In all of the years I have been picking brackets I have never lost a Final Four team during the first round. Congratualtions Kansas, you have now lost two straight first round games as a top four seed under Bill Self and if am not mistaken that is a first. Here are today's observations.
High Seeds Upset or Struggle Mightily
UConn was down by 12 to Albany midway through the second half. That's right, the odds on favorite to win the whole darn tournament was down 12 to a #16 seed. They rallied as you might expect and won but that was indicative of how the day went. Iowa lost to a #14, Kansas lost to a #13 seed. NC State won as #10 seed and #11 George Mason, without a suspended player, sent Michigan St home. #1's Memphis and Villanova did not really cruise versus their #16 seeded opponents. Texas only beat Penn by eight. In other words, it appears parity has arrived in full force in the NCAA Tournament. A #1 seed losing to a #16 may happen sooner rather than later.
Defending Champs Win
UNC, who by all accounts, was not supposed to even make the tourament survived a spirited effort from Murray St to advance 69-65. UNC really did not play well and whether that is some of their inexperience or Murray St matching up well, it was a little testy most of the night. UNC now gets George Mason, who beat the much vaunted Michigan St. As much as I used to think of schools like George Mason were easy marks. In today's NCAA Tournament there are no easy marks.
Conference Tournament Champs and Performance
Big East: Syracuse lost to Texas A&M
Big 10: Iowa lost to Northwestern St.
Big 12: Kansas lost to Bradley
The SEC, ACC, C-USA, and PAC-10 champions are all still in.
Big East 5-3
Pac 10 3-1
Big 10 3-3
Big 12 2-2
So everyone was down on the ACC but thus far they are undefeated at 4-0. This means very little because the Big East could still put two teams in the Final Four.
I was 13-3 yesterday, today not so good at 10-6 for a 23-9 first round. I lost a Final Four team in Kansas but still retain 15 of 16 Sweet Sixteen teams and my championship game matchup is still alive.
Duke leads of things tommorrow with a tough game against George Washington.