2024 March Madness: James Madison’s upset win over Wisconsin highlights Day 2 action

Day 2 of the 2024 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament featured a jam-packed slate of upsets, highlights and must-see finishes, including No. 13-seeded Yale’s thrilling victory over No. 4-seeded Auburn, and 12th-seeded James Madison’s memorable win over fifth-seeded Wisconsin.

College basketball fans were treated to 16 total games on Friday, as the opening round of the 2024 NCAA Tournament is officially complete. Round of 32 action begins Saturday morning as No. 2-seeded Arizona battles No. 7-seeded Dayton at 12:45 p.m. ET on CBS.

Catch up on all the action from Day 2 of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament here:

(12) James Madison 72, (5) Wisconsin 61

It’s complete jubilation for the James Madison Dukes, and a March Madness moment 41 years in the making. Mark Byington’s team, the Sun Belt champions, commanded Wisconsin, 72-61, for the program’s first NCAA Tournament win since 1983 on Friday night in front of close to 18,000 at the Barclays Center. 

Chants of J-M-U rained down as the Dukes booked a Sunday ticket with … Duke, ironically. This looked nothing like an upset as Wisconsin, the Big Ten Tournament runner-up, never led and was outdone by the speed and matchup versatility of James Madison. 

It’s a night Terrence Edwards Jr. stayed in Harrisonburg for, never leaving and spending all four seasons at JMU, only to make history with a 14-point performance to lead the way. Fifth-year senior Julien Wooden, who also never left the program in this transfer portal age, added a dozen in the victory. It’s a game like this that Boston College transfer T.J. Bickerstaff dreamed of when he elected to finish his college career in Harrisonburg, as the nephew of Cavs coach JB Bickerstaff delivered 12 points and nine rebounds. 

The Dukes’ game plan was to limit Badgers guard duo AJ Storr and Chucky Hepburn. They combined for 21 points, but needed 22 shot attempts to get there. To think that Byington took over a program in 2020 that was coming off a 9-21 season, and a last place finish in the Colonial Athletic Association, to where the Dukes are right now as a part of NCAA Tournament history, is extraordinary. 

If you want to know why JMU is a perfect March darling, we have a full-length feature on this special group below. This team’s season started with a shocking win over Michigan State. It continues with a nation-leading 14th straight win, and 40 more minutes this Sunday against a blue blood.

– John Fanta

(12) Grand Canyon 75, (5) Saint Mary’s 66

Tyon Grant-Foster scored 22 points, and Grand Canyon joined the list of schools to win an NCAA Tournament game as the 12th-seeded Antelopes knocked off No. 5 seed Saint Mary’s 75-66 on Friday night.

Grand Canyon (30-4) became the second No. 12 seed to pull a late-night upset after James Madison took down Wisconsin. The Antelopes did it with style, slashing and shooting their way to expose the No. 2 scoring defense in the country.

Grant-Foster was the instigator with skills that will likely land him a spot at the next level. Grant-Foster scored 13 in the second half, including a 3-pointer and a thunderous lob dunk during the Antelopes’ decisive 15-1 run that gave them a 50-35 lead with under 12 minutes remaining.

Gabe McGlothan matched the physical post players for Saint Mary’s and added 12 points and 11 rebounds.

Ray Harrison finished with 17 points, including a spinning basket on the block with 1:40 left that gave the Antelopes a 69-60 lead. Aidan Mahaney’s 3-point attempt was blocked at the other end – the ninth block for Grand Canyon – and the Antelopes started to enjoy what they were on the cusp of accomplishing.

The Antelopes were just the seventh team this season to reach the 70-point mark against the regular season and tournament champions of the West Coast Conference.

Grand Canyon will face No. 4 seed Alabama in the second round on Sunday.

– The Associated Press

(1) Houston 86, (16) Longwood 46

LJ Cryer and Damian Dunn scored 17 points each as top-seeded Houston built a quick double-digit lead and pounded 16-seed Longwood 86-46 in the first round of the NCAA Tournament on Friday night.

Coach Kelvin Sampson’s Cougars (31-4) lived up to their reputation for smothering defense. They led 10-0 less than four minutes into the game and held the Lancers (21-14) to 16 points on 26.3% shooting in the first half.

