Player of the day
Auburn's DeWanna Bonner notched her first NCAA tournament victory and 26 points. Rutgers' Epiphanny Prince also had 26 and kept the Scarlet Knights from melting down.
Rookie point guard Samantha Prahalis led Ohio State with 23 points, a number matched by cool and efficient senior Christina Wirth of Vanderbilt.
And senior Shavonte Zellous, who we should mention again was recruited by basically nobody except Pitt, led the Panthers into the second round with 31 points.
All very fine first-day performances. But the player of the day goes to San Diego State's Jene Morris
, who not only scored 35 points in the No. 10 seed Aztecs' upset victory over No. 7 DePaul but also made the big defensive plays when needed.
Morris, a 5-foot-9 junior guard from San Francisco, played one season at Cal, then traveled almost the length of the state to switch colleges. Next, she will try to put the hurt on a Bay Area team, No. 2 seed Stanford (ESPN2
, 9:30 p.m. ET Monday). Morris is averaging 16.2 ppg, and her total Saturday was a career high.
-- Mechelle Voepel
Mississippi State upends No. 6 seed Texas
NCAA tournament first-round scores
Mississippi State 71, Texas 63
Ohio State 77, Sacred Heart 63
San Diego State 76, DePaul 70
Stanford 74, UC Santa Barbara 39
Vanderbilt 73, W. Carolina 44
Kansas State 68, Drexel 44
• OKLAHOMA CITY
North Carolina 85, UCF 80
Auburn 85, Lehigh 49
Purdue 65, Charlotte 52
Rutgers 57, VCU 51
Pittsburgh 64, Montana 35
Gonzaga 74, Xavier 59
Arizona State 58, Georgia 47
Florida State 83, N. Carolina A&T 71
California 70, Fresno State 47
Virginia 68, Marist 61
For the complete scoreboard, click here.
UNC avoids upset, holds off UCF
On Tap For Sunday
(All times Eastern)
No. 9 MSU vs. No. 8 Middle Tenn. (ESPN2, noon)
No. 16 A. Peay vs. No. 1 Duke (ESPN, 2:30)
No. 13 ETSU vs. No. 4 Iowa State (ESPN2, 7)
No. 12 BSU vs. No. 5 Tennessee (ESPN2, 9)
• OKLAHOMA CITY
No. 16 Prairie View vs. No. 1 OU (ESPN2/EU, 7)
No. 9 Ga. Tech vs. No. 8 Iowa (ESPN2/ESPNU, 9)
No. 9 Utah vs. No. 8 Nova (ESPN2, noon)
No. 16 Dartmouth vs. No. 1 Md. (ESPN, 2:30)
No. 10 TCU vs. No. 7 South Dakota St. (ESPN2, 7)
No. 11 UW-Green Bay vs. No. 6 LSU (ESPN2, 7)
No. 15 UTSA vs. No. 2 Baylor (ESPN2, 9)
No. 14 Liberty vs. No. 3 Louisville (ESPN2, 9)
No. 16 V'mont vs. No. 1 UConn (ESPN2/EU, noon)
No. 15 E'ville vs. No. 2 Texas A&M (ESPN2, noon)
No. 9 Temple vs. No. 8 Florida (ESPN/EU, 2:30)
No. 10 Minn. vs. No. 7 Notre Dame (ESPN, 2:30)
All games also available on ESPN360.com. Click here for Sunday's coverage map. For the full schedule, click here.
ASU advances past 11-seed Georgia
On the road again
Florida State's program long ago grew used to being the road team that always was far away from home in ACC play. But for many years, the Seminoles also didn't feel that much "at home" when they really were at home.
"Mara says that it used to feel like an away game even during home games," Florida State coach Sue Semrau said of senior Mara Freshour. "It's an exciting level of progress that's occurred here."
The Seminoles averaged nearly 3,000 fans for their home games this season, including a season-high 6,419 for their game against Virginia on Feb. 24. It might not sound like a lot, but considering the uphill battle Florida State has had to face with gaining fans, it's significant.
With the Seminoles' 83-71 victory over North Carolina A&T in the NCAA tournament first round on Saturday, they advanced to face Arizona State in Duluth, Ga.
And it's good news for a school that could use it after the academic scandal and the FSU men's hoops first-round tournament loss to Wisconsin. -- Mechelle Voepel
OSU bucks trend, reaches second round
On the road again, II
In the past, fate hasn't been so kind to Mississippi State. In 2000, for instance, the program was a No. 3 seed. And under the old system that had the top four seeds in each region hosting, the Lady Bulldogs should have had their subregional at home in Starkville.
However, a convention in town already had filled up too many hotel rooms in the area, so the hosting privileges went to sixth-seeded Oregon. Then it seemed Mississippi State got a break when UAB upset the host Ducks in the first round.
But it didn't work that way, as UAB subsequently beat Mississippi State on a neutral court in Eugene.
Then, in 2003, the Lady Bulldogs were again a No. 3 seed. By this point, however, the NCAA had changed the setup of the early rounds, going to 16 predetermined sites. New Mexico had won a bid to host, so it got that benefit as a No. 6 seed, then took advantage of it in The Pit, beating Mississippi State in the second round.
That was the last time the Lady Bulldogs were in the NCAA tournament until this season, when they got in as a No. 11 seed. They played sixth-seeded Texas on a neutral court in Columbus, Ohio. And although the Longhorns made the game interesting late, Mississippi State earned the 71-63 victory.
But again, the good fortune has ended. The Lady Bulldogs next have to face Ohio State on the Buckeyes' home court.
Mississippi State, which was also in the NCAA tournament in 1999 and 2002, has never gotten the chance to host a tourney game.
-- Mechelle Voepel
Purdue wins 12th straight first-round game
All four of the No. 1 seeds -- UConn, Maryland, Oklahoma and Duke -- will be in action Sunday. Don't spend any time looking for a close game among those four.
However, the 8-9 games that will provide the opponent for the No. 1 teams in the second round are all compelling contests. In Storrs, Conn., ninth-seeded Temple will have full support from the Huskies fans cheering for former UConn assistant Tonya Cardoza, head coach of the Owls, against No. 8 Florida.
If Maryland's Terrapins don't nod off to sleep at home in College Park, they'll see which painstaking offense they will face next if they dispatch Dartmouth: either No. 8 Villanova or No. 9 Utah.
In Iowa City, Iowa, the No. 8 Hawkeyes will have a lot going for them against 9-seed Georgia Tech. They'll have the home-court advantage, plus the Yellow Jackets' leading scorer, Alex Montgomery, won't play because of a knee injury. She did not make the trip to Iowa.
And speaking of home advantages, No. 9 Michigan State has that over No. 8 Middle Tennessee in East Lansing, Mich., plus the incentive to face former Spartans coach Joanne P. McCallie and her Duke team. -- Mechelle Voepel