With the tournament entering the Sweet 16, the competition looks to hit an all-time high
It’s the best time of the year for basketball fans. Millions of brackets were made, but only one remains perfect after the first two rounds of March Madness.
Round one is arguably the best part of the tournament, there’s about three-to-four games playing continuously from 11:15 a.m. to about midnight. During this thrilling time, teams are determined to make upsets and break records.
Fairleigh Dickinson, Wofford, Belmont, UC Irvine, UCF and Liberty made a little history of their own, as each team earned their first win in NCAA Tournament history.
Wofford, led by their three-point shooting, were able to outshoot Seton Hall. On that note, Fletcher Magee broke Division I’s all-time record for three pointers made.
The narrative of 12-seeds beating the five-seed continued this year, as three 12-seeded teams prevailed after round one – but only one remains after the first weekend.
The Big Ten had eight teams entering the tournament, the most in conference history. They were 7-1 after round one, with only the Wisconsin Badgers losing to Oregon.
The Minnesota Gophers upset Louisville on the first game of the tournament, but were unable to get past the No. 2 seed, Michigan State. There was no UMBC type magic this year for the 16-seeds, but they didn’t go down with a fight.
Gonzaga was the only team that had a commanding lead from start-to-finish.
Arguably the best team in the nation, the Duke Blue Devils, caught themselves in a bind Sunday, versus UCF. Thanks to Zion Williamson and R.J. Barrett, Duke was able to sneak by after putting the team up late in the second half.
One of the top NBA prospects, Ja Morant, had himself a tournament – turning heads every minute he was in the game. He was the eighth player in tournament history to record a triple-double – finishing with 17 points, 16 assists, 11 rebounds. Florida State’s hustle, defense and shooting was too much for the Murray State Racers in the round of 32.
Beyond Oregon and Auburn, the Sweet 16 will consist of the top-four seeds. Auburn falls just short of that being the five-seed, but they were able to knock of the Kansas Jayhawks. There haven’t been too many upsets and when there were, they were shortly knocked out of the tournament in the Round of 32.
The Sweet 16 will begin on Thursday, with the Elite 8 following right after on Saturday.
Header photo courtesy of the Associated Press.