The madness officially commenced on Thursday with some crazy upsets, down-to-the-wire finishes and spectacular team and individual performances. And that was only the round of 64! With 32 teams remaining, the zaniness of the NCAA Tournament will resume today. If you aren’t caught up on all the action, or if you’ve been living under a rock for the past two days, don’t worry; we’ll get you up to speed on what you missed from the second round with a brief recap.
Upsets! Upsets! And More Upsets!
As with any year, the NCAA Tournament’s round of 64 saw its fair share of incredible bracket-busting upsets, but even though fans knew there were bound to be some shockers on the horizon, it still didn’t prepare them for the surprises that ensued.
Fourteen-seed Harvard, known more for its bright minds than its athletic talent, provided the tourney’s first major upset on Thursday night, as it knocked off third-seeded New Mexico 68-62. The Mountain West Conference champions were not prepared for the sharp-shooting ability of the Crimson, who advanced to the round of 32.
Then on Friday, two major upsets rocked the tournament’s landscape. First, 13-seed La Salle continued its impressive run, knocking 4-seed Kansas State out by a score of 63-61. Then 15-seed Florida Gulf Coast bounced many people’s Final Four favorite, 2-seed Georgetown, out early with a dominating 78-68 victory.
Of course, not all the little guys were so fortunate in the early round. All four No. 1 seeds survived and two of them thrived, most notably overall favorite Louisville, who cruised in its first game against North Carolina A&T by a score 79-48. Indiana also looked strong, winning 83-62 over James Madison.
However, the most impressive opening round performance belonged to the fourth-seeded Syracuse Orange from the bracket’s East region. The Orange simply demolished the Montana Grizzlies by a score of 81-34 and won over a lot of fans in the process.
Fun Facts and Notes
Eight of the 32 teams who advanced were double-digit seeds, which is not all that unusual. However, three of the 12-seeds defeated 5-seeds, including Oregon, Cal and Ole Miss.
With its win over the Hoyas, Florida Gulf Coast became the 7th 15-seed in tournament history to advance to the round of 32. It was the third time it has happened in the last two years. However, no 15-seed has ever advanced to the Sweet 16. Florida Gulf Coast will get its chance to become the first when it plays San Diego State on Sunday.
With its first No. 1 seed in its school’s history, Gonzaga escaped with an opening round win. However, the Bulldogs have never made a Final Four. Their next test will be against Wichita State on Saturday.