware, the two-time Big West Player of the Year, was 5-of-19 from the floor. But the big negative for Long Beach State was a still-injured Larry Anderson who played with a noticeable limp after sitting out the Big West Tournament last week.

Drew Gordon was a monster on the glass, collecting a team-high 13 rebounds to go along with his 18 points. Point guard Kendall Williams dished out 6 assists to just one turnover and finished with 16 points. The Lobos also got a big boost from their bench that combined for 26 points, including 11 by junior Demetrius Walker.

Prospect rising: TJ Robinson, F, Long Beach State
Prospect falling: Casper Ware, G, Long Beach State

Murray State is more than just Isaiah Canaan: Canaan was just 4-of-13 from the floor, including 1-of-6 from 3-point range, yet the Racers managed to pull away in the second-half. The mid-major darlings turned up the heat with a balanced attack while Colorado State certainly aided in the run with nine misses in their first ten shot attempts.

Prospect rising: Donte Poole, G, Murray State
Prospect falling: Isaiah Canaan, G, Murray State

Kansas State looked mediocre in their victory over Southern Miss… The round of 32 matchup is set-up between 8-seed Kansas State and 1-seed Syracuse. KSU shot 50 percent from the field, but made just 2-of-12 3s, both of which were made by shooting guard Rodney McGruder. McGruder had a game-high 30 points on 11-of-16 points for the Wildcats, but the rest of the team's offense looked stagnant. Junior center Jordan Henriquez was very impressive (15 points, 9 rebounds, 6 blocks) and will be the key to K-State's potential victory

Prospect rising: Jordan Henriquez, C, Kansas State
Prospect falling: Jamar Samuels, F, Kansas State

And Syracuse looked worse: It was much closer than any 16-1 matchup should have been; as if Syracuse fans were not concerned enough without Fab Melo in the middle, they are certainly more stressed now with a potential early-exit in site. However, Kris Joseph and CJ Fair (4-for-17 combined from the floor) won't likely shoot as poorly in the next round.

Prospect rising: James Southerland, F, Syracuse
Prospect falling: Kris Joseph, F, Syracuse

Peyton Siva is a one-man fast-break: Siva scored inside and out, drove the lane, drew the defense and hit the open man. He probed the defense with his play off the pick-and-roll and fought off foul trouble to finish with team-highs of 17 points and 6 assists. Freshman Chane Behanan recorded a double-double with 14 points and 11 rebounds, included six on the offensive end.

Prospect rising: Peyton Siva, G, Louisville
Prospect falling: Kyle Kuric, F, Louisville

Wisconsin's defense is as good as advertised… and their offense was even better. The Badgers ended Montana's 14-game win streak, tied for longest in the nation, by holding the Grizzlies to 38.3 percent shooting and outrebounded them by 13. Pre-season All-American point guard Jordan Taylor is quietly getting his season back on track and just in time for the post-season as the senior finished with 17 points, 8 rebounds, 6 assists and zero turnovers.

Prospect rising: Jordan Taylor, G, Wisconsin
Prospect falling: Jared Berggren, C, Wisconsin

Jae Crowder's monster effort ousted BYU: The Big East Player of the Year finished with 25 points and 16 rebounds and standout guard Darius Johnson-Odom had 12 of his 20 points in the second-half as Marquette will advance to play Murray State. Brandon Davies of BYU had his second-straight double-double, going for 19 points and 12 rebounds in the loss after 18 and 15 in the play-in game against Iona.

Prospect rising: Jae Crowder, F, Marquette
Prospect falling: Junior Cadougan, G, Marquette

West Virginia's offense stalls as Gonzaga's takes off: WVU proved to be too reliant on All-Big East forward Kevin Jones (13 points on 5-of-14 shooting) who made nearly one-third of their field-goals. As a team, the Mountaineers were 16-of-49, 32.7 percent, while the Bulldogs, led by 7-footer Robert Sacre made 6 field-goals on his own, finishing with 14 points and 6 rebounds.

Prospect rising: Robert Sacre, C, Gonzaga
Prospect falling: Kevin Jones, F, West Virginia

Baylor plays it close, but holds on: Perry Jones backtracked on his recent hot play, making just one field-goal on six attempts and missed all three of his foul shots. But miniature guard Pierre Jackson provided his usual instant offense with a variety of drives and deep jumpers.

Prospect rising: Quincy Miller, F, Baylor
Prospect falling: Perry Jones, F, Baylor

Kentucky Wildcats roll over in-state WKU: Nearly everyone John Calipari put into the game contributed in some way offensively, mainly UK's talented frontcourt of Anthony Davis, Terrence Jones and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist. Along with the play of Wildcat guards Doron Lamb, Darius Miller and Maquis Teague, Kentucky was dominant in their opening round win.

Prospect rising: Anthony Davis, F, Kentucky
Prospect falling: Marquis Teague, G, Kentucky

VCU does it again, upsets Wichita State: It was a well-balanced defensive chess match between coaches Shaka Smart and Greg Marshall, but in the end, Bradford Burgess took over where he left off last March scoring a game-high 16 points. On the other end, Joe Ragland finished the season shooting exactly 50 percent from 3-point range with a 2-for-4 performance from deep, finishing with a team-high 15 points.

Prospect rising: Bradford Burgess, G, VCU
Prospect falling: Garrett Stutz, C, Wichita State

Iowa State helps defending champ bow out: Iowa State led by as many as 22 before UConn found their stroke for a short bit. ISU forward Royce White created mis-match issues for UConn trying to matchup with him so he brought the ball up the floor and took his man off the dribble or posted-up a smaller defender en route to 15 points and 11 rebounds. The Husky frontcourt of Andre Drummond and Alex Oriakhi combined for 4 points on 2-of-8 shooting.

Prospect rising: Royce White, F, Iowa State
Prospect falling: Andre Drummond, C, UConn

Indiana moves one-step closer to re-match with Kentucky: With their win over New Mexico State, IU moved within a game of a re-match in the game of the year with Kentucky. The only problem is that VCU stands in the way.

Indiana ran an incredibly offense utilizing the play-making of Jordan Hulls, Victor Oladipo and Cody Zeller in the absence of Verdell Jones. They'll need to be even better with Shaka Smart and VCU looming.

Prospect rising: Cody Zeller, C, Indiana
Prospect falling: Christian Watford, F, Indiana

Deshaun Thomas leads struggling Buckeyes offense: Deshaun Thomas was the key contributor on offense, putting forth a masterful performance as the lefty hit from 3-point range, put the ball on the floor and crashed the glass. The other frontcourt stalwart, Jared Sullinger, struggled shooting the ball and looked lost at times, missing several chip shots and had two passes go right through his hands. Regardless, OSU advances and still must be considered a serious threat.

Prospect rising: Deshaun Thomas, F, Ohio State
Prospect falling: Jared Sullinger, F, Ohio State

Colorado ground Rebels: Some great overall team defense by the Buffs combined with an unbelievably poor shot selection and quantity of misfirings, Colorado became the lone double-double seed to advance on the day with the only upset.

Prospect rising: Andre Roberson, F, Colorado
Prospect falling: Chace Stanback, F, UNLV

By President Corey Ruff - 3 - 16 - 12
NCAA Tournament Recap Day 2