Upsets Galore

So far during the first day of the NCAA Tournament.  Of the 12 games played thus far 5 of them was won by a double digit seed (with one of the other 7 games being an 8/9 game).  In addition Robert Morris lead #2 Villanova most of the game before losing in OT, Baylor did not have Sam Houston St put away until the last 2 minutes of the game, and it took BYU 2OT to polish off Florida.  I think a common thread runs thru the 5 upsets that have happened so far (St. Mary’s over Richmond, Old Dominion over Notre Dame, Washington over Marquette, Murray St over Vanderbilt, and Ohio over Georgetown): in every case its a conference tournament champion beating an at-large selection.  Many experts, notably Jay Bilas, have stated that this was the weakest at-large pool in recent memory, if not in ever.  So it would make a certain amount of sense that some of these at-large teams would be vulnerable.  And its not like these victors are chopped liver.  St. Mary’s would have been in bubble consideration if they had lost the West Coast Conference final to Gonzaga.  Same for Old Dominion had they lost to William & Mary in the CAA final and Washington if they had lost to Cal in the PAC 10.  Murray St won 30 games in the regular season.  As for Ohio, yes they went 7-9 in league play and were the #9 in their conference tournament.  But they were playing their best ball in March.  They blew out Bowling Green (for what that is worth) in the final regular season game and torched #1 seed Kent in the quarterfinals much like they did to Georgetown tonight.  The Bobcats peaked at the right time.  Also Georgetown might have been a bit flat after the 4 game in 4 day run to almost winning the brutal Big East Tournament.  The Hoyas made a run in the middle of the 2nd half but it was too big a hole to climb out of.

At any rate that is what makes this weekend so special, all the upsets and all the dramatic finishes.  And only 12 of the 32 1st round games are in the books as I type!


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