Ah, March. Some might call it a month, but those of us who celebrate know it’s a state of mind. And after yesterday, March is unequivocally here.
Starting off with an unlikely comeback, 11-seed Michigan found their groove late in a game that 6-seed Colorado State had been dominating. Despite the widespread outrage over Michigan’s place in the tournament after ending the season just 3 games over .500 and finishing terribly, Juwan Howard’s Wolverines were somehow able to pull an upset that somehow never really felt like an upset, winning, 75-63, and hitting some clutch threes at the end that they’d been missing all game, and move on to the second round.
Twelve-seed Richmond made sure the Big Ten wouldn’t stay too happy though. Iowa and the postseason of just about any sport is a match made in hell. The Spiders kept it close all game and were able to finish it out, putting the 5-seed Hawkeyes away, 67-63, with the help of an unfortunate missed foul call on a three-point shot that landed short for Iowa late in the game.
According to ESPN, only 161 brackets made it through the first day still perfect out of over 17 million entries, and that incalculably low percentage (I did actually calculate — its 0.00095 percent) can probably be attributed to the 15-seed St. Peter’s Peacocks, who joined the ranks of 2021 Oral Roberts and 2016 Middle Tennessee State, the legendary 1991 Richmond Spiders who knocked off Syracuse and the Steve Nash led Santa Clara Broncos, with a 2-seed upset (in overtime, no less, finishing 85-79), that had the entire country chanting “Let’s Go Cocks!”
It was a hard-fought game with about ten million fouls in the last few minutes, and St. Peter’s was able to take advantage of the Wildcats’ terrible free-throw shooting. And believe it or not, our own Eric Blum actually called this one.
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UNC kicked Marquette’s teeth in, beating the 9-seed 95-63, and yet another of those dreaded 5-12 seed bracket busters ended in an upset as New Mexico State took down UConn. Georgia State kept it uncomfortably close with overall No. 1-seed Gonzaga for the first three quarters of the game — and by uncomfortably close, I mean tied or within two, sometimes even taking the lead — before the Zags got it together and finished strong.
And the best part is that we get more of this for the next three days. Hope you’ve got your TruTV subscription ready. Embrace the chaos!