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NCAA Tournament: Recapping the madness of the first weekend of NCAA Tournament

An historic upset, new household names and great basketball over the first weekend of the NCAA Tournament

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-First Round-Virginia vs UMBC Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports

The March Madness moniker rung true this pass weekend. Raise your hand if your bracket is completely destroyed after the top 2 seeds in both the South and the West went down along with Michigan State, who was a sneaky pick to come out of the Midwest.

It was madness and here is a little recap with some fun links to accompany.


Virginia losing was just crazy. I believe that 1-seeds are now 135-1 in first round games. It has to happen eventually and this wasn’t some miraculous shot at the buzzer, this was second half domination by the Chesapeake Bay Retrievers. Virginia had 15 games where they allowed 53 points or fewer this season. Maryland Baltimore County did it in 20 minutes. That was just nuts.

Other Upsets

Nevada managed to find the second weekend of the Tournament beating the 2-seed in the second round. Along the way they managed to overcome a 22-point deficit and do it against a very good defensive Cincinnati team. Nevermind that they also trailed Texas for about 59 minutes before winning that game in overtime in the first round. By the way...this Wolfpack team returns their top 3 scorers.

But Nevada wasn’t the only upset minded team to advance to the Sweet 16. Loyola-Chicago, an 11-seed inspired by Sister Jean, took down Miami and then managed to end 3-seeded Tennessee’s season too. The Ramblers are in the tourney for the first time since 1985 and coincidentally made it to the round of 16 that year as well.

The Ramblers and the Wolfpack, unfortunately have to face each other on Thursday.

Marshall and Buffalo were a pair of 13-seeds who managed to knock out Wichita State and Arizona respectively. But both of these Cinderellas hit midnight early and they were unable to bring down their higher-seeded foes in the second round.

Syracuse has a few tourney wins and technically they are an 11-seed in the Sweet 16. Just hard to really classify them as a pulling off big upsets. They certainly forced Michigan State to shoot the ball terribly on their way to advancing.

First Weekend Winners

On the left side of the bracket Kentucky and Michigan are certainly the big winners as all of the teams seeded above them were knocked out by someone else. Now these two teams will still have to take care of business but having all of the 1 and 2 seeds eliminated (along with the 3 and the 4 in Kentucky’s case) is most helpful.

The winners on the right side of the bracket remains the high seeds. Villanova had the 3 and 4 seeds knocked out while Purdue will likely be without their starting center and 2nd leading scorer. Duke and Kansas were gifted the Michigan State loss.

Shot of the Weekend?

I’ll go with this one from Jordan Poole of Michigan.

The second weekend is usually less about surprising upsets and more about great games between quality teams who are dangerously close to the Final Four.