March Madness is Upon Us!

Posted: March 24, 2014 in Basketball, College

While my team failed to make the NIT, there are 68 other teams that have high hopes to end their season the champion. After the first weekend, 68 has been reduced to 16, with some pleasant surprises in the early rounds.

In the first four, Albany, NC State, Cal Poly, and Tennessee survived. While these teams are given a chance to continue, it is never assumed that they really get any momentum from their play-in game. Cal Poly and Albany were set up to take on Wichita State and Florida, respectively. Meanwhile, NC State and Tennessee had more favorable match-ups against Saint Louis and Massachusetts.

The first full round was a wild ride! There were a number of upsets that truly stunned audiences and gave some cinderella teams real hope to press forward. The #1 and #2 seeds all survived, though Virginia was given a scare against Coastal Carolina, but here are the most interesting headlines from the Round of 64.

  • dm_140321_ncb_duke_mercer_highlightPittsburgh had a 9-8 match up with Colorado and dominated the game with a 29-point win.
  • VCU’s experience with the tourney has been beneficial in the past, but Stephen F. Austin University was ready to play and steal a 2-point win.
  • Dayton looked to be the upset king on day 1 with a last second win against state rival Ohio State.
  • Stanford upset a lot of brackets that believed New Mexico had a shot to go deeper this season.
  • Harvard achieved a rare tournament win against the struggling AAC team Cincinnati.
  • On day 2, North Dakota State surprised Oklahoma, as the state came up 0-3 with loses for OSU and Tulsa as well.
  • Tennessee became the only play-in team to steal a win versus their first real tournament opponent versus UMass.
  • Mercer joined the BEAT DUKE club (with Lehigh) with a 78-71 win against the Blue Devils. This makes Duke’s 2nd first round loss in the past 3 years.

The second round was a little more straightforward but included a few fun upsets as well. There was a lot of faith in the undefeated Wichita State, but Kentucky’s youth and energy propelled them to a close victory after WSU’s final shot was just off the mark. The rest of the #1s survived, but a few other big teams were not so lucky.

  • -61997e82daf0f2a7Dayton was ready for the second round as well and shocked Syracuse, who failed to sink a single 3 the entire game. The Flyers move into the Sweet 16.
  • Kansas gets sent home early after Stanford surprises the Jayhawks, though they were not the only #2 seed to fall.
  • Iowa State squeaked by UNC. Though not an upset by the rankings, the Tar Heels are left with a controversy with the game clock operation that changed the play on the court in the final 1.6 seconds.
  • Connecticut plowed through former conference foe Villanova in this AAC-Big East matchup.
  • Baylor demolishes Creighton, as two players from the Bears are able to outplay and outscore McDermott after 40 minutes.
  • Tennessee and Mercer made up an 11-14 matchup, which left Tennessee to join Dayton as the two sub-10 seed teams to make the Sweet 16.

There are a number of great match-ups coming up this Thursday and Friday. Virginia and Michigan State are two very possible Final Four teams, but have to face each other (and Iowa State or Connecticut) to get there. Louisville and Kentucky met up for a state rival showdown. We get a break for a couple of days, but the action starts back up later this week.

March-Madness

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