Looking back at four of the most memorable games from the First Four of the NCAA Tournament


There is no NCAA Tournament this season. But thankfully the archives contain plenty of goodies that we can reflect on to help scratch the itch for March Madness. Anyone remember Junior Robinson at Mount St. Mary’s or Stefan Moody at Ole Miss? The two undersized guards provided electric performances in First Four wins for their respective teams in recent years.

Two First Four games would have been getting underway Tuesday if the tournament had proceeded as scheduled. So let’s reflect on some of the most memorable games in NCAA Tournament First Four history.

2015: Ole Miss 94, BYU 90

Marshall Henderson set a high bar for junior college transfer guards at Ole Miss from 2012 to 2014 with his scoring outbursts, absurd 3-point shooting and overall persona. But Stefan Moody gave Henderson a run for his money in two years at Ole Miss after transferring in from Kilgore College in 2014. The 5-foot-10 Moody cemented his legacy by rallying the Rebels from a 17-point halftime deficit with a 26-point outing against BYU in a 2015 First Four game. The Rebels lost their next game, and the 2015 Final Four featured a quartet of traditional powers. But Moody sure provided an electric beginning to the tournament.

2015: Dayton 56, Boise State 55

Mountain West Player of the Year Derrick Marks had a chance to win it at the buzzer, but his contested jumper fell short as the Flyers prevailed on their home floor. Dayton trailed 29-20 at halftime and by seven with less than four minutes left but ended the game on a 10-2 run. It was the first time in nearly 30 years that a team played an NCAA Tournament game on its home floor, and that clearly worked to the Flyers’ advantage considering they were 16-0 at home during the regular season. But the win came with some controversy. It appeared that Marks drew contact on his would-be game-winner attempt that missed. There was no call.

2017: Mount St. Mary’s 67, New Orleans 66

Led by 23 points from 5-5 point guard Junior Robinson, Mount St. Mary’s won an NCAA Tournament game for the first time in school history in dramatic fashion. New Orleans had an opportunity to go the length of the court with 2.9 seconds left to win the game. But the Privateers had a long pass intercepted as time expired. Buoyed by the win, Mount St. Mary’s gave Villanova a scare in the first round before falling. And Robinson, who was the smallest Division I player in the country, managed to capture hearts even though his team’s stay in the tournament was not particularly lengthy.

2013: North Carolina A&T 73, Liberty 72

North Carolina A&T escaped with the victory when John Caleb Sanders’ last-second lay-up attempt fell off the backboard. It was A&T’s 10th NCAA Tournament appearance but first in 18 years and first-ever tournament victory. Both teams had to win four games in their conference tournaments to qualify. But Liberty’s qualification was especially stunning considering the Flames finished the regular season 11-20. A&T junior guard Jeremy Underwood averaged just 6.4 points per game during the season but exploded for 19 on 6-of-6 shooting off the bench to lead the Aggies.





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