March Madness Never Ceases to Surprise Us.
The second day of March Madness created some excitement for some double-digit seeds along with heartbreak for teams with hopes of making a deep run. The second round begins today and teams look to punch their ticket to the sweet 16. The results from day two of March Madness has further shaken things up. We look back on some of the outcomes and heroes of the second day.
RED LETTERING = UPSET
#1 Kansas – 100 vs #16 UC Davis 62
#8 Miami (FL) – 58 vs #9 Michigan State – 78
#6 Creighton – 72 vs #11 Rhode Island – 84
#3 Oregon – 93 vs 14 Iona – 77
#7 Michigan – 92 vs #10 Oklahoma State – 91
#2 Louisville – 78 vs #15 Jacksonville State – 63
#1 North Carolina – 103 vs #16 Texas Southern – 64
#8 Arkansas – 77 vs #9 Seton Hall – 71
#6 Cincinnati – 75 vs #11 Kansas State – 61
#3 UCLA – 97 vs #14 Kent State – 80
#7 Dayton – 58 vs #10 Wichita State – 64
#2 Kentucky – 79 vs #15 Northern Kentucky – 70
#6 SMU- 65 vs #11 USC – 66
#3 Baylor – 91 vs #14 New Mexico State – 73
#7 South Carolina – 93 vs # 10 Marquette – 73
#2 Duke – 87 vs #15 Troy – 65
HEROES OF DAY 2:
Norbertas Giga – F, Jacksonville State
Stats: 30 Points/ 1 Rebound/ 1 Assist/ 11-13 FG/ 5-5 three-point FG
Jacksonville State gave Louisville quite the scare in their first round match-up. This scare was put into the Cardinals by the Gamecocks forward Norbertas Giga. Giga would assert his dominance inside and once his presence was felt down low he extended his range and connected on all of his three-point attempts. Although Jacksonville State lost, Giga put the basketball world on notice as a dangerous stretch-forward with high-upside. Giga, a Junior, currently, who if he returns could raise his draft stock. I am confident that we have not seen or heard the last of this Lithuanian big man.
Sindarius Thornwell – G, South Carolina
Stats: 29 points/ 7 rebounds/ 3 steals
Senior guard Sindarius Thornwell is doing everything in his power to keep his final season going as long as possible. The high octane offense of Marquette was matched by Thornwell and his scoring mentality in their first round match-up. Thornwell, the Gamecocks leading scorer all season, was too much for the Marquette back-court as he found it easy to score all game long. South Carolina will need Thornwell to have a similar game in the next round versus powerhouse Duke if they want a chance to advance to the sweet 16.
Elijah Stewart – G, USC
Stats: 22 points, 2 blocks, 6-13 three-point FG
The upset of the day was completed when Elijah Stewart hit a go-ahead corner three with 36 seconds remaining. Stewart’s shot propelled USC over SMU in their tightly contested first round match-up. Stewart was not afraid to let it fly this game, and he would remain ready to shoot when his number was called. His six three-pointers gave USC the confidence and energy needed to achieve this upset. USC led by Stewart and Bennie Boatwright, could very well be this years tournament underdog, giving teams fits for the full 40 minutes.
If your Bracket wasn’t busted before, it sure is now:
In the second day of action we saw four upsets. We saw two 11 seeds take down two of the 6 seeds. The #11 USC Trojans upset many peoples dark-horse team in sixth seeded SMU, while 11th ranked Rhode Island took down 6th seeded Creighton. We also saw tournament darlings Wichita State seeded at 10 take down Dayton who was ranked at 7. The last upset was a 9th ranked Michigan State throttle the 8 seed in Miami (FL).
Now, the “thrilling 32” gets underway, there are sure to be more upsets and brackets to be ripped up and tossed in the recycling bin by the time the sweet 16 starts. Some of the top seeds have struggled to find their footing just yet, which could spell an early exit for them. If there were no upsets then we may as well call this tournament ‘March Melancholy’. I don’t know about you, but I like the sound of ‘March Madness’ better.