In a game that never really felt that close, Arizona fell short against the Wichita State Shockers, 65-55. Wichita State will play the Miami Hurricanes on Saturday.
Arizona's loss was just the icing on a bad Pac-12 cake on Thursday. The conference went 1-3 with Arizona losing and the Utah Utes coming away with the conference's only win for the day, defeating 14-seed, Fresno State.
The Pac-12 had a pair of 8-seeds entering the day but both fell on day one. The Colorado Buffaloes were upended by the Connecticut Huskies, 74-67. Connecticut takes on the 1-seed Kansas Jayhawks on Saturday. In addition to Colorado, the USC Trojans lost their first round matchup, falling victim to a defensive lapse fitting of March Madness, as the Providence Friars got an easy game-winning layup with 1.5 seconds remaining to win 70-69. They'll move on to face the North Carolina Tar Heels.
Waiting for Utah on Saturday in Denver is the 11-seed Gonzaga Bulldogs who impressively dismantled Seton Hall on Thursday night, 68-52. It will be a battle of Utes big man, Jakob Poeltl and Gonzaga center, Domantas Sabonis, who may have been the most impressive player of Thursday's slate of games, finishing with 21 points and 16 rebounds against the Pirates.
Everyone loves to talk about the vaunted 5-12 matchups. It's almost gotten to a point where the allure of picking the 5-12 upset has become overrated. Well, today delivered as not one, but two 5-seeds dropped out of the tournament. The Baylor Bears were eliminated by Cinderella-favorite, the Yale Bulldogs, 79-75. Yale will take on the Duke Blue Devils next.
Also, the Purdue Boilermakers, a favorite of many and considered to be under-seeded, lost a double-overtime thriller to Arkansas-Little Rock, 85-83. They've got the Iowa State Cyclones next. The only 5-seed to take care of business was the Indiana Hoosiers, disposing of Chattanooga in impressive fashion, 99-74. They'll square off with the Kentucky Wildcats on Saturday, a game that is highly anticipated by both fan bases that cherish their old rivalry.
For all the talk about how vulnerable this year's 1-seeds looked, the three that played on Thursday seemed just fine. North Carolina, Kansas and the Virginia Cavaliers, who will play the Butler Bulldogs on Saturday, were all triumphant over their respective 16-seeds. If Oregon can win tomorrow, that would make 1-seeds a respectable 128-0 against 16's in the history of the NCAA Tournament.
Day one of the 2016 NCAA Tournament is in the books. 16 games are done. Let's wake up tomorrow and do it all over again.