Underdogs Advance to Sweet 16 in NCAA Tournament

This college basketball year has been one of the wildest and most exciting to watch. Given its unpredictability, this season has been very interesting to watch. Who doesn’t enjoy an underdog knocking off the No. 1 team? That is, unless it was your team who was top-ranked and just lost to a team it should have beaten.

This parity has rubbed off into the postseason, giving fans a chance to witness possible Cinderella finishes. Living up to its name, March Madness has been spectacular thus far. It isn’t your fault that your brackets are busted; no one could have saw these upsets coming.

No. 12 Ole Miss defeats No. 5 Wisconsin

No. 5 seed Wisconsin was upset this weekend by a well-prepared Ole Miss team, 57-46. The Ole Miss Rebels couldn’t have been any more exciting to watch. Ole Miss guard Marshall Henderson made one of his first 13 shots from the floor. That didn’t stop him from hoisting up shots. He turned it up a notch and scored 17 points in the last 11 minutes. He contributed 19 points, and the Rebels pulled away.

No. 14 Harvard takes down No. 3 New Mexico

No. 14 seed Harvard pulled off the first upset with a 68-62 win over the No. 3 seeded New Mexico. Harvard, the Ivy League champs, fought hard to win this battle. There weren’t many upsets on the first day, but this game has to go down as one of the biggest upsets of the tournament. This New Mexico and Harvard game was a matchup between two former Big Ten coaches in Harvard’s Tommy Amaker, a former University of Michigan athlete, and New Mexico’s Steve Alford, who played for Iowa. Harvard’s win last weekend marked the 17th time a No. 14 has taken down a three seed.

No. 15 Florida Gulf Coast shocks No. 2 Georgetown

Last year there were a few upsets between the No. 15 seed and No. 2 seed. There was another upset this year. After already knocking off Miami during the regular season, the Florida Gulf Coast Eagles caught fans by surprise once again by taking down the No. 2 Georgetown Hoyas. The Hoyas were a favorite on others’ brackets. Sherwood Brown helped his team make it out the first round by scoring 24 points in an upset over the Hoyas. Big East Player of the Year Otto Porter Jr. had only 13 points and shot 5-of-17 from the field with 11 boards.  

No. 9 Wichita State Over No. 1 Gonzaga

No. 1 Gonzaga Bulldogs came into this game ranked first in the country and won 15 straight games before getting knocked off by No. 9 Wichita State. The Bulldogs were a Final Four favorite on some brackets and a potential championship team on most. Wichita had a good night from behind the arc, shooting 14 of 28 from 3-point range to get past the Bulldogs.

The first weekend of Madness is over. With the exception of Florida Gulf Coast and the top section of the West region, the rest of the Sweet 16 is what most fans would expect it to be. The South and Midwest each have three of the four favorites.

Notable matchups this weekend: Michigan State (3) vs. Duke (2), Kansas (1) vs. Michigan (4), Florida (3) vs. Florida Gulf Coast (15), Indiana (1) vs. Syracuse (4).