I knew there were going to be upsets in the tournament (although I didn’t have any in my bracket), but I didn’t know it was going to be like this. I’m not even sure where to start.
The first upset was Oregon and Oklahoma State. Going into the tournament, rooting for my native conference (Big 12) seemed like a good idea. However, Oregon is part of the Pac-12, which is a very good conference. Oregon beat the Cowboys by double digits and Arsalan Kazemi ended with a double-double (11 points, 17 rebounds).
The biggest upsets were Wichita State vs. Gonzaga, Harvard vs. New Mexico and Georgetown vs. Florida Gulf. I don’t think anyone expected any of these outcomes. Considering the fact that I had Georgetown and Gonzaga as Final Four teams, it’s safe to say that my bracket has been damaged for a while.
Despite the heartbreak I have from the destroyed bracket, it has made for an interesting tournament already. Going in, no one team really stood out as a sure-fire winner. Some of the teams that were projected to go deep in the tourney have already been eliminated. This gives underrated teams a chance to step up and make great attempts at advancing. This is exactly what many of the lower-seeded teams decided to do. One of these teams is Florida Gulf Coast, who is now competing in the Sweet 16. No other 15th-seeded team in history has made it that far. This team is (or was) as underrated as they come.
To put things into perspective, I’ll put it like this: to get to the Sweet 16, they beat a second- and seventh-seeded team. In the game against San Diego State, the seventh-seeded team, FGC shot for over 50 percent from the field, compared to San Diego State, who shot for under 50 percent. It will be interesting to see how this team does against the Florida Seminoles on Friday.
Just a few moments ago, La Salle beat Ole Miss 76-74. It seemed that Ole Miss was going to win, especially considering Ole Miss’s most vocal player, Marshall Henderson, ended with 21 points. However, it wasn’t enough to keep La Salle down. In a down-to-the-wire kind of game, the score was tied. La Salle’s Tyrone Garland made the game-winning shot, leaving only three seconds left on the clock. This was not enough time for the Rebels, allowing the Explorers to advance to the Sweet 16.
Best of luck to all of the teams who are now playing and those who are now preparing for the Sweet 16, which starts on Thursday, March 28. Remember: Only one team can be the champions. Make sure that team is you.