Is your bracket busted yet?
Even though the Ivy basketball season is over, there’s plenty of March Madness to go around. In case you were under a rock (or lying on the beach like me!) for the last week, there have been upsets and excitement galore in this year’s NCAA tournament. Even though our Ivy representative (and rival?), Harvard, was knocked out in the first round, there has still been plenty of intrigue with these hoops. How about not one but two #2 seeds falling to #15 seeds in one day? Or the fact that Ohio schools make up 25 percent of the Sweet Sixteen? And raise your hand if your bracket isn’t completely busted by now. No one? Yeah, that’s what I thought.
Even though Peyton Manning chose to sign with the Broncos today (can you believe Tebow Time is over?!) and that’s sure to be a talking point for many sports fans, follow the jump for three quick thoughts on this year’s tourney so far.
1. Harvard represents us well… to a degree
I’m sure you all remember the hard fought overtime loss the Lions had to the Crimson just a few weeks ago, and at that time it really started to seem like Harvard was vulnerable. Despite the fact that they’d been ranked in the AP Top 25 for a good portion of the season, when it came to playing ball in the tourney, Harvard just looked a little overmatched.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s very nice that Harvard made it back to the tournament for the first time since 1946, but they didn’t have much of a chance against a perennial powerhouse like Vanderbilt. Harvard hit a three to take a 20-17 lead with about 5:30 left in the first half, but after that Vandy took control and didn’t look back, building up a lead of 18 points with just under eight minutes left in the game. So the final score of 79-70 isn’t exactly indicative of the type of game it was, but that’s certainly better than being blown out by 24 (looking at you, Montana…).
2. Bad year to be a #2 seed
Okay, if you’re Ohio State or Kansas, maybe this isn’t true. But who would’ve thought Missouri and Duke would be out in the first round? I’m not big on Duke, so I had them going out against Baylor anyway, but Missouri? After listening to all those airheads on ESPN for a couple of days, I put them in my final four!
It’s a pretty historic thing for two #2 seeds to go out like that in one day. In the history of the NCAA tournament, since the field expanded to 64 teams in 1985, just four #2 seeds had lost to #15 seeds. And we saw two in one day!
The only problem with that? Once those teams go on to the next round, they crap out. Florida decimated Norfolk State (who beat Missouri) 84-50, and Lehigh lost to Xavier 70-58.
3. Got that Ohio swag!
For the first time in the history of the NCAA Tourney, there are four teams in the Sweet 16 that are all from one state. And that state is my home state of beautiful Ohio. Even though I don’t normally claim anything that’s from Cincinnati and say it truly belongs to Kentucky, I’m claiming both Cincinnati and Xavier for this purpose.
Talk about representing your state well: Michigan—a team that had a share of the Big 10 title and earned a #4 seed—lost to #13-seeded Ohio in the first round. Not even Ohio State—we’re talking the party school in Athens, OH. Ohio even advanced past the second round after they beat #12 South Florida last night. Their next opponent, though? North Carolina. Don’t count on those four Ohio teams to make up half of the Elite Eight, but I’ve definitely got a lot of Ohio pride for now.
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