NEW YORK (AP) – It was a record day for the UConn Huskies and a banner opening round for double-digit seeds.
The top-seeded Huskies rolled to a half dozen new records in the 140-52 win over Saint Francis (Pa.) that got the second day of the opening round started. UConn set a record for points in a tournament game and all-time NCAA records for points in a period (55 in the first) and a half (94 in the first). And UConn’s 88-point margin of victory was the second-biggest in tournament history. Baylor beat Texas Southern by 89 in the 2017 tournament.
The previous record for points in a tournament game was 121. The previous mark for points in a half was 80 and for a quarter was 45.
“I don’t think I’ve ever been involved in anything quite like that. That was quite different than anything I’ve experienced either in the regular season or the NCAA Tournament,” UConn coach Geno Auriemma said. “I thought we just took advantage of all the things that were available to us the entire game.”
Saint Francis averaged nearly 81 points a game and played an up-tempo style they weren’t going to change against UConn.
“There was only one chance that we would have had to come close in this game and that was going to be to shoot a million 3s and hope that they go in,” Saint Francis coach Joe Haigh said. “So, we shot a million 3s and we didn’t make them.”
While the NEC representative fell, six double-digit seeds advance to the second round for the first time since 2000. Only one of those teams that year made it to the Sweet 16.
Here are other tidbits from the Saturday’s first round games:
WELCOME BACK MAC: The Mid-American Conference had two teams in the NCAAs for the first time since 1996 and both came away victorious on Saturday. Buffalo and Central Michigan were both 11 seeds and knocked off South Florida and LSU. It was the first NCAA wins for both programs and the first victory for a MAC team since 2009, when Ball State upended Tennessee. Two years earlier Bowling Green reached the Sweet 16.
“It is so valuable to the conference if two or three of us can continue on. We are changing the trajectory of how they see the conference. Right before I came out to coach, I texted Sue Guevara and congratulated her and she said, ‘It’s your turn now; make us proud,'” Buffalo coach Felisha Legette-Jack said. “And we’re trying to build something. We’re trying to change something. We’re just trying to have a chance to be significant.”
“Why not us? Why not now?” Legette-Jack said.
GOT THEIR NUMBER: Quinnipiac upset Miami for the second consecutive year, beating the Hurricanes 86-72. The Bobcats also topped the Hurricanes last year in Miami in the second round to advance to the Sweet 16. Quinnipiac’s reward is a matchup with in-state neighbor UConn.
“We’ll be ready to have a really good one on Monday night. It’ll be fun,” Quinnipiac coach Tricia Fabbri said. “As a coach, he’s legendary and his staff and his players. We get to match wits, see what we can do. What can we come up with? How do we want to go and approach? And our players’ mentality of again, when you want to be the best you have to beat the best and boy are we going to see this Monday night.”
STILL O-FER: The 14 and 15 seeds in women’s basketball still are winless after all eight of them lost in the opening round. Each seed has lost 100 games. They might be able to take some solace from the men’s tournament where UMBC became the first 16-seed ever to top a No. 1 on Friday night.
11 ALIVE: After going winless the past two seasons, three 11-seeds advanced to the second round. Creighton joined the two MAC schools and kept the Big East unbeaten with all four of the conference’s teams advancing out of the first round. It’s the first time since 2011 that the Big East had four wins in the opening round.