And sometimes, miracles really do happen. We all knew what UVA’s weakness was. Stellar defense, but glaring scoring troubles. Put a resilient team that can pop from downtown into the mix and you have the first 16 seed beating a 1 seed.
The first slate yesterday had a little of everything. Providence and TAMU put on a very exciting game. Purdue, in a costly win, took down Fullerton. Isaac Haas is lost for the rest of the tournament for the Boilermakers though. Marshall pulled of a somewhat stunning upset and UC held back a Georgia State team that just wouldn’t stop coming at them.
UNC easily took care of Lipscomb, but didn’t cover. Vegas went crazy at the missed dunk at the end of that game. Butler took down an Arkansas team in a game that we all though would be closer. WVU had no problem with Murray State, and Nevada beat the Longhorns in OT. I’ve said all year to watch Nevada in the 2nd half of games. They fire it up after halftime.
Kansas State beat Creighton by 10. Sparty struggled to put Bucknell way, but still won by 4. Auburn let Charleston stay close, winning by 4 also. And Xavier piled up on Texas Southern. In case you were wondering how a 16-20 team was in the tournament, look at Texas Southern’s schedule. They play one of the toughest non-conference schedules I’ve ever seen. They are much better than the record would imply.
And then The Upset happened. UMBC didn’t just beat UVA. They dominated them for 40 minutes. What an historic game this was. Syracuse came back and knocked TCU out. Clemson didn’t have much trouble with New Mexico State, despite the bettors out here being all over NMSU. Florida State used a strong first half to beat Mizzou.
Another great day of basketball, another great day in Vegas. The games get a little tighter over the next 2 days. I just placed my bets, so let’s do this again.