Thursday was upset central at the NCAA Tournament. Friday saw favorites dominate the action, winning the first 15 games until Dayton came along and prevented the first-ever 16-for-16 performance from the favorites on a single day since the tournament became a 64-team affair.
The tournament is halfway done from a games played standpoint. The strength and weakness of the opening two days is the proliferation of games. It normally provides some memorable upsets, but individual games often get drowned out in the noise of the overall experience. Saturday we narrow things down to a more manageable number of games. Some of them should be great.
While it is hard to call UCLA a Cinderella, they are an 11-seed. But, they are facing a 14-seed in UAB in the opening matchup. This will be a lot of fun and enjoy this game because the winner is almost, almost, guaranteed to get destroyed by Kentucky next week.
That’s unless Cincinnati manages to beat Kentucky in Game 2 which would be the greatest second-round upset ever.
#10 Ohio State vs. #2 Arizona tips next and that could be a good game if Ohio State plays like it can.
The coach everyone is rooting for #14 Georgia Southern takes on #6 Xavier an hour later in another great matchup. This will be an enjoyable one.
The 6-0 ACC puts that streak on the line when #8 NC State plays #1 Villanova at 7:10. Wichita State (2014), Gonzaga (2013), Pittsburgh (2011), Kansas (2010) are all recent examples of #1 seeds that lost in the second round. History doesn’t have to repeat itself, but if you were going to pick from a list of Kentucky, Villanova, Duke, and Wisconsin to lose in the second round this year, which one would you pick?
The final three games are all 5-4 or 6-3 match ups.
Georgetown meets Utah.
UNC meets Arkansas
Butler meets Notre Dame
While wins by Utah, Arkansas, and Butler would be considered upsets, I don’t think they really are. All three games should be good ones.
I can’t wait.