Emanuel Sharp added 13 points and Jamal Shead finished with 11 points and nine assists for Houston, which will face Texas A&M on Sunday in the second round of the South Region.

Johnathan Massie led Longwood, the Big South Conference tournament champion, with 10 points.

Houston, ranked No. 2 in the AP Top 25, was coming off a 69-41 loss to Iowa State in the Big 12 Tournament championship game, but the Cougars showed no lingering effects as they won their sixth straight first-round game in March Madness. They came in holding opponents to an average of 57 points per game and 38% shooting, and Longwood fell short of those totals.

– The Associated Press

(8) Utah State 88, (9) TCU 72

Isaac Johnson scored 19 points, including 12 straight early in the second half, and eighth-seeded Utah State shot 55% to pull away and beat No. 9 seed TCU 88-72 on Friday night and end a 10-game NCAA Tournament losing streak.

The Aggies (28-6) hadn’t earned a March Madness victory since beating Ohio State 77-68 in overtime in 2001, and had endured opening-game losses four of the past six seasons. Players and coach Danny Sprinkle have heard more than their share of questions about their March futility and were determined to end the slide once and for all.

Ian Martinez scored 21 points to lead the Aggies, who will face top-seeded Purdue on Sunday in the second round of the Midwest Region.

TCU (21-13) led most of the first half before the Aggies took the lead for good at 37-35 on Martinez’s 3-pointer with 3:22 left before halftime. Leading 43-37 at the break, the 7-foot Johnson took charge from there, making two 3-pointers along with two other baskets and a pair of free throws for a double-digit lead the Aggies steadily increased.

JaKobe Coles had 19 points and Emanuel Miller 13 for the Horned Frogs, who were trying for their third consecutive NCAA first-round win. TCU outrebounded Utah State 41-30 but shot just 36%, including just 29% in the second half.

The Aggies shot well throughout but made 16-of-28 after halftime (57%), including five of their 10 second-half 3s. They were 8-of-19 from behind the arc and converted 14-of-15 free throws.

Great Osobor added 13 points and seven rebounds.

– The Associated Press

(4) Alabama 109, (13) College of Charleston 96

Mark Sears led the highest-scoring offense in the country with 30 points, and fourth-seeded Alabama had no problem making shots in its NCAA Tournament opener, racing past No. 13 seed Charleston 109-96 on Friday night.

After two other teams from the state of Alabama, UAB and Auburn, got bounced earlier Friday in Spokane, the Crimson Tide avoided boarding another charter plane for a long flight home.

The win followed rough couple of weeks for Alabama, which lost four of its final six, including an early exit from the Southeastern Conference Tournament. The Crimson Tide will face either No. 5 seed Saint Mary’s or No. 12 seed Grand Canyon in the second round of the West Region on Sunday.

Sears was the catalyst, turning a close game into a blowout with a pair of surges late in the first half and to begin the second. The second-team AP All-American hit the 30-point mark for the fourth time this season and helped get others involved. Sears made 9 of 13 shots, was 9 of 11 at the foul line and was equally troublesome for Charleston whether spotting up from deep or driving to the rim.

Sears posted his 23rd 20-point game of the season, tying the school record set by Reggie King in 1978-79.

Sears also drew the primary task of trying to slow down Charleston’s leading scorer, Reyne Smith. He and his teammates succeeded as Smith finished with 13 points on 4-of-11 shooting.

– The Associated Press

(1) Purdue 78, (16) Grambling State 50

It’s difficult to imagine another No. 1 vs. No. 16 matchup with more anticipation surrounding it than Friday’s game between Purdue and Grambling. In the wake of the Boilermakers’ stunning loss to 16th-seeded Fairleigh Dickinson last March — a defeat that forever linked head coach Matt Painter’s team with Virginia as the only two programs to ever experience such an upset — the intrigue surrounding Purdue’s chance for redemption was strong. Could the Boilermakers really endure a fourth consecutive NCAA Tournament loss to a double-digit seed?

There were fleeting moments in the first half when such a defeat actually felt possible, like when the Tigers pulled within four points with five minutes remaining before the break. They were shooting better than 46% from the field and had actually kept level with Purdue on points in the paint: Both teams entered the locker room with 12. For a few minutes, at least, underdogs everywhere dared to dream.

