Georgia State 30-27–57
Twice Thursday, a No. 3 seed fell victim to an upstart No. 14 seed on a wild first day of the NCAA tournament.
But while UAB’s upset of Iowa State in the South region was a thriller, it was nothing compared to Georgia State’s last-minute heroics against Baylor.
In one of the most dramatic shots in tournament history, Georgia State’s R.J. Hunter nailed a 3-pointer from far beyond the arc with less than 3 seconds to go, lifting Georgia State to a pulsating 57-56 win and a date with No. 6 seed Xavier on Saturday in the Round of 32.
Click here for the game’s full box score and read on for a recap.
A 13-0 Run in the Final Minutes Led to the Panthers Upset
R.J. Hunter — head coach Ron Hunter’s baby boy — scored 16 points. He scored 12 of his 16 points in the game’s final 2:02 — 12 of the 13 points scored on the 13-0 run — to help lead a historic Round of 64 comeback.
Baylor, which played tight defensively for a majority of the 2nd half, collapsed completely in the game’s final 3:30. Baylor’s only player to score in double figures, Taurean Prince, came off the bench with 18. None of Baylor’s five starters scored more than nine.
Baylor’s Strong Start Was Negated By a Panthers Run
The Baylor Bears started the game on a 16-6 run, but the Panthers responded with a 13-3 run of their own to tie the game at 19-19.
The Baylor’s had a balanced scoring attack in the 1st half. Three players have six points — arguably their best player, Rico Gathers, has five. The Panthers were led by guard Ryann Green who converted 3-for-4 from the field for eight points.
Baylor Was On Upset Alert From the Start
Georgia State, led by former Louisville guard and transfer student Kevin Ware, is making their first NCAA Tournament appearance. After defeating rival Georgia Southern 38-36 in the Sun Belt Championship Game, head coach Ron Hunter tore his Achilles tendon in the midst of the post-game celebration.
In order for the Panthers to pull off the upset, they’ll have to figure out Baylor’s zone defense, a defense that has led them to the Elite Eight twice in the last five seasons.