March 19, 2022 

Daily Briefing — March 19, 2022: THE EAGLES HAVE LANDED — FGCU upsets Virginia Tech to open March Madness

Elizabeth Kitley scores 42 points in the losing effort

Happy Saturday! Welcome to The Next’s Daily Briefing, featuring the W Roundup, the daily Watch List and Yesterday’s Recap. Day 127 of college basketball is here, following the first round of the NCAA Tournament with full fan attendance since 2019! Opening Day wasn’t filled with upsets, but we had some thrillers up and down, including the 12-seed FGCU Eagles knocking off 5-seed Virginia Tech, #10 South Dakota pulling away from #7 Mississippi, #14 UT Arlington nearly upsetting #3 Iowa State, and a lot of scoring.

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But first, some daily upset picks*:

  • Greensboro: #12 Stephen F. Austin over #5 North Carolina
  • Bridgeport: #11 Princeton over #6 Kentucky — “upset” pick; #12 UMass over #5 Notre Dame
  • Wichita: #13 Buffalo over #4 Tennessee. Bold choice, sure, but Dyaisha Fair is great and … have you seen the Vols lately?

W Roundup

Free agency

Visit our offseason trackers page to see all the other free agent moves and how they affect teams’ caps, other front-office changes and more — in neat, colorful fashion!

Watch List, Saturday, March 19

(All times in Eastern, all rankings reflect tournament seeding)


#6 Kentucky v. #11 Princeton, 4 p.m., ESPN

Good games

#8 Washington State v. #9 Kansas State, 11:30 a.m., ESPN2

#5 North Carolina v. #12 Stephen F. Austin, 7:30 p.m., ESPNEWS

#5 Notre Dame v. #12 UMass, 7:30 p.m., ESPN2

Also watchable

#6 Ohio State v. #11 Missouri State, 2:30 p.m., ESPNU

#4 Tennessee v. #13 Buffalo, 3 p.m., ABC

#4 Oklahoma v. #13 IUPUI, 10 p.m., ESPNU

Friday, March 18 recap

(All rankings below reflect tournament seeding)


#1 South Carolina beat #16 Howard, 79-21. The Gamecocks won the first half 44-4, holding the Bison to a record-low points in an NCAA Tournament half — more than halving the previous low.

#2 Iowa beat #15 Illinois State, 98-58.

#3 Iowa State beat #14 UT-Arlington, 78-71. It was mostly a one-possession game until the final two minutes. Cyclone wing Ashley Joens led with 36 points on 13-for-28 shooting from the field, 4-for-8 from three and 6-for-12 from the line, plus 15 rebounds (five offensive) for a double-double in 40 minutes.

#6 Georgia beat #11 Dayton, 70-54.

#8 Miami beat #9 South Florida, 78-66.

#10 Creighton beat #7 Colorado, 84-74.


#1 Stanford beat #16 Montana State, 78-37. The media’s Pac-12 Player of the Year, center Cameron Brink, had a double-double with 11 points (4-7 FG), 11 rebounds (seven offensive), three assists and four blocks with only one foul in 16 minutes — be afraid; off-ball guard Hannah Jump somehow took 11 threes in 19 minutes (and made five of them for 15 points); backup center Fran Belibi had a double-double in 15 minutes with 12 points (4-6 FT) and 13 rebounds (six offensive), plus two assists and two blocks. One of Belibi’s blocks and two of her points came on this sequence, block-six for a dunk. That’s pretty cool, I think.

#2 Texas beat #15 Fairfield, 70-52.

#4 Maryland beat #13 Delaware, 102-71.

#7 Utah beat #10 Arkansas, 92-69.

#8 Kansas beat #9 Georgia Tech, 77-58.

#12 FGCU beat #5 Virginia Tech, 84-81. Center Elizabeth Kitley scored a March-Madness-opening-round-record 42 points on 16-for-27 shooting from the field and 10-for-14 from the line, plus eight rebounds (five offensive) in only 33 minutes.


#1 Louisville beat #16 Albany, 83-51.

#2 Baylor beat #15 Hawai’i, 89-49. The Bears only led by five in the mid-second quarter, then won the next 15 minutes 51-15.

#9 Gonzaga beat #8 Nebraska, 68-55.

#10 South Dakota beat #7 Mississippi, 75-61.

*I’m not saying these are going to happen, just that they’re worth monitoring. This is how I’m hedging, thank you.

Written by Em Adler

Em Adler (she/they) covers the WNBA at large and college basketball for The Next, with a focus on player development and the game behind the game.

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