NCAA Tournament Round 2, Day 2

Posted: Saturday, March 23, 2013 by Travis Cody in

So Thursday's games were relatively pedestrian except for the major upset by 14 seed Harvard over 3 seed New Mexico.  Two 12 seeds, both from the Pac-12, beat 5 seeds.  And we had one 9 beat an 8.

There are some gotcha games on the schedule today - 12 Mississippi vs 5 Wisconsin, 10 Cincinnati vs 7 Creighton, 13 LaSalle vs 4 Kansas St, 10 Iowa St vs 7 Notre Dame, and 11 Minnesota vs 6 UCLA.

I didn't expect Duke to repeat the complete collapse of last year's tournament when they were beaten as a 2 seed by 15 seed Lehigh.  I don't mean to take anything away from the tremendous effort from Lehigh nor from the achievements of this year's 15 seed opponent Albany.  But I'm not accustomed to 2 seeds losing in the 2 vs 15 game, particularly when that 2 seed is Duke.  The Blue Devils were methodical and efficient against the Great Danes, shooting the ball extremely well and controlling the defensive glass.  I'm glad this one is out of the way.  I think Duke matches up really well with either 7 seed Creighton or 10 seed Cincinnati, so I like the chances to get to the round of 16.

7 seed Creighton avoided the gotcha by beating 10 seed Cincinnati.  But 12 seed Mississippi gotcha'd 5 seed Wisconsin.  And 13 seed LaSalle comes from the First Four to gotcha 4 seed Kansas State.  That makes it 6-0 so far for the Atlantic 10 conference as 4 seed Saint Louis, 5 seed VCU, 6 seed Butler, 9 seed Temple, and the 13 seed Explorers have won so far.  Best conference in the land?  I don't know about that.  Most dangerous group of teams in the field...arguably.

Sometimes a 15 seed needs to have everything break in its favor to pull off the upset of a 2 seed.  They need to shoot the 3 at a high percentage.  They need to have the higher seed get the yips.  But other times, a 15 seed is every bit as athletic and confident as the 2 seed they draw.  When that happens, that 15 can dismantle the swagger of the 2.  Florida Gulf Coast was that 15 seed.  The Eagles used a 19-2 run in the second half to stagger Georgetown.  FGCU looked like the more athletic team during the run and raced out to a 17 point lead before Georgetown regained its composure and started its own run to get back in the game.  But the Eagles wouldn't fold, and so we have another major upset as 15 seed Florida Gulf Coast joins 14 seed Harvard in the 3rd round.

Remember those gotcha games I pointed out at the beginning of this post?  I call them gotchas because the lower seeds matched up or exceeded the higher seeds in athleticism.  Lower seeds that are quicker or stronger than the higher seeds have the one game advantage.  If they can figure out how to exploit the advantage, they typically pull the upsets.  Only 7 seed Creighton survived.  I already pointed out LaSalle and Mississippi.  Later in the day, 10 seed Iowa State destroyed 7 seed Notre Dame and 11 seed Minnesota handled 6 seed UCLA.

And still, no 16 seed has beaten a 1 seed.  Gonzaga and Kansas were both challenged, but they survive and advance along with Louisville and Indiana.

2 Duke beat 15 Albany
12 Mississippi beat 5 Wisconsin
9 Temple beat 8 NC State
2 Miami beat 15 Pacific
7 Creighton beat 10 Cincinnati
13 LaSalle beat 4 Kansas St
1 Indiana beat 16 James Madison
7 Illinois beat 10 Colorado
15 Florida Gulf Coast beat 2 Georgetown
2 Ohio State beat 15 Iona
8 North Carolina beat 9 Villanova
3 Florida beat 14 Northwestern St
7 San Diego St beat 10 Oklahoma
10 Iowa St beat 7 Notre Dame
1 Kansas beat 16 Western Kentucky
11 Minnesota beat 6 UCLA

Beware the double digits!


  1. Anonymous says:

    Sick or not, I will be watching the Gophers! GGG