It started with Yale pounding Baylor on the glass, beating the Bears at their own strength.
Then Little Rock got in on the fun, taking Purdue to four overtimes, making smart plays behind an explosive performance from Josh Hagins.
Hawaii surprised an injured California team with two of their NBA-bound stars out (the Golden Bears looked like a team that relied way too much on individual talent, on individual attacks).
And then the Middle Tennessee wrecked everyone’s bracket, ended Denzel Valentine’s storied career, getting on top of arguably the nation’s best coach and one of the best programs - then holding those Spartans off for a win.
And then Stephen F Austin out hustled and out worked West Virginia. And Northern Iowa outplayed Texas, gave up the lead, but finished their late game off with a buzzer-beating heave.
Some other lower seeds won - like those plucky Syracuse Orange team and the under seeded Wichita State and Gonzaga. Those four wins stood out; one thing we saw consistently is that well-coached low major teams weren’t trying to just out shoot the opponents, they attacked them at their own games, confidently.
Saturday and Sunday welcome more “day of reckoning” kind of games, as programs work to get into the Sweet Sixteen.
The match ups are below.
Saturday, March 19: 2nd Round Games
|12:10p||CBS||Providence||South||(3) Miami-Florida Hurricanes vs. (11) Wichita State Shockers||Ian Eagle/Chris Webber/Len Elmore//Evan Washburn|
|After Conc.||CBS||Providence||West||(4) Duke Blue Devils vs. (12) Yale Bulldogs||Eagle/Webber/Elmore//Washburn|
|5:15p||CBS||Des Moines||East||(4) Kentucky Wildcats vs. (5) Indiana Hoosiers||Jim Nantz/Grant Hill/Bill Raftery//Tracy Wolfson|
|6:10p||TNT||Denver||Midwest||(4) Iowa State Cyclones vs. (12) Arkansas-Little Rock Trojans||Andrew Catalon/Steve Lappas//Jamie Erdahl|
|7:10p||TBS||Raleigh||Midwest||(1) Virginia Cavaliers vs. (9) Butler Bulldogs||Kevin Harlan/Reggie Miller/Dan Bonner//Lewis Johnson|
|After Conc.||CBS||Des Moines||South||(1) Kansas Jayhawks vs. (9) Connecticut Huskies||Nantz/ Hill/ Raftery//Wolfson|
|After Conc.||TNT||Denver||Midwest||(3) Utah Utes vs. (11) Gonzaga Bulldogs||Catalon/Lappas//Erdahl|
|After Conc.||TBS||Raleigh||East||(1) North Carolina Tar Heels vs. (9) Providence Friars||Harlan/Miller/Bonner//Johnson|
March 20, 2016
|12:10p||CBS||Brooklyn||South||(2) Villanova Wildcats vs. (7) Iowa Hawkeyes||Verne Lundquist/Jim Spanarkel//Allie LaForce|
|After Conc.||CBS||Brooklyn||East||(6) Notre Dame Fighting Irish vs (14) Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks||Lundquist/Spanarkel//LaForce|
|5:15p||CBS||Oklahoma City||West||(2) Oklahoma Sooners vs. (10) VCU Rams||Carter Blackburn/Mike Gminski//Jaime Maggio|
|6:10p||TNT||St. Louis||Midwest||(10) Syracuse Orange vs. (15) Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders||Brian Anderson/Steve Smith//Dana Jacobson|
|7:10p||TBS||Spokane||South||(5) Maryland Terrapins vs. (13) Hawaii Warriors||Spero Dedes/Doug Gottlieb//Ros Gold-Onwude|
|After Conc.||truTV||Oklahoma City||West||(3) Texas A&M Aggies vs. (11) Northern Iowa Panthers||Blackburn/Gminski//Maggio|
|After Conc.||TNT||St. Louis||East||(2) Xavier Musketeers vs. (7) Wisconsin Badgers||Anderson/Smith//Jacobson|
|After Conc.||TBS||Spokane||West||(1) Oregon Ducks vs. (8) St. Joseph's Hawks||Dedes/Gottlieb//Gold-Onwude|