Those dreams were extinguished as soon as Purdue and Grambling returned to the floor for the second half. That’s when the inevitable war of attrition against All-American center Zach Edey, who stands 7-foot-4 and weighs 300 pounds, finally ground the Tigers into despair. Edey scored seven points in the first 3:46 after halftime to quickly push the Boilermakers’ lead to double digits. He saddled both of the Tigers’ big men with four fouls apiece with 13 minutes remaining. It was all downhill from there in what finished as a lopsided 78-50 victory for Purdue.

Sometimes there will be nights when Edey is really all Purdue needs. The reigning Naismith Men’s Player of the Year — who is expected to win the award for the second time in the coming weeks — finished with 30 points and 21 rebounds to nearly undo the Tigers by himself. Had he shot better than 8-for-14 from the free-throw line, he might have outscored Grambling on his own. He’ll need more from his supporting cast if the Boilermakers want to make a legitimate push for the Final Four.

But for now, for one night, Painter and his team can revel in their unburdening. They did away with Grambling to reach the Round of 32, where the winner of No. 8 Utah State and No. 9 TCU will join them on Sunday.

– Michael Cohen

(4) Duke 64, (13) Vermont 47

Was it going to be another Friday stunner in the NCAA Tournament? When Vermont’s Shamir Bogues drilled a 3 to send the Barclays Center into a frenzy and prompt a Jon Scheyer timeout, it felt like it was possible as the Catamounts cut Duke’s lead to 50-44. But Jon Scheyer’s team tightened the screws, relied on a top-25 KenPom defense and held UVM scoreless in the final 4:42 to advance to the second round of the NCAA Tournament with a 64-47 win.

“Defense is going to win us these games. We have the talent on offense, but we need to defend,” said freshman Jared McCain, who matched a team-high with 15 points to go along with six rebounds and three assists in the win. In total, the Blue Devils outscored the Catamounts 14-3 over the final 6:43. While Duke had four players in double-figures, leading scorer Kyle Filipowski had an atypical night with just three points, going 0-for-1 from the floor. But part of that was due to Vermont doubling him a ton, in which the sophomore did other things to contribute to winning with 12 rebounds, four assists and three blocks.

“It would have been really easy for him to force up shots, but every time we gave him a touch, we had wide open shots. I thought his competitiveness was at such a high level tonight,” Scheyer told FOX Sports when asked about Filipowski.

Jeremy Roach and Tyrese Proctor combined for 27 points to join McCain on a complementary night for the Blue Devils backcourt, while sophomore Mark Mitchell was the main weapon inside with 15 points. For a Blue Devils team that entered this game off losses to North Carolina followed by a defeat to NC State in the ACC Tournament quarterfinals, it was a question as to how they would respond tonight.

“A lot of people counted us out with the last two losses we had,” McCain said. “As Jeremy [Roach] says, [you can] stay on that side, but when we get stops, we can do anything.” 

With a chip on their shoulder, the Blue Devils enter a critical second-round contest as Scheyer sets aim on a first Sweet 16 appearance in his tenure.

– John Fanta

(9) Texas A&M 98, (8) Nebraska 83

Wade Taylor IV scored 25 points and No. 9 seed Texas A&M sent eighth-seeded Nebraska home still looking for its first NCAA Tournament victory, beating the Huskers 98-83 on Friday night in the South Region.

The Aggies (21-14) added insult to injury by beating Nebraska after unexpectedly hiring athletic director Trev Alberts away from his alma mater for the same job last week.

Manny Obaseki added 22 points for the Aggies, who scored a season high in points. Tyrece Radford finished with 20, Jace Carter 13 and Henry Coleman III had 10.

Texas A&M will play either top-seeded Houston or No. 16 seed Longwood, playing the final game Friday night, on Sunday with a trip to Dallas awaiting in the Sweet 16.

Nebraska (23-11) leaves Memphis still looking for that elusive NCAA victory following the program’s best finish in Big Ten play since 1992-93. The Huskers tied for third and then reached the Big Ten semifinals, posting the second-most wins in program history to earn coach Fred Hoiberg an extension.

