The first week of this year’s March Madness, proved to be every bit as exciting as we anticipated. This year’s tournament had all the storylines, from huge upsets, to cinderella plots, to dominant performances by the country’s best college basketball teams. Below are what we consider to be the some of the best highlights from an exciting first week of March Madness.
Several Heavyweights Tumble
After the first two rounds, we have already lost a No. 1 seed as well as a pair of the two seeds. Most surprisingly Kansas and Wichita were defeated in the second round by tenth seed Stanford and eighth seed Kentucky (respectively). Going into the tournament, many analysts were skeptical of Wichita State, despite last year’s impressive March Madness run, and their undefeated 35-0 run this year, before Sunday's loss. On the other hand, Kansas was being touted as one of the favorites if they could only survive long enough to get big man, Joel Embiid, back from injury.
Did anyone’s bracket predict Dayton making it to Sweet Sixteen? We definitely didn’t see it coming! In two of the tournament’s most exciting games thus far, Dayton was able to knock off Ohio State and Syracuse. To make things even more exciting, both games came down to the final play. Now set to face the equally as surprising No. 10 Stanford Cardinals, they have a very good chance of making it to the Elite Eight.
What Happened to the Prospects?
Although it’s not completely surprising to see highly touted up and comers get knocked out early, it seems as though a lot of the main prospects in what has been labelled one of the deepest draft classes in years, laid an egg with their performances in this years NCAA Tournament. Most notably, Canada’s own Andrew Wiggins, went out with a whimper, shooting only one for six from the field and only putting up four points against Stanford. On top of Wiggins, Jabari Parker, Marcus Smart and Tyler Ennis were also a few big names that fell in the opening two rounds.
Why are a number of teams with freshmen phenoms dwindling in the big games? Many experts speculate that although supremely talented, they lack experience, while the majority of teams moving on to the Sweet 16 have mature upper classmen leading the charge. Although many top seed teams have been ousted, watch out for top seed Florida State moving forward, they're not the most exciting team to watch, but they'll grind you down. It's shaping up to be an interesting Final Four!