America needed to wait 731 days for the return of the NCAA tournament after the pandemic canceled last year’s postseason in college basketball. With a bubble setup for the guys’s tournament around Indianapolis and the women’s competition in San Antonio, the best sporting occasion worldwide made its return.
The males’s tournament measured up to the hype through the first two days. We got an incredible opening round that featured 4 groups ranked No. 13 or greater advancing to the next round. The round of 64 offered us upsets, game-winning shots, brand-new cult heroes to adore, and a staying field of 32 teams that should produce a fantastic surface.
With round of 32 play getting underway Sunday and Monday, we chose to look back at the programs, players, and minutes that made the preliminary a lot fun. Everyone please simply remain safe and remain healthy, and we ought to have an interesting conclusion to this competition.
1. Covid is wrecking havoc on the tournament
If the NCAA believed a bubble was going to save the competition from wrath of the infection, they were absolutely incorrect. The tournament got off to a horrible start when Georgia Tech star Moses Wright was eliminated with a positive test for his team’s game against Loyola-Chicago. The Yellow Jackets would lose without him. The Oklahoma Sooners likewise got problem when point guard De’Vion Harmon was ruled out with a positive test, but the group was still able to beat Mizzou without him in the 8-9 matchup.
10 seed VCU was required to withdraw because of several favorable tests. It turns out this competition was compromised prior to we could even get through the first round.
2. Everyone’s bracket was busted prior to the end of the first round
Do not feel bad too bad if your bracket has more red than black on it right now. It only took one complete day of March Insanity action to bust practically every bracket in the world.
Of the 14.7 million brackets entered into ESPN, just 108 were still perfect after day one That’s what occurs when a No. 15 seed and No. 13 seed win on the exact same day. Day two at the tournament erased the last staying ideal brackets after No. 13 seed Ohio earned an upset win over No. 4 Virginia. The perfect brackets could not even last until No. 14 seed Abilene Christian’s fantastic win over Texas in the last video game of the first round.
3. There were a historic quantity of upsets
This is the very first time in competition history 4 teams seeded at No. 13 or higher advanced to the round of 32, according to CBS Sports No. 14 seed Abilene Christian’s remarkable win over No. 3 Texas in the last video game of Saturday night may have been the best video game of the tournament up until now. No. 13 Ohio, No. 15 Oral Roberts, and No. 13 North Texas likewise took out preliminary wins.
Every seed but the No. 16 s won a video game in the opening round.
4. Georgetown’s storybook go to March Insanities pertained to a fast end
Head coach Patrick Ewing led his university Georgetown back to the NCAA tournament with a Cinderella go to the champion at the Big East competition in Madison Square Garden recently. The Hoyas entered the conference tournament as a No. 8 seed before winning four video games in four days to punch their very first ticket to the huge dance under Ewing.
12 seed and match with Colorado in the very first round, and without delay got blown out, 96-73
Ewing needed to patch the roster together after the program lost many crucial players to move last year. Ideally this go to the tournament is the start of excellent things to come for his Hoyas.
5. Syracuse always wins when you least anticipate them to
It seems like Syracuse is the last group picked for the NCAA tournament every year.
Of course Syracuse won its very first video game again this year, beating No. 6 seed San Diego State, 78-62, in the opening round on Friday.
The star for the Orange was Jim Boeheim’s kid Buddy, a junior wing who popped off for 30 points on 7-of-10 shooting from three-point range:
Cuse has a game with No. 3 seed West Virginia looming. Is another deep competition run in store?
6. Rutgers and Oregon State are power conference Cinderellas
If Syracuse winning again as a double-digit seed does not exactly seem like a heartwarming story, wins by Rutgers and Oregon State definitely do.
The Scarlet Knights had not made the tournament considering that 1991 and had actually not won a game since 1983, but all that changed on Friday. No. 10 seed Rutgers won a nail-biter versus No. 7 Clemson, 60-56, to force a 2nd round matchup against No. 2 seed Houston.
The Beavers had to win four games in four days in the Pac-12 tournament to earn their automated quote simply to make the NCAA tournament.
