It's the price of loving March Madness so much. The tattered remains of our precious brackets are a necessary casualty in the awesome spectacle that is the tournament. We thrill in the upsets, and lament when they bust our brackets. And were there ever some bracket-busters this year! As we anxiously wait for the second day of the Sweet 16, let's take stock of the amazing games and upsets we've seen. We're not going to count 8-9 matches in the first round - because, come on, those aren't upsets. First Round
- Oregon (12) over Oklahoma St. (5) - many people though Oregon were a big under-seed at 12, and the Ducks gave their argument credence with a convincing 68-55 win
- Ole Miss (12) over Wisconsin (5) - The Rebels rode the strong performance of Marshall Henderson to overcome a halftime deficit and take down the 5-ranked Badgers.
- LaSalle (13) over Kansas State (4) - The Explorers (what a GREAT team name) jumped out to a shocking 18-point lead at halftime, and defended their lead to the missed KSU buzzer-beater and the huge upset.
- Harvard (14) over New Mexico (3) - earning their first ever NCAA tournament win, Harvard toppled the Lobos (and my good friend's bracket) in a game that didn't look as close as the score indicated.
- Iowa State (10) over Notre Dame (7) - in a first round of SO many upsets, this one flies a bit under the radar, but the Cyclones (another great name) torched the Irish with a 76-58 beatdown
- California (12) over UNLV (5) - 5-12 games are infamous for their upset potential, and boy did they not disappoint this year. In what was essentially a home game in San Jose, the Golden Bears took a close and hard-won win 64-61.
- Minnesota (11) over UCLA (6) - another upset that surprised more for its lopsidedness than its rank, the Golden Gophers crushed the Bruins 83-63
- FGCU (15) over Georgetown (2) - we end with the crown jewel of the first round upsets - the absolutely stunning defeat of the Hoyas by the plucky Eagles of Florida Gulf Coast University. Not only was this FGCU's first appearance in the tournament, it was only their second year of eligibility. In fact, they've only HAD basketball since 2002. Amazing.
- Oregon (12) over St. Louis (4) - oh how I wish I'd been brave enough to take this upset in my own bracket! Oregon cruised to another convincing win against the Billikens on the shoulders of a dominant 23-point performance by Damyean Dotson.
- Wichita State (9) over Gonzaga (1) - After earning their first 1-seed, the Bulldogs of Gonzaga were shocked by the Shockers (yuk yuk yuk) in a 76-70 upset and irreparably busting my bracket. Gee thanks.
- LaSalle (13) over Ole Miss (12) - How many times do we get to see a 12 play a 13? A great game by two great teams who surprised everyone by being there, the Explorers edge out the Rebels 76-74 in one of the best matchups of team names ever.
- Florida Gulf (15) over SDSU (7) - how exciting was it to watch the first 15-seed EVER advance to the Sweet 16? The joy, the passion, and the camaraderie of the FGCU Eagles in their win was just great to watch in their dominant 81-71 win.
- Marquette (3) over Miami (2) - a 2-3 isn't exactly the sort of upset we're trying to celebrate here, but Marquette was coming off two nail-biting close-wins while Miami had cruised into the game. That didn't stop the Golden Eagles from pulling off the big win over The U.
- Syracuse (4) over Indiana (1) - another 1-seed was toppled last night as Syracuse dominated Indiana with a defensive shutdown, winning big 61-50
- Louisville (1) vs Oregon (12) - what's the biggest upset, a 12-1 or a 15-3? Oregon has been one of the tournament's strongest contenders from the 12-seed, but tonight they clash with the dominant Louisville Cardinals. Can they pull of the win?
- Michigan St. (3) vs Duke (2) - now here's a matchup we've seen before! There two juggernaut programs face off as Mike Krzyzewski and Tom Izzo have another classic tournament duel.
- Kansas (1) vs Michigan (4) - we're not sure we can forgive Michigan so recently after ending the tournament run of Richmond's beloved VCU Rams, so we might just have to say Rock Chalk Jayhawk for this one.
- Florida (3) vs Florida Gulf (15) - and here are go! What a fantastic matchup - the first ever 15-seed in the Sweet 16 taking on an in-state rival! This should be a fun one to watch - with most everyone outside Gainesville looking to see if the most Cinderella-y Cinderella of this year's tournament can keep their magical run going.