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NCAA Tournament: Georgia State, UAB Headline Day 1
By Mike Jasko

Thursday began the main draw of the 2015 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament, beginning with three of the 3-vs-14 match-ups serving as the day's first three games. All three games were lopsided in seeding only, as each game came down to the final minute. First Notre Dame somehow managed to hold off Northeastern, coming away with a 69-65 victory. The Irish had led 65-55 with five minutes remaining, but Northeastern rallied to the tune of an 10-2 run, capped by a tip-in by Scott Eatherton that made the score 67-65 in favor of Notre Dame with 37 seconds left. Northeastern's press forced Notre Dame to turn the ball over, giving the Huskies a chance to tie. But Northeastern was unable to get up a shot, as Jerian Grant knocked the ball away from Quincy Ford. Notre Dame's Zach Auguste made both free throws to ice the game for the Irish, who won 69-65.

Now the day's other No. 3 seeds did not have the same luck as the Irish. UAB played Iowa State close for the entire game, but trailed 55-53 into the final minute. Robert Brown's 3-pointer with 52 seconds left gave UAB the lead. Monte Morris hit a jumper on Iowa State's next possession to take back the lead. William Lee would hit a go-ahead jumper on the Blazers' next possession to give UAB the lead again. Iowa State would miss on their next possession, forcing them to foul, and Lee made both free throws to extend the Blazer lead to three, and Iowa State was unable to tie as time expired.

It wouldn't be much longer for another No. 3 seed to fall. No. 14 Georgia State beat Baylor, 60-59, courtesy of a long three-pointer by R.J. Hunter with just three seconds remaining. Hunter scored 12 of Georgia State's last 13 points as they rallied from a 11-point deficit with under three minutes left.

The rest of the afternoon went more according to the plans of the higher seeded teams. No. 2 seed Arizona cruised to a 93-72 win over No. 15 Texas Southern. Arizona was bolstered by strong performances by Stanley Johnson (22 Points of 8-of-11 shooting) and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson (23 points, 10 rebounds). Butler beat Texas 56-48, and Xavier cruised by Ole Miss 76-57.

The most controversial outcome of the tournament's first day helped UCLA beat SMU, 60-59. Byrce Alford's three-pointer appeared off line as he shot the ball trying to give UCLA the lead, and SMU's Yanick Moreira went to grab the rebound, but the officials considered it goaltending, giving UCLA the lead. SMU was unable to reply and UCLA walked away as winners.

No. 10 seed Ohio State need overtime to vanquish No. 7 VCU, 75-72. De'Angelo Russell led the Buckeyes with 28 points. North Carolina barely managed to old off a feisty Harvard squad that took 65-63 lead with 1:15 left before Justin Jackson took over for the Tar Heels, hitting a jumper and slamming home a dunk to propel his team to a 67-54 win.

The Bearcats of Cincinnati forced overtime against Purdue on a Troy Caupain lay-up that hung on the rim before falling in after the buzzer sounded. They outlasted the Boilermakers in OT to come away with the 66-65 win. Utah fought off Stephen F. Austin to come away with a 57-50 win. 

NC State overcame a 14-point halftime deficit and need each second of all 40 minutes to complete a comeback win over LSU. BeeJay Anya scored the final four points for the Wolf Pack and propelled them victory on a jump-hook as time-expired, giving them a 66-65 win.

Kentucky improved to 35-0 on the season as they eased by Hampton. Arkansas escaped with a 3-point win over Wofford after the Terriers missed multiple 3-point attempts in the final seconds. Georgetown overcame 27 points from the nation's leading scorer, Tyler Harvey, as they prevailed over Eastern Washington 84-74.

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