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Early Hoops Upsets: Connecticut, Wichita State Bounced Out Of Men's Tourney

Alex Oriakhi of Connecticut controls the ball during the game against Iowa State.
Jonathan Daniel
Getty Images
Alex Oriakhi of Connecticut controls the ball during the game against Iowa State.

If you had defending national champions Connecticut making it out of the first round in your NCAA men's basketball championship bracket, we're sorry to say that the Huskies lost on Thursday to Iowa State by a score of 77-64.

It's not a huge upset, since Iowa State was seeded No. 8 in the South region and Connecticut was seeded No. 9. But still, it's a quick exit for last year's top team.

The bigger news from Thursday's games was VCU's defeat of Wichita State by a score of 62-59. In that one, VCU had been seeded No. 12 in its region and Wichita was No. 5. The "but" from that game, though, is that VCU did make it all the way to the Final Four last year. So it is a team that's been tournament tested.

For a while it looked as if there might be a really huge upset, as North Carolina-Asheville (a No. 16 seed in the East) gave No. 1 seed Syracuse all it could handle. But the Orange held on to win, 72-65.

NPR's Mike Pesca and Tom Goldman rounded up the highlights for Morning Edition.

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Mark Memmott is NPR's supervising senior editor for Standards & Practices. In that role, he's a resource for NPR's journalists – helping them raise the right questions as they do their work and uphold the organization's standards.
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