William Lee scored the last 4 points for the 14th-seeded UAB Blazers, as they pulled off the first upset of the tournament, 60-59 over 3rd-seeded Iowa State. The Blazers, who have the youngest team in this year's field, recorded the school's first tournament win since 2005. It was a win much need for a school that shut down their football program last December.
The Cyclones were coming off an exciting Big-12 tournament win, and were looking to go further than last year's NCAA tournament, when they reached the Sweet 16 without Georges Niang, who was injured. Iowa State was unable to hang on to a 4-point lead with just over 3 minutes remaining.
They last led 57-56 with under a minute left, as this loss brought back memories of a No. 2 seeded Iowa State team falling in the first round of the 2001 tournament.
Robert Brown led UAB with 21 points, while William Lee finished with a double-double of 14 points and 12 rebounds. Tyler Madison grabbed 11 rebounds for the Blazers, who outrebounded ISU 52-37 overall.
Monte Morris had 15 points for Iowa State, who set a school record with their 4th straight tournament appearance. They lost their first tournament opener since the upset in 2001. Niang and Matt Thomas each scored 11 points and Jameel McKay had 10 points and 12 rebounds.
UAB outscored the Cyclones 9-4 down the stretch and will play UCLA on Saturday.
About an hour later, in Jacksonville, Florida, R.J. Hunter nearly knocked his father, head coach Ron Hunter, off his stool in Georgia State's stunning 57-56 upset of Baylor. Hunter hit the game-winning 3-pointer with 2.7 seconds left, which knocked head coach Ron Hunter, who tore his Achilles a week ago, right out of his stool.
3rd-seeded Baylor led 56-44 with 2:54 remaining, but was held scoreless the rest of the way. Taurean Prince had 18 points and 15 rebounds off the bench for the Bears.
The 14th-seeded Panthers forced 21 Baylor turnovers on the afternoon. Hunter finished with 16 points on 5-of-12 shooting, while Ryan Green added 11 points, and Markus Crider contributed 10.
The other story of this Round of 64 game was the return of Kevin Ware to the tournament, following his gruesome injury in the tournament 2 years ago with the Louisville Cardinals. Ware started for the Panthers, in place of injured Ryan Harrow, and scored 4 points.
Georgia State will continue in the Round of 32 when they battle Xavier on Saturday.