Brice Williams led the Huskers with 24 points. Keisei Tominaga had 21, and Josiah Allick had 14.

– The Associated Press

(13) Yale 78, (4) Auburn 76

The potential for a seismic upset felt decidedly real as No. 13 Yale strung together a 10-0 run in the opening minutes of the second half against No. 4 Auburn, vaporizing a nine-point deficit to take a stunning lead in Spokane. And given the seeding controversy that has surrounded the Tigers, whose résumé was closer to that of a 2-seed after winning the SEC Tournament, this had the makings of a Big Dance-altering, bracket-busting result. The Bulldogs had only won one NCAA Tournament game in school history and craved the chance for a second.

But just like an elite team should, Auburn responded in kind: The Tigers reclaimed control of their opening-round matchup with an identical 10-0 spurt of their own, surging in front with exactly the kind of push that normally extinguishes a hard-charging, double-digit seed. Their only problem was that Yale, which won the Ivy League Tournament to claim an automatic berth, showed absolutely no interest in folding. The Bulldogs stared a legitimate Final Four contender in the eyes and rallied to send Auburn home.

Led by a career-high 28 points from sweet-shooting guard John Poulakidas, who buried six 3-pointers to help keep his team afloat, Yale erased a six-point deficit with 4:07 remaining to secure a pulsating 78-76 win that uprooted the East region. The Bulldogs made five of six free throws in the final 44 seconds as Auburn flailed and flung shot after shot toward the rim on several stress-inducing possessions. A final heave from guard K.D. Johnson went awry as the buzzer eventually sounded.

It was a crushing defeat for the Tigers and head coach Bruce Pearl, considering the expectations surrounding this year’s team. Ranked No. 4 by KenPom and No. 5 in the NCAA NET Rankings, Auburn was viewed as a team capable of challenging Connecticut in the East Region. Pearl’s team entered March Madness having won 27 games and the SEC Tournament title. Now the 2023-24 campaign is just another blip on his shoddy postseason résumé: five NCAA Tournament appearances at Auburn with only one trip to the Sweet 16 or beyond.

Yale advances to the Round of 32 for a date with No. 5 San Diego State on Sunday. The Bulldogs have never reached the Sweet 16.

– Michael Cohen

(10) Colorado 102, (7) Florida 100

KJ Simpson rattled in a tiebreaking jumper from the baseline with 2 seconds left, and 10th-seeded Colorado beat seventh-seeded Florida in a 102-100 thriller on Friday in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.

Simpson finished with 23 points as the Buffaloes (26-10) and Gators (24-12) put on the most impressive offensive display of this year’s March Madness. Colorado extended its single-season school record for wins two days after beating Boise State in the First Four. The Buffs advance in the South Region to face second-seeded Marquette on Sunday.

Walter Clayton Jr. scored the last 16 points for Florida, including a 3-pointer to tie the game at 100-all with 9 seconds left. He finished with a career-high 33 points, but his half-court heave at the buzzer didn’t hit the rim.

– The Associated Press

(1) UConn 91, (16) Stetson 52

There was no funny business from the No. 1 overall seed in Brooklyn on Friday afternoon. UConn opened its matchup with 16-seed Stetson, making its first ever appearance in the NCAA Tournament, with an 8-0 run and never looked back in a 91-52 win to advance to a second-round matchup with Northwestern on Sunday. 

After his stellar 22-and-16 night in the Big East Championship game victory this past Saturday, Donovan Clingan set the tone for the Huskies’ title defense with 19 points, eight rebounds and four assists. Cam Spencer scored 13 of his 15 points in the first half, while Tristen Newton added 13 points and eight assists in the opening-round victory. 

Stephan Swenson, a senior who made history for the Hatters in making the Big Dance this season, led them with 20 points and six rebounds. UConn held Stetson leading scorer Jalen Blackmon to just 4-of-17 from the floor.

Simply put, this was dominance from UConn, as expected.

The Huskies will need to contain Boo Buie and Ryan Langborg on Sunday, but with Northwestern shorthanded due to Matt Nicholson being out with an injury, UConn should have an edge on the interior. I fully expect UConn to be in the Sweet 16, and Friday’s cruise-control win is a nice way to start a repeat title run.

