NCAA March Madness Rounds One and Two


Brayton Bowen (Senior), Sports Editor

The NCAA March Madness Tournament began on Thursday, March 17. Multiple first-round upsets such as the 15 seeded Saint Peter’s Peacocks defeating the Kentucky Wildcats, and many top-seeded teams getting a run for their money in their first-round matchup.

The most notable upset in the first round was the Saint Peter’s Peacocks upsetting the Kentucky Wildcats in a 2 v.s. 15 matchup that resulted in a final score of 85-79 in favor of the Peacocks. For the second time in NCAA Tournament history, a 15 seed knocked off a 2 seed in back-to-back years.

Other upsets in the first round include two 5 vs 12 seed upsets with the Richmond Spiders topping the Iowa Hawkeyes and the New Mexico State Aggies upsetting the Connecticut Huskies.

“I had Iowa going to elite eight so seeing Iowa lose was a heartbreaker. Iowa won the Big Ten Conference Tournament so tons of people expected them to go far,” said junior Caleb Linton.

The 11 vs 6 seeded games seemed to be the upset heavy games as the 11 seeded Notre Dame fighting Irish beat the 6 seeded Alabama Crimson Tide, 11 seeded Michigan Wolverines beat the 6 seeded Colorado State Rams, and the 11 seeded Iowa State defeated the 6 seeded LSU Tigers.

All of the number one seeds including Kansas, Baylor, Arizona, and Gonzaga all won their first-round matchups quite easily. All of the two seeds won their first-round matchup except for the Kentucky Wildcats as listed above. All of the 3 seeds won their first-round matchup by seven points or more. It seems as if all the top seeds except for Kentucky are cruising into the second round with high hopes of winning a national title.

The second round of the tournament started on Saturday, March 19th.  The 1 seeded Baylor Bears matched up against the 8 seed North Carolina Tarheels.  The first half was all North Carolina.  In the second half, UNC got up by as much as 25 points.  Baylor would soon turn things around.  They fought hard in the second half to eventually get the game tied and into overtime.  In the end, North Carolina proved to be the superior team, winning 93-86.

“Baylor losing in the second round vs North Carolina was a shock to me. I had Baylor in the final four and almost put them in the national championship game. They won the title last year so I think most people had Baylor making a deep run again,” said senior Kobe Ottinger.

11 seeded Michigan and 3 seeded Tennessee played on Saturday afternoon at Gainbridge Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.  The game was close throughout, but Michigan came out on top 76-68.  Michigan center Hunter Dickenson had 27 points.

The upset of the day came when 15t seeded St. Peters matched up with 7 seeded Murray St.  After their first-round win against Kentucky, St. Peters had a lot of confidence.  They ended up beating the Racers 70-60, becoming only the third 15 seed to ever reach the Sweet Sixteen.

“I had Kentucky going to the Final Four, so I was shocked that they lost in the first round,” said junior Cannon Morton.

Other games on Saturday included Providence vs Richmond, UCLA vs.. Saint Mary’s, Gonzaga v.s. Memphis, New Mexico St. v.s. Arkansas, and Kansas v.s. Creighton.  The winners of these games were Providence, Arkansas, Kansas, UCLA, and Gonzaga.

Sunday started with 4 seeded Illinois vs 5 seeded Houston.  The Illini had just previously beaten Chattanooga by one point.  Houston had beaten a tough UAB team.  This seemed to be one of the better matchups for Sunday.  Houston handled Illinois, beating them 68-53.

Other games on Sunday included Ohio St. v.s. Villanova, Duke v.s. Michigan St, Iowa St. v.s. Wisconsin, Notre Dame v.s. Texas Tech, Miami vs Auburn, TCU v.s. Arizona, and Purdue v.s. Texas.  Villanova, Duke, Iowa St, Texas Tech, Miami, Arizona, and Purdue all came out victorious on Sunday, advancing to the Sweet Sixteen.