The first major upset of the 2016 NCAA Tournament belongs to the Ivy League’s Yale Bulldogs.
Thanks to the play of guard Makai Mason and forward Justin Sears, the No. 12 Bulldogs knocked out the No. 5 Baylor Bears, 79-75, to move to the second round of the tournament for the first time in school history. The win comes during Yale’s first NCAA Tournament appearance since 1962.
Sears had 18 points for the Bulldogs while Mason led all scorers with 31 points, six rebounds and four assists. Forward Sam Downey led all bench players in scoring with eight points for Yale. Baylor was led by Taurean Prince with 28 points.
For the Bears, this is the second straight year that they have fallen to an underdog in the opening round of the tournament. Last year, Baylor lost to Georgia State, 57-56, thanks to a buzzer beater by the Panthers.
After trailing 39-34 at the half, it looked like Baylor was set to turn things around early in the second half after scoring the first six points to make it 40-39. Unfortunately for the Bears, the 40-39 lead would be the last time they would be on top in this one.
They did cut the lead to 76-75 thanks to a late 15-8 run, but it just wasn’t enough to overcome the defensive mistakes that plagued them throughout the game. It was fitting that the game was decided because of a Baylor turnover with less than five seconds to play with the team down by two.
Yale will now take on Duke in the second round on Saturday from Providence, Rhode Island. The No. 4 Blue Devils survived a scare early on Thursday, topping UNC Wilmington 93-85.
*Featured Photo (above) credit to USA Today Sports