– John Fanta

6) Clemson 77 (11) New Mexico 56

Chase Hunter scored 21 points and sixth-seeded Clemson ended No. 11 seed New Mexico’s hopes of repeating the Mountain West’s run in the NCAA Tournament, beating the Lobos 77-56 on Friday.

The Lobos (26-10) came in as the Mountain West Tournament champs, a popular pick to be this tournament’s version of San Diego State a year ago and favored by 2.5 points in this game. New Mexico won its league tournament, beating a trio of teams that also earned March Madness berths including SDSU — last year’s national runner-up.

Clemson (22-11) dominated on both ends, leading by 19 points in the first half and 23 in the second. The Tigers also held New Mexico to its worst shooting performance this season — 29.7% from the field and 13% (3-of-23) from 3-point range.

The Tigers will play third-seeded Baylor, a 92-67 winner over 14th-seeded Colgate, in the second round Sunday. A Sweet 16 game in Los Angeles awaits that winner on March 28.

Ian Schieffelin had 16 points and 12 rebounds for Clemson. PJ Hall added 14 points despite foul trouble.

Jamal Mashburn Jr., who followed coach Richard Pitino from Minnesota to New Mexico, hit a jumper in the opening seconds to give the Lobos their only lead. Mashburn missed his final 10 shots and finished with six points.

Jaelen House, the Lobos’ leading scorer, fouled out with 12 points. Nelly Junior Joseph had 14 points and 12 rebounds.

– The Associated Press

(2) Marquette 87, (15) Western Kentucky 69

A first-round matchup between No. 2 Marquette and No. 15 Western Kentucky was supposed to feel like a joyous occasion for the Golden Eagles. Their star player, point guard Tyler Kolek, was finally making his return from an oblique injury that had sidelined him for weeks. Not since a 91-69 thumping of Providence on Feb. 28 had Kolek, who entered the season as the defending Big East Player of the Year, suited up for head coach Shaka Smart.

Yet nothing about Friday’s first half against the Hilltoppers, champions of Conference USA, seemed enjoyable for Marquette. Sure, Kolek’s presence had given the offensive ball movement a much-needed pop, with his wand-like left hand spraying passes from one teammate to another. But on the other end of the floor, where the Golden Eagles rank 20th in defensive efficiency, they couldn’t contain a hot-shooting opponent. Marquette trailed by seven points at the break courtesy of a 22-5 run by Western Kentucky late in the opening stanza.

Whatever halftime message Smart shared with his team proved successful in flipping the script, in upending the upset-minded Hilltoppers for an eventual 87-69 win. Marquette tightened the screws defensively by forcing a string of eight consecutive misses early in the second half, and it was during that prolonged cold streak for Western Kenutcky that the Golden Eagles surged in front for good. They ceded the scoring responsibilities to shooting guard Kam Jones, who poured in 28 points on 10-for-16 shooting, and distanced themselves from a potential upset. Kolek chipped in 18 points, 10 assists and six rebounds. The defense forced 18 turnovers before the starters were removed.

Friday’s result was likely accompanied by a sigh of relief from Smart, whose recent NCAA Tournament results have left plenty to be desired. From VCU to Texas to Marquette, where he’s now in his third season, Smart entered the day with six first-round exits in his last seven attempts. By surviving a game against this Western Kentucky squad, the Golden Eagles advance to play the winner of No. 7 Florida and No. 10 Colorado in the Round of 32 on Sunday.

– Michael Cohen

(5) San Diego State 69, (12) UAB 65

Jaedon LeDee dominated inside on the way to 32 points, Lamont Butler added 15 and No. 5 seed San Diego State held off 12th-seeded UAB 69-65 on Friday in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.

A year after marching to the national title game, also as a No. 5 seed, the Aztecs saw a 12-point second-half lead disappear before putting together a late surge on the strength of their star 6-foot-9 forward to avoid a March Madness surprise in the East Region.

Quiet for most of the second half, LeDee scored on three straight possessions for the Aztecs (25-10) after UAB took a 56-53 lead. Butler hit a difficult fallaway, and LeDee climbed for an offensive rebound and was fouled with 1:01 left. LeDee hit both free throws to give SDSU a 66-63 lead, and he added two more foul shots with 20 seconds left.