7. The top NBA draft potential customers are progressing
We had Oklahoma State‘s Cade Cunningham, USC’s Evan Mobley, and Gonzaga’s Jalen Suggs predicted as the very first 3 choices in our most current 2021 NBA mock draft before the competition. Each gamer assisted lead their group to an opening round success to continue their college professions at least one more video game.
Cunningham just scored one point in the very first half versus Liberty due to the fact that of foul trouble, however took over the video game in the final 20 minutes to help his group advance. Oklahoma State will now play Oregon State in an identical abbreviation, identical color scheme match
Mobley was dominant for USC, ending up with 17 points, 11 rebounds, and three blocks in the win. Suggs likewise drifted as Gonzaga smoked No. 16 seed Norfolk State.
8. Illinois vs. Loyola-Chicago is the marquee video game of the round of 32
The top-seeded Illini appear like a national title favorite right now. No. 8 seed Loyola-Chicago went to the Final Four in 2018, and might be even much better this year with a couple key holdovers left from that team. This feels like the very best video game of the second round, and it’s a shame it’s happening in the round of32 Read our substantial sneak peek of Illinois vs. Loyola-Chicago here
This will only be the third conference in guys’s NCAA tournament history between 2 schools from Illinois, and the very first because DePaul beat Illinois State on their method to the Sweet 16 in1984 Both the Illini and Ramblers were top-10 overall groups in the KenPom effectiveness rankings and the WEB rankings. We could be in for a thriller on Sunday afternoon.
9. Jason Preston is your brand-new preferred player
No. 13 seed Ohio was a fashionable upset choice against the No. 4 seed Virginia Cavaliers, and the Bobcats finished the job with a 62-58 victory powered by their junior point player Jason Preston. Preston has among the most motivating stories in college basketball as an absolutely unranked hire who hardly scored on his own high school group as a senior. After blowing up at a grassroots competition after he finished, Preston was convinced to do a prep school year playing basketball, where he ultimately received an offer from Ohio.
Preston went off for 11 points, 13 rebounds, and 8 helps in the win for Ohio. A late development spurt has pushed the point guard to 6′ 4, and he’s developed into among the very best passers in the nation while also balancing more than 16 points per video game.
Ohio’s competition run might not be over yet. The Bobcats now face No. 5 seed Creighton in the round of32
10 UC Santa Barbara was so close to an upset
12 seed UC Santa Barbara had No. 5 Creighton on the ropes throughout their opening round matchup.
We like the magnificence that includes the NCAA tournament, but it’s simple to forget March can also be the cruelest month.
11 North Texas won its first competition video game ever behind Javion Hamlet, however his amazing dad stole the program
The Mean Green had never ever won an NCAA tournament game in program history when they entered the field as a No.
Now a senior, Hamlet went off for 24 points, 12 rebounds, and 5 helps in 43 minutes to help bring his team the triumph.
North Texas now deals with No. 5 seed Villanova in the round of32 We are all Mean Green fans.
12 The No. 1 seeds rolled, however it will get a lot more difficult
The four No. 1 seeds– Gonzaga, Baylor, Illinois, and Michigan– each compressed their opponents without breaking a sweat. Things will get more difficult in the round of32 .
13 Oral Roberts pulled the greatest upset of the competition
A No. 15 seed had actually just beaten a No. 2 seed 8 times in tournament history heading into this year. Oral Roberts ended up being No. 9 on Friday by shocking Ohio State, 75-72, in the opening round behind terrific efficiencies from sophomore guard Max Abmas and junior big male Kevin Obanor.
Abmas led DI in scoring this season at 24.2 points per game, and popped off for 29 points in the win over the Buckeyes. Obanor was just as great, posting 30 points and 11 rebounds in the win. The Golden Eagles now face No. 7 seed Florida. The Gators shouldn’t take them gently.
Now enjoy some dunks
Dunks! We all like them. There were lots of cool ones in the opening round. Here are a few of our favorites.
Jalen Suggs took this lob off the backboard and knocked it home. That’s a future All-Star NBA point player right there.
This poster by Anthony Duruji was available in the very first video game of Friday’s slate, and right away set the tone for what was to come.
Drake fell in the opening round, but this may be the best dunk of March Insanity so far.
The round of 32 is going to be so much enjoyable. Stay healthy and remain safe, everyone.