The 2024 men’s bracket is down to 48 teams, and Kentucky is not one of them. This glaring absence is just one headline for a tournament that’s already living up to the March Madness name: Four double-digit seeds advanced in a series of upsets. We still have 16 games to go in the first round. Let’s take a quick look at how Thursday’s games influence each region’s way forward.

East region: No. 11-seed Duquesne’s dream run continued with an upset of 6-seed BYU and Washington State won its first NCAA tournament game since 2008 — but Illinois and Iowa State remain the favorites to meet in a Sweet 16 matchup between the No. 2 offense in the country (the Illini) and the No. 2 defense in the country (the Cyclones). Terrence Shannon Jr. might be playing better than any guard in college basketball right now, but Iowa State has held nine straight opponents to fewer than one point per possession. — Jeff Borzello

South region: We’re going to have a double-digit seed in the Sweet 16. No. 11 seed NC State carried over its momentum from the ACC tournament to beat 6-seed Texas Tech, and 14-seed Oakland stunned the sport by knocking off 3-seed Kentucky. Don’t count out Greg Kampe and the Golden Grizzlies, either. I don’t think Jack Gohlke will hit 10 3s again, but this is a battle-tested group. The bottom half of the bracket also opens up a bit. Does Marquette’s — or Florida’s — road to the Elite Eight get easier? — Jeff Borzello

Midwest region: You can call the Midwest the quiet region. Barely. Kansas played itself into some nervous moments against 13-seed Samford, but the Jayhawks, Tennessee, Creighton and every other favorite not named South Carolina advanced. No. 11 Oregon took the Gamecocks’ spot, and now Thursday’s winners eagerly await the expected arrival of Purdue. Things didn’t go so well the last time the Boilermakers were a No. 1 seed in the round of 64. Assuming Matt Painter’s group fares better this year, the focus will be on Purdue’s opponent in the round of 32. Will it be Utah State or TCU? — John Gasaway

West region: With his team’s win over Mississippi State, Tom Izzo reached the second round of the NCAA tournament for the 20th time in his career. Michigan State excelled offensively (44% from the 3-point line) and defensively and is now more clearly a threat to top-seed North Carolina (+3.5 favorite). The Spartans were 2-5 in their past seven games entering the NCAA tournament. On Thursday, however, they looked like the team many expected them to be when they started the season as a preseason top-10 squad. — Myron Medcalf

Relive the day’s action across the country below, and return for day two of the first round on Friday.

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