2013 NCAA March Madness: The Year of the Upsets
I’m sure I’m not the only one hanging my head in sorrow over my dismal brackets. Who woulda thought. Oh, sure, in nearly every tournament there is usually a major upset and it’s a gamble on picking who it is going to be. I don’t know if there is even a definition for a “major” upset, but I consider it to be any top 5-seeded team to lose in the 1st Round. Therefore, these seeds:
From that point in, the level of play is considered to be more “equal.”
Until this year.
I’m so glad I didn’t put any money on my bracket this year. But then, I’m sure a good chunk of people are in the same boat as I am.
Just now, No. 2 seeded Georgetown just got spanked by No. 15 Florida Gulf Coast. Who’s that? No clue. I’m a Big 10 graduate myself, never heard of FGC other than a vacation spot.
Here are some of the other major upsets this year:
(Midwest) No. 12 Oregon beat No. 5 Oklahoma State.
(West) No. 12 Ole Miss beat No. 5 Wisconsin.
(West)No. 4 Kansas State lost to No. 3 La Salle. (Ouch, I took KSU all the way to the Elite Eight.)
(East) No. 12 California went head-to-head and pulled out to beat the No. 5 UNLV Runnin’ Rebels.
(West) No. 14 Harvard (they even have a basketball team?) whalloped No. 3 New Mexico. Now living in UNM territory, this one really hurt. Plus they’re another team I had picked to make it to the Elite Eight. Personally, I think one of our local news weathermen is to blame. Huh? One night, before the games started, was watching the local news and they were discussing the upcoming UNM game. The weatherman scoffed at one point and said, “I’m not worried about this game,” meaning the Harvard-UNM game.
That weatherman must not watch the tourney every year, because this is happening more and more frequently.
There are so many red strike-outs in my bracket now, I have to search to find the green wins. The West Region is home to the majority of these upsets, and my only hope (help me Obi Wan Kenobi, you’re my only hope) is Ohio State. I took them to the Final Four.
My predicted upset was No. 14 Valparaiso over No. 3 Michigan St. I didn’t take Valpo any further, though. I only chose them because they did it once before, many years ago. In 1998 to be exact. Valpo was a 13th-seeded team no one had heard of up against 4th-seeded Mississippi and won literally at the last second with a 3-pointer swish. I remember dropping to the floor and screaming my head off with exhiliration. I still lived in Indiana at the time, plus I love it when the underdog fights back and wins.
Here are a few other upsets which made NCAA history.
1996: No. 13 Princeton over No. 4 UCLA. Another last-second basket.
2005: No. 3 Kansas lost to No. 14 Bucknell.
2010: No. 1 Kansas smashed by No. 9 Northern Iowa in the second round. Although a 9th seed win isn’t as dramatic is some of the others which have occurred, this one makes the books because Kansas was expected to make it to the Final Game… and win.
2006: No. 11 George Mason toasted No. 1 UConn in the Elite Eight. Oh, that had to have hurt. A two-point victory for George Mason in overtime.
1993: No. 15 Santa Clara upset No. 2 Arizona in the first round.
1991: No. 15 Richmond over No. 2 Syracuse is the first 15th seeded team to beat a 2nd seeded team after the field grew to 64 teams.
Something about that 2:15 combo.
And the biggest upset is often thought to be No. 8 Villanova over No. 1 Georgetown, final game, 1985. During the second half, the Villanova Wildcats only missed one shot. Only one. The ‘cats went up against extraordinary odds playing the defending champs with their superstar, Patrick Ewing.
That’s how the cookie crumbles, or in this case, the high-seeded teams crumble. I think next year I’m going to by a chicken and let it do my picks for me. I’ll probably do better.
MSN Fox Sports: Top 10 upsets of the NCAA tournament