There haven’t been as many upsets as people thought so far in this years tournament, only 5 upsets (if you don’t count 9 or 10 seeds winning) which is lower than it’s been the past few years. What we have gotten however are some of the biggest upsets in NCAA history. Buzzer beaters and overtime thrillers have given us an exciting March Madness so far and with two of the most popular picks to win it all losing in the first round this tournament is bound to have more surprises.
Here we go as we take a look at the 5 best moments from the first three days of the NCAA tournament.
5. Nevada’s come from behind win over Texas.
Nevada was a favorite to win their conference this year but after losing to SDSU in the tournament they have to enter as an at large bid. The Texas Longhorns took a 14 point lead early in the second half and were in a position to run away with this one. However, the Wolfpack slowly chipped away at the lead before eventually hitting one of two free throws with three seconds left to tie the game at 68. Texas took an early 4 point lead in overtime but the Wolfpack hit 6 of 6 shots including 3 three pointers in overtime to eventually pull one out winning 87-83.
4. Buffalo stunning Arizona
Many people had Deandre Ayton as the Naismith winner this year as the best player in the country and with that a lot of people had the wildcats of Arizona making a deep run. An experienced and talented Buffalo team however had differnet plans. The Bulls came out on fire and after an exciting first half took a 40-38 halftime lead. Many people at that point had applauded the Bulls but thought the Wildcats would be able to pull away as the game wore on. Buffalo’s hot shooting gave them a 10 point lead with 10 minutes left in the game and with time ticking down for Arizona the Bulls continued to press and build that lead even more. What many thought was the biggest upset in this years tournament as the Bulls ended up winning by 21, as we find out not too long after this would soon be overshadowed.
3. Michigan game winner over Houston
Arguably the most exciting game of the second round had Michigan facing off against Houston in Witchita Kansas. One of the slowest games start to finish with neither team having more than a six point lead the wolverines seemed to be doomed when Houston was at the line with less than 4 seconds left up by two with two shots coming. However after missing both shots, Michigan quickly called a timeout to draw up a play to try to tie or win the game. A heave to half court a pass to a freshman and then a 25 foot three point shot with a defender in his face somehow went in and the dream season for Michigan continues another week.
2. Loyola Chicago hitting two game winning shots
Many people had Loyola as a dangerous double digit seed in this years tournament and the win over Miami wasn’t that surprising to people. The second round win over Tennessee was also probably not that shocking to fans who watched their first round game. What is amazing is the fact that both wins required last second shots. A three at the buzzer gave the Ramblers the win over Miami and a mid range justo shot the hit the rim a few times before going in with about 4 seconds left led Loyola to the sweet sixteen with a win over the volunteers. If the favorites win out the ramblers would have to play Cincinnati and Kentucky to get to the final four and while neither of those are easy they are both very winnable games and if things go right we could have an 11 seed in the final four once again.
1. UMBC’s dominance of Virginia
No shocker here. You probably know already that a one seed had never lost to a sixteen seed, and there probably aren’t too many instances where the number one overall seed lost by 20 at any point but both of those happened on Friday night as the Virginia Cavaliers were stunned by UMBC. We all knew eventually it would happen but most people probably had a half court heave at the buzzer to win by a point after the number one seeds best player got hurt and lost two other starters due to fouling out. This was different. After heading to the locker room tied at 21 the retrievers could not be stopped in the second half putting up over 50 on a Virginia team that doesn’t give up 50 in many games. UMBC has a chance to make the sweet sixteen tonight and I’m sure most of America will be rooting them on.