The second round of the NCAA Tournament got off to a rather slow start in the first half of the day with blowouts and mostly expected results, but the second half of the day was highlighted by (16) Fairleigh Dickinson's almost impossible, shocking upset of (1) Purdue. FDU was statistically one of the worst team's in college basketball, had the shortest team in Division I, and got in to the Big Dance on a technicality after losing their conference tournament to a team that was ineligible for the NCAA Tournament. A conference, which I might add, is the worst conference in D-I and had never won a tournament game previously.
FDU became just the second 16-seed ever to knock off a 1-seed, but it was just the beginning of drama last night. (5) Miami stormed back late against (12) Drake to prevent a potential upset bid from the Bulldogs, and (9) Florida Atlantic and (6) TCU both got to the rim on their final possessions to drop in game winners in the final seconds against (8) Memphis and (11) Arizona State, respectively.
Aside from the Purdue-FDU game, upset scares were very limited throughout the day. (13) Kent State and (14) Montana State kept their games close against (4) Indiana and (3) Kansas State, respectively, but (14) Kennesaw State came closest to pulling off the upset against (3) Xavier. Xavier's Center Jack Nunge made an outstanding block in the final seconds to prevent a Kennesaw State go-ahead basket, and the Musketeers knocked down free throws to secure their victory. (12) VCU also pushed (5) Saint Mary's for a while, but they didn't have enough offensive firepower to match their defensive pressure and pull off the upset.
6-seeds Kentucky and Creighton were both tested against their 11-seed matchups, Providence and NC State, but both ended up winning by comfortable margins. (2) Marquette, (3) Baylor, (3) Gonzaga, and (4) UConn all defeated their inferior foes without much trouble.
I'd also like to give a special shoutout to (6) Iowa State for setting the game of basketball back 60 years in their game against (11) Pitt. The Cyclones had the worst shooting performance I've ever seen (and I'm a Tennessee fan). They shot 23.3 percent on 14-60 from the field, including 2-21 from three (9.5 percent), and 11-19 from the line (57.9 percent). They only scored 41 points in their 18-point loss in what is sure to be the worst offensive performance of the tournament (though the Volunteers still have at least one game remaining to take that crown).
There's been a bit of a shakeup in the Mega March Madness Matchup Monstrosity leaderboard after the conclusion of the first round, as we have a new leader. The game result with the biggest impact was obviously Purdue's loss, as four brackets had the Boilermakers in the Final Four, and two brackets had them playing for the championship. One bracket also had Memphis in the championship game, who lost in brutal fashion in crunch time to FAU.
Here's the leaderboard as we enter round two of the NCAA Tournament on Saturday:
1. Trizzy Tre (250 points)
2. Disappointing (240 points)
3. winning bracket (220 points)
T4. Back2Back (210 points)
T4. Swatson (210 points)
6. Drew (200 points)
7. Micah's Bracket (190 points)
Check back tomorrow to see how we stand after the first half of Round 2's games.
Written by Nick Swatson