Issue # 3.1.2 “Not the Expected Upsets” (3/18)


Shepwick leads as 3 most popular upset picks fizzle out

POST-FUNERAL WITH STAY AT HOMIE , ROSEMEAD, CA (smt) – There were three near-shoo-ins of a double-digit seed winning and all three lost today.  Getting outpicked must have been locker room motivation for their opponents as Sweet 16 darling #10S-Loyola Chicago and ACC champ #11E-Virginia Tech crashed hard while #10W-Davidson blew a late 5-point lead.  But three double-digit seeds did win as #10MW-Miami (FL), #11W-Notre Dame (making it 10 out of 11 years a First Four team has won at least two games), and #11MW-Iowa St (against #6MW-LSU who fired their coach) advanced. 

Just missed

No Sister Jean magic this time as the 102-year old had to witness her Loyola Chicago shoot 26.8% from the field, 28.6% from three, and at one time were 1 of 8 from the free throw line in their loss to #7S-Ohio St, giving the Big Ten a confidence boost that would see the Big Ten go 5-0 today (not to be outdone, the Big 12 went 6-0 in the first round).  The Ramblers had made the Sweet 16 in their past two appearances.  Miami committed just 3 turnovers to #7MW-USC’s 18 but had to survive a mid-court go-ahead 3 by USC that just banked off the rim (missing a true buzzer beater), a la Butler’s last shot vs Duke in the ’10 Final.  USC had a chance to go up but missed the front end of a one-and-one late (there were 12 second half lead changes) and Miami then rolled six straight points.

#13S-Chattanooga led for 39 minutes and 36 seconds but two missed chances at the end let #4S-Illinois squeak out a one-point victory.  Iowa St nearly blew a late 11-point lead but somehow Tyrese Hunter hit two threes from way beyond the arc to shock LSU by 5 points. #7W-Michigan St went on a late 16-3 run to overcome a 5-point deficit as Davidson was too three-happy (though they did hit a few late to make it a not really that close one-point loss).  Do we really get Coach Izzo’s Michigan St vs retiring Coach K’s Duke in the second round?  Yes, we do.

#2MW-Auburn (15-0 mid-game run), #3W-Texas Tech (32-9 start), #3E-Purdue (15-0 2nd half run), and #2S-Villanova (16-0 mid-game run) all won in 19+ point routs.  Strong second halves gave Notre Dame and #6E-Texas comfortable wins.  Slow and steady, #2W-Duke, #1S-Arizona, #5S-Houston, and #9S-TCU led nearly the entire way in their double-digit wins.  After #14MW-Colgate took an early 9-2 lead, neither they nor #3MW-Wisconsin led by more than 5 points until the Badgers went on a 10-0 run late to turn a 4-point deficit to a 58-52 lead in closing the game with a 7-point victory.

Just 37% picked better seed Ohio St. and just 36% picked Texas.  Despite 5 upsets, 8 entries went 14-2 including our current leader Shepwick, who leads with 54 points.  Five are tied for 2nd with 52 pts and six are tied for 7th (50).  Spermicidal State bounced back from just 9 wins yesterday to 14 today to go from a tie for 124th to a tie for 26th (46).  If your nickname started with a “B”, it wasn’t a good sign as three B’s are tied for 164th (Bucky 2Buccos 3Bigtenfan3) (34) and three B’s are tied for last (167th, 32) (Buccos 1Buccos 2Bulba).  Bulba is in the worst-shape as she can only get 89 points (compared to Shepwhip who can get 183) – but no one is officially eliminated until after Sunday’s games!  Good news is no one lost either finalist today.

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   Tids & Bits – #12 seeds went 2-2 while #11 and #9 seeds each went 3-1… 47 picked Miami, 63 Ohio St, 70 ND, 60 Texas, 42 Iowa St,  82 Michigan St (also the better seed), and 72 TCU… four underdogs were picked more than the favorites (87 #10W-Davidson, 97 Memphis, 106 #10S-Loyola Chicago, 109 #11E-Virginia Tech) and only Memphis won… Richmond in our PoolRichmond won its 9th game as a 12th seed or worse (more than twice as many as next best); the Spiders are 6-1 in their first game as a #12 or worse (’84 #12 (vs another 12 in Opening Round but did win next game vs #5), ’88 #13, ’91 #15, ’98 #14, ’11 #12) but 0-3 as an 11 seed or better… #14W-Montana St’s first trip since ’96 was another 30+ pt loss (33 in ’96, 36 today)… Ohio St was 1/15 and Miami 1/14 from 3-point range and both won… ignoring #16 seeds Texas A&M Corpus Christi and Texas Southern (who played each other), Texan teams are 5-0 (Baylor, Houston, Texas, Texas Tech, TCU)… entries got an average of 11.2 games correct today… the 21.3 wins per entry for the first round was the 4th worst average (21.0 in ’12, 20.6 in ’01, and 20.3 last year)… 14 entries have 15 Sweet 16 teams left, 29 have all Elite 8 teams left, and 63 have their Final Four still intact…Bulba has just 7 Sweet 16 teams and 4 Elite 8 teams left… the Big 12 went 6-0, the ACC 6-1 (5-1 in proper 64), Big Ten 7-3 (6-2 in proper 64), SEC 3-3, Big East 3-3, American 2-0, WCC 2-1, Pac 12 2-1, Atlantic 10 1-1, and MWC 0-4 (0-3 in proper 64)… Michigan St won its 70th tournament game… Iowa St was 2-22 last season and now are in the 2nd round… TCU won its first tournament game since ’87 (lost in ’98 and ’18)… Texas Tech shot 66.7% from the field… Miami had just 3 turnovers and Wisconsin 5 while top seed Arizona had 19 in its rout (#16S-Wright St had just 6)… of the 32 games, just four were one possession losses (not including regulation tie of an overtime game) (Creighton by 3, Miami by 2, and Illinois and Michigan St each won by 1)…

For First Four, when starting a video, there was a cool 30-45 second “catch-up” of the game before going live…

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