UAB’s Efrem Johnson had a contested look at a tying 3-pointer with 8 seconds left, but it rimmed off, and Reese Waters’ free throw with 3 seconds remaining allowed the Aztecs a chance to exhale.

LeDee made 11-of-8 shots, was 9-of-10 at the free throw line and had eight rebounds. He topped 30 points for the fourth time this season and finished two short of his career high.

San Diego State will play either No. 4 seed Auburn or No. 13 seed Yale in the second round on Sunday.

– The Associated Press

(9) Northwestern 77, (8) Florida Atlantic 65

You just never know what you’ll hear in an arena during the madness. Chants of “Ryan Langborg” rained down in Brooklyn on Thursday afternoon, as the Princeton grad transfer drilled his fourth straight shot in overtime that served as the dagger in a gutsy Northwestern win over FAU to punch a ticket to the second round of the NCAA Tournament. 

Overcoming a flagrant foul call against them in the final four minutes and an inadvertent whistle in the final 30 seconds, the Wildcats forced overtime on a Brooks Barnhizer bucket with less than 10 seconds left. In the bonus period, Langborg, who helped lead Princeton to the program’s first Sweet 16 appearance since 1967 last year, showed again that he’s made for the March moment. 

Playing against the program that became Cinderella last year, Langborg put away Dusty May’s Florida Atlantic team. He drilled a pull-up jumper just 21 seconds into the period, the start of a 7-1 run. With the shot clock ticking down and Northwestern up six, first-team All-Big Ten selection Boo Buie cemented 40 more minutes in his career with the purple and white, drilling a tough 15-footer that sent the Wildcats’ faithful into a frenzy in Brooklyn. 

Before last year, the Wildcats had only ever won one game in NCAA Tournament history (2017). They’ve won two in as many years now, as Chris Collins has more than validated the contract extension Northwestern gave him after last season’s improbable year. 

As for FAU, it was a gut-punch of a loss, as Vlad Goldin missed the front end of a 1-on-1 with 26 seconds remaining in regulation, which cracked the door open for the Wildcats to have a shot to extend it. Langborg scored a season-high 27 points, and has now scored 75 points in his last three March Madness games, including his time at Princeton last year. Buie posted 22 points, while Barnhizer had 13 points and 10 rebounds. After an ugly first half by Northwestern, the Wildcats shot 55% in the final 20 minutes to post 39 second-half points, and another 19 in overtime. The Cats get the winner of UConn vs. Stetson on Saturday.

– John Fanta

(3) Baylor 92, (14) Colgate 67

Jalen Bridges scored 23 points, Ja’Kobe Walter added 19 and third-seeded Baylor coasted past 14th-seeded Colgate 92-67 in the first round of the NCAA Tournament on Friday.

Jayden Nunn added 15 points, going 4 of 5 from 3-point range, and RayJ Davis finished with 10 points and nine assists for coach Scott Drew’s Bears (24-10), who have won their past six first-round games in March Madness.

Keegan Records led Colgate (25-10) with 14 points. Sam Thomson had 11 and Braeden Smith scored 10.

Baylor will play either Clemson or New Mexico in the second round of the West Region.

Colgate (25-10), which dominated the Patriot League in the regular season and won the conference tournament, fell to 0-7 in the NCAA Tournament. The Raiders had lost only once in their previous 18 games.

Both teams shot well early, but Baylor was better from 3-point range, helping the Bears build an early 22-point lead. Colgate made one of its first nine shots outside the arc.

Walter, the Big 12 Freshman of the Year, already had 15 points at the break as the Bears led 54-34.

Colgate made a slight dent in the deficit to open the second half, but it was not enough to threaten Baylor, which shot 57.9% from the field and 53.3% (16 of 30) from 3-point range.

– The Associated Press

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John Fanta is a national college basketball broadcaster and writer for FOX Sports. He covers the sport in a variety of capacities, from calling games on FS1 to serving as lead host on the BIG EAST Digital Network to providing commentary on The Field of 68 Media Network. Follow him on Twitter @John_Fanta.

Michael Cohen covers college football and basketball for FOX Sports with an emphasis on the Big Ten. Follow him on Twitter @Michael_Cohen13.

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