Of all annual sporting events – the Super Bowl, the World Cup, the World Series – the NCAA College Basketball Tournament seems to be the one that lives up to its expectations. March Madness is many sports fans' favorite time of the year, and this past weekend’s opening games reminded the nation why.
Rivals.com reported that the opening weekend had no buzzer beaters, and a single game did not run into overtime. This has not happened since the field expanded to 64 teams in 1985, said David Worlock, the NCAA’s media coordinator. These absences, which may have disappointed some, mark only one of many ways the tournament made history this weekend.
No. 2 seeded Duke and Missouri both lost in the first round, beaten by Lehigh and Norfolk State, respectively. Aside from busting brackets all over the country, these first-round winners became the first two 15 seeds to win on the same day in NCAA history. Unfortunately, as Yahoo! Sports reported, the magic ended when both teams lost in the next round.
Ohio is not just relevant in politics. Now Ohio can boast it is the first state to ever have four teams make it to the Sweet 16 in one tournament. The New York Times College Sports Blog explained that between Ohio State, Ohio University, Cincinnati and Xavier, the state of Ohio dominates with teams holding one quarter of the remaining bracket spots. Sports Illustrated explained how this is especially monumental for Xavier and Cincinnati because the two teams broke out into a brawl earlier this season.
An unhappy history was written this weekend. Teams from the Mountain and Pacific Time zones are out. No teams from the Pac-12, Mountain West, WCC or WAC advanced to the Sweet 16. USA Today reported that this hasn't happened since 1985, and this is the second time it has happened since the field expanded to 16 in 1951.
Buzz about the tournament’s opening rounds included criticism of some controversial calls. USA Today reported that some of these calls caused outrage.
The next games are scheduled for Thursday, when the madness will take over another weekend. With No. 1 seed North Carolina’s star point guard Kendall Marshall out with a wrist injury (Sports Illustrated provides detail), the Syracuse Orange facing their own version of kryptonite against Wisconsin and Indiana trying to take down Kentucky for a second time this season and all the other storylines in-between, March Madness has a lot left in store for those watching.
Photo by Murray State.