Midwest -- Top-seeded Piedmont ran over, around and through hapless Alvernia 114-56. Kenneth McCoy with 27 points off the bench. Alvernia with 31 turnovers and 39 fouls. Next up is undefeated Hamline, which moved to 30-0 with an easy 87-67 win over George Fox. Five players in double figures for Hamline, no one with more than 12 points. The 12 seed Elizabethtown knocked off Suffolk 55-48, overcoming a 29-20 disadvantage on the boards with a defense that limited Suffolk to 37.2 percent shooting. They get 13-seed Plymouth St. in a definite bracket-buster second-round encounter. Adam Walker's shot with six seconds remaining delivered 64-63 satisfaction. Walker finished with 15 points and 11 boards. To the bottom half of the bracket, where 6 seed Eureka ripped open a close game in the second half to roll 77-57 over Ramapo. That's what 60.8 percent shooting will do for a team. They'll face my call to win it all, Texas Lutheran, which had no trouble with the Castleton St. superclass in a 116-60 rout. Keith Flor with 23 points and 10 boards for the No. 2 team in the nation that somehow got a No. 3 seed. More double-digit mayhem as 10-seed W. New England used 54.9 percent shooting from the floor to pull away late for an 88-79 win over Rhodes. Donald Harwood hit 15 points in the win. Now comes the 2-seed, Wisconsin-Superior, a 70-55 winner over Brockport. Superior held Brockport to less than 37 percent shooting from the floor and just 3-for-15 from long range.
East -- Top seed Johnson and Wales is through to round 2 with a 104-63 beatdown of the Carnegie Mellon-heads. Bernard Abbott and Bryan Davis each with 20 points for J-Dub. Now they get a dangerous US Merchant Marines team that knocked out my alma mater Wooster 76-75 in overtime. James Wiggins hit a trey at the buzzer for UMMA to send the game to extra time after Wooster goes 0-for-4 at the stripe to squander a 4 point cushion with 30 seconds to play. In extra time, Richard Bernardini drains a three with five seconds remaining to put UMMA in front. John Earl goons a potential game-winning dunk at the buzzer for Wooster. Someone make sure our beloved pseudochamp is doing okay this morning. The 5-seed Ozarks had no difficulty giving St. mary's of Maryland its first loss of the season 64-50. Defense ruled the day as Ozarks was the better shooting team at 40.8 percent from the floor. They'll prepare for Colorado, a 77-75 survivor against Austin. Rod Kaneshiro's floater with 5 seconds left picks up Colorado, which trailed by 7 with less than 7 minutes to play. Donald Cote with 19 points in the win. The lower half of the bracket goes as seeded. Chapman wins 77-68 over Shenandoah as the 6 seed. Now they'll prep for Southwestern. The 3-seed advanced 82-64 over Beloit, thanks in part to 20 points from Patrick Hodson and an 8-for-16 night from downtown. Emmanuel wins 72-69 over the Wisconsin-flavored Concordia. Despite the narrow final margin, Emmanuel led the entire second half, at times by double digits. Concordia pulled within one point with 2:06 remaining, but could never pull in front. Now Emmanuel gets tough 2-seed Susquehanna, an 88-53 victor over Westminster (PA). Stanley Cobb with 24 points in the victory.
South -- I said this region would be chaos, and it was. Just not up top where big-dog Trinity (TX) cruises to an 88-58 win over Staten Island thanks to 32 points from Frank Stuart. They'll face Newbury in round two. The GNE school won the 8-9 coin flip as the 9 seed, toppling Tufts by a 60-48 count. Neither school shot 40 percent in the game but Newbury got to the line more often to take the 'W'. Wentworth scored the upset as the 12 seed, easily sending Northland packing by an 80-63 count. It's amazing what 60+ percent shooting from the floor can do for the little guys of the world. The 4-seed Lynchburg might want to try and prevent that when they face off with Wentworth tonight. Lynchburg opened with a 77-67 win over William Paterson. Every Lynchburg starter finished in double figures, including 13 points and 12 boards from Anthony "Easy" Street. Now for the wild half of the bracket, where the 11 seed Dickinson torched my Final Four bracket on opening night by topping Buena Vista by an embarrassing 91-67 gap. John Penrose with 23 points as Dickinson did not attempt a 3 point shot in the game. Believe it or not, the contest was tied at 40 at the half. They'll get 14-seed Webster, as the suspected sleeper cell awoke for a 67-51 win over Wittenberg, who needed to foul more. Webster was 9-for-19 from long range, but only 8-for-18 at the charity stripe. The 10 seed Wisconsin, Oshkosh continued the upset trend with a 74-66 win over North Carolina Wesleyan. It wasn't pretty, as neither team topped 40 percent from the floor, but Oshkosh managed five players in double figures nonetheless. Only 2-seed Rivier escaped the chaos of the bottom half of the bracket. Kalamazoo came ready to play, but a Rivier ran through it for an 84-70 win, thanks to 22 points and 11 boards from Jesse Ames.
West -- Unlike other top seeds, Hardin-Simmons actually had to work in the opening round, raising fan concerns with just an 86-79 win over Utica to open the tourney. Terry Green with 18 points as HS collects 26 Utica turnovers to compensate for a chilly 40.3 percent shooting night. Now they'll get Millsaps, the 8 seed wins the coinflip game 60-54 over Palm Beach Atlantic. Clyde Pequero and Steven Snider with 15 points each in the win. UMass, Dartmouth scores another knockout for the 12 seeds of the world, taking down Willamette 69-67. Willamette missed on three game-tying shots in the final 26 seconds. The upstarts get 4-seed South Vermont, a 74-62 winner over Mount St. Mary. Cecil Simmons' 15 points were tops for South Vermont. On the lower half of the bracket, Whittier wins as an 11 seed, ousting Penn St. Altoona by a narrow 54-51 final. Altoona fans will be shaking their heads after watching their team surrender a 30-18 halftime lead. A 10-0 run by Whittier midway through the second half drew the teams level on the scoreboard. PSA managed just six points in the final 11:03 of the game. Now comes 3-seed Ursinus, which struggled 86-79 with Simpson. Daniel Gray and Lamar Hearn each score 18 for the winners. Overtime was needed for 10-seed John Carroll to slip past Calvin, 93-92 in a mild upset. JC was up by six with just over a minute to go, but Lawrence Burgess' shot from the right corner with one tick left in regulation forced extra minutes. In that time, Jeremy Dupuis hit a shot in the lane with 2 seconds to go to give JC the victory. It was part of a 27-point night for the 717-rated junior. Defending national champ Emory had a 71-61 start to their title defense against New York U. Timothy Lane with 19 points to help phalla's crew pull away from a halftime tie.