NCAA tourney's first day brought very few surprises

March 20, 1992|By Chris Zang | Chris Zang,Staff Writer

Ho-hum.

So went the first day of the NCAA basketball tournament.

Surprises were as rare as 360-degree slam dunks, as no ranked teams lost, and the higher seed won 15 of 16 opening-round games. The winners read like a Who's Who of college basketball -- Duke, Ohio State, Indiana, Southern Cal, Arkansas, Alabama, Missouri, North Carolina, Seton Hall, Florida State, Georgetown and LSU.

Not that some unranked teams didn't advance. Iowa, Georgia Tech, Connecticut and Memphis State all made it past Round One. There even was one mild upset as ninth-seeded Iowa beat No. 8 Texas 98-92.

There were blackouts (physical and electrical) and blowouts (Duke 82-56 over Campbell, Ohio State 83-56 over Mississippi Valley State, Connecticut 86-65 over Nebraska, Indiana 94-55 over East Illinois).

Only Miami of Ohio, missing a 30-footer with four seconds left against North Carolina, and Terry Dehere, hitting the game-winner with 1.8 seconds left for Seton Hall, offered the buzzer-beating excitement NCAA tourney fans have come to expect.

Not that there weren't some performances of note.

LSU's manchild Shaquille O'Neal scored 26 points and blocked a tournament-record 11 shots in the Tigers' 94-83 triumph over Brigham Young.

Another pivot man of note, Alonzo Mourning, had 21 points, 11 rebounds and six blocks as Georgetown defeated South Florida, 75-60. Not that the big guys had all the fun. La Salle's dazzling 6-foot guard Randy Woods scored 33 in La Salle's loss to Seton Hall.

There was even a local hero as Dunbar's Sam Cassell scored 23 in Florida State's 78-68 win over Montana.

An unknown grabbed the spotlight in Milwaukee as little-used freshman Tremayne Anchrum set career highs with 16 points and eight rebounds as Southern Cal defeated Northeast Louisiana. And the lights went out entirely three times due to an electrical storm during Missouri's 89-78 victory over West Virginia.

Southern Cal coach George Raveling had a blackout of his own, losing consciousness during a second-half timeout but returned to lead the Trojans to their school-record 24th win of the season.

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