The opening weekend of the 2022 NCAA Tournament gifted us a great two rounds of action as the field dropped from 64 to 16 teams over the course of four days. Between surprising upsets, fun finishes and fabulous outings from the sport's brightest stars, this March Madness is already shaping up to be a great one, and there are still more than two dozen games left in the tournament over the course of the next two weeks before we crown a national champion.
Before we dive full-steam ahead into the second weekend, though, we must first tip our cap to the standouts who made the first weekend of the tournament so memorable. There's no Cinderella story of Saint Peter's without Doug Edert, for instance. Nor is there a No. 10 seed Miami into the Sweet 16 without Isaiah Wong going nuclear in the box score. As great as team success is, impressive individual efforts thus far must be recognized.
Today we're doing exactly that with a look at the all-first weekend team, replete with a first and second team as well as honorable mentions whose teams saw their season already come to an end.
Isaiah Wong, Miami: Miami's two tournament wins thus far have both come with the Hurricanes in an underdog role with Wong leading the way. Wong scored 22 points in its first-round win over USC before fouling out, then followed it up with 21 points and six rebounds in a Sunday stunner as the No. 10 seed Hurricanes bounced No. 2 seed Auburn. He has yet to make a 3-pointer in the tournament (0 of 3), but he's 15 of 30 shooting from the floor and nearly perfect -- 13 of 14 -- from the free throw line.
Bennedict Mathurin, Arizona: No. 1 seed Arizona avoided upset Sunday in the second round after Bennedict Mathurin put his superhero cape on and dropped 30 points and eight boards on No. 9 seed TCU. Mathurin hit a clutch 3-pointer in regulation to force overtime and scored six of Arizona's 10 overtime points to clinch the win. He's averaging 24 points and 6.5 rebounds while making 3.5 3s per game in two tourney wins for the Wildcats.
Brady Manek, North Carolina: Manek played only 28 minutes in the second round for UNC in its win over No. 1 seed Baylor over the weekend after getting ejected in the second half, but his production is among the most impressive of all players still in the tournament. In two wins, the Tar Heels star is averaging 27 points and eight rebounds while hitting 50% (9 of 18) from 3.
Drew Timme, Gonzaga: No. 1 overall seed Gonzaga has been pushed twice thus far, and superstar big Drew Timme has twice responded with force. He's averaging 28.5 points in two Zags wins and a whopping 21.5 points (!) on average are being delivered in the second half, including a huge 22-point second-half showing in the second round vs. Memphis where they dug out of a double-digit deficit.
Hunter Dickinson, Michigan: The big body of Hunter Dickinson has added an element of physicality and toughness for Michigan that has allowed the Wolverines to keep marching on in March Madness as a double-digit seed. He's averaging 24 points and 8.5 rebounds for UM, and is coming off a whopping 11-rebound showing against Tennessee in which the Vols had no real answer to contain him on the glass.
Jaden Ivey, Purdue: After playing only 28 minutes in a blowout win over No. 14 seed Yale in Round 1 in which he tallied 22 points, Ivey turned in 18 points, three assists and a block in Round 2 to eliminate No. 6 seed Texas. He hit two big 3s in the final two minutes to effectively secure the win for the Boilermakers.
Remy Martin, Kansas: KU's stars have not quite played up to their potential in the NCAA Tournament -- both Ochai Agbaji and David McCormack in particular have been hot or cold -- but Martin coming off the bench has been a godsend for the Jayhawks. His shot creation and scoring ability helped keep Creighton in Round 2 at arm's length, as he scored 20 points and added four assists and seven rebounds. He's averaging 17.5 points after averaging single-digit scoring numbers for KU on the season.
Mark Williams, Duke: Duke's defensive anchor, Mark Williams has been exceptional for the Blue Devils as the big man on the back end. He's blocked 10 shots, grabbed three steals and averaged 15 points and 7.5 boards across two wins for Duke.
Paolo Banchero, Duke: Banchero had a big game for Duke in eliminating Michigan State over the weekend, scoring 19 points and grabbing seven rebounds in an impressive all-around offensive showing. He's averaging 18 points and 8.5 rebounds in the tournament, and he has been an incredible playmaker as well with four assists in each of Duke's wins.
Doug Edert, Saint Peter's: Edert is the unsung hero of underdog Saint Peter's and its magical run as a No. 15 seed to the second weekend. Coming off the bench, the Peacocks star is averaging 16.5 points, and he had a legendary 20-point outing in helping eliminate No. 2 seed Kentucky in Round 1.
Kofi Cockburn, Illinois: Illinois struggled in its first round win over No. 13 seed Chattanooga, and got ran by No. 5 seed Houston in the second round, but the early NCAA Tournament ejection wasn't on Cockburn. He scored 17 points and then 19 points in his two tourney appearances and had 21 combined rebounds.
Oscar Tshiebwe, Kentucky: While Kentucky bowed out of the tournament in the first round in stunning fashion, Oscar Tshiebwe managed to pad his Player of the Year candidacy. The Wildcats big man had 30 points and 16 rebounds in the loss to the Peacocks to go with a pair of blocks, a pair of steals and a pair of assists.
Teddy Allen, New Mexico State: Allen scored the most points among all players in a single game during opening weekend this year, dropping 37 in an opening-round win over UConn. He followed it up with 12 points Saturday in a close loss to higher-seeded Arkansas.
Keegan Murray, Iowa: Iowa's first-round loss as a red-hot 5-seed to No. 12 seed Richmond was a true stunner, but All-American Keegan Murray was productive as ever. Murray finished the game 8 of 15 shooting with 21 points and nine rebounds -- this despite going more than 15 minutes of game time in between shot attempts at one point.
Kennedy Chandler, Tennessee: Chandler had a star turn in the second round, scoring 19 points and dishing out nine dimes in a 76-68 loss to Michigan. He finished the tourney averaging 16 points and seven rebounds for the Vols.