March Madness is half way through the second round of games. Round one featured twelve upsets in two days.
Perhaps the maddest portion of March Madness, the first round features 32 basketball games in a two day stretch. This naturally leads to big moments each year; we see breakout performances, underdog stories begin, and elite teams assert dominance. March Madness 2019 was no different, featuring all of the above.
Perhaps the most impressive individual performance came from Murray State’s Ja Morant, who had the tournament’s first triple double since 2012. Though Murray State upset Marquette as a 12 seed over a 5 seed, this could hardly be considered a breakout game for Morant. He has had the look of a top-3 draft prospect for months.
Murray State did fall back to Earth in round two, losing to Florida State University. We are seeing plenty of the nations top programs plow ahead through the second round such as Kentucky, Michigan, Gonzaga,and Michigan State. Kansas dropped a tough one to a surging Auburn squad, while LSU edged out Maryland. LSU is surprising some doubters after in-season turbulence (death of a player, suspension of their head coach).
Tennessee is underway now against Iowa and are off to a hot start. Other big programs such as Duke, North Carolina, and Virginia tip off this evening.
Villanova will not get to defend their title, losing to Purdue yesterday. All 1 seeds are still alive, but there are many games left to be played. While there have been plenty of upsets, none have been as surprising so far as what we saw last year from UMBC or Loyola. As the Sweet 16 takes shape, that may be subject to change.
Women’s NCAA update
The lady’s bracket only saw five first round upsets to the men’s 12, but still had plenty of exciting games. One of those upsets was the 11 seed Missouri State Lady Bears, who toppled 6 seed DePaul 89 to 78. The Lady Bears play again tomorrow at 8PM Central against Iowa State on ESPN.
A few of the top dogs in this bracket will be tested soon, so there will be plenty of opportunities for more drama. Things have played out as expected so far, so look for change any time now.
UCONN, seeded as a 2 (the lowest they have been in years) plays Buffalo tonight, who had an upset victory in the first round. A chip on the Huskies shoulder could prove dangerous for any team in their way. Will they storm back to the top of the NCAAW world? Or will Lousiville, Baylor, or someone else have their time to shine?
Tune in to find out!