“March Madness-Maddening Times”
I bet you had fun filling out your NCAA basketball brackets.
Let’s see if your brackets are bent out of shape by the time we get to Sunday night.
That’s become a way of life and very ;much part of the early rounds of the NCAA tournament.
This year, like other years, like many Marches of decades ago.
Opening night, it happened again.
Tiny Wofford College did it to Seton Hall’s Pirates, leading at one point by 13-points..Wound up hitting 13’s Wofford, do you know where it is? A religious based school in South Carolina. The Terriers they re called.
Murray State ambushes Marquette. The Racers led by a late developing star and a wicked defense that held Marquette to 32% shooting. Bet you didn’t know Murray State’s nickname did you? The Racers, named after the horse racing industry.
There were a bunch of scares on opening night too. If New Mexico State hits its two free throws in the final (:01) they are playing not Auburn. St Mary’s was roaring back till it ran out of time against Villanova. Belmont turns it over on the final possession and loses to Maryland.
How does a 16-beat a number 1-seed? How can a 2-seed get taken out by some guy seeded 15th?
The NCAA history book is full of nights like that.
UMBC (Maryland-Baltimore County) did it to Virginia last year.
In the past, Florida Gulf Coast, known as Dunk City, bounced Georgetown’s Hoyas out of the tourney a couple of years ago.
Lehigh, with future NBA guard CJ McCollum, somehow beat Duke of the ACC.
Princeton’s slow down offense made a mess of UCLA years back in a stunning win.
George Mason dispatched Jim Calhoun and U-Conn one spring.
Santa Clara, led by Steve Nash, yes that Steve Nash, took out Arizona.
The one and done rule may have something to do with it. Freshman, with one foot out the door, and their mind on big money and the NBA, get whacked by smaller teams, who have señor lineups, playing well together, can pull off wins like that. A group of 5th year seniors have shocked the bluechip laden rosters.
The 3-point shot has become a great equalizer too. If you can put together a roster of strokers from beyond the arc, you can change the chemistry of a tourney game. You might not go to war with them on the boards, or handle them physically, but if you can drills the deep outside shot, you can win. Look at the box scores, there are nights the little guys will hit 13-3’s and the other guy goes home. It takes lots of two’s to beat a pile of 3’s.
Oh yes there are blowouts too, the big guy buries the little guy, as Gonzaga proved in its destructive win over Fairleigh Dickinson of New Jersey.
Weekend one is always wild. By next weekend the bulk of the upsets will be over, but that’s what makes March Madness so attractive.
But for 1-night, Fletcher McGee was a star, a difference maker. 7-3 point baskets later, he and Wofford celebrated a stunning win. It happens every time this year.
So, yes your brackets may be all bent out of shape by Sunday night when the first weekend is completed, but it’s worth watching and following.
It’s March Madness-what else did you expect.?