It was the Second Round of the NCAA Men’s Division I Basketball tournament that provided the biggest upset so far, perhaps of the entire tourney.
The Kansas Jayhawks fell to Northern Iowa 69-67 on Saturday, March 20 and stunned a huge bevy of basketball fans whose brackets ceased to matter any longer.
Other shockers of the NCAA included Villanova’s loss to St. Mary’s, Wisconsin’s fall to the Ivy League Cornell Big Red, and New Mexico’s (3) loss to Washington (11).
St. Mary’s (10) vs. Villanova (2), Baylor (3) vs. ODU (11)
St. Mary’s Gaels stunned the Villanova Wildcats 75-68, and it was the Gaels Omar Samhan with 32 points who was relentless to pull his team to the win. Scott Reynolds of Villanova had another tough night missing 9 of 11 and ending his stellar career on a low point.
Baylor’s Coach Scott Drew could not sing enough praise about his 7-foot senior, Josh Lomers, who helped put the Bears past Old Dominion 76-68. Lomers matched his all time career high scoring 14 points and having 8 rebounds.
St. Mary’s will meet Baylor on March 26, time TBA.
TA&M (5) vs. Purdue (4), California (8) vs. Duke (1)
Texas A&M and Purdue duked it out in the last game to finish on Second Round Sunday with Purdue coming out on top, 63-61 OT. Chris Kramer of th Boilermakers had 17 points with 6 rebounds, and Texas A&M’s Bryan Davis had 17 points and 14 rebounds.
Duke easily ousted California on Sunday afternoon winning 68-53. Duke’s 7’1” Brian Zoubek had 14 points, 12 rebounds and 1 assist, while California’s best performer was Jamal Boykin with 13 points, 12 rebounds and 1 block.
The Duke Blue Devils will meet the Purdue Boilermakers on March 26, time TBA.
Missouri (10) vs. WVU (2), Washington (11) vs. New Mexico (3)
It was West Virginia’s Da’Sean Butler and his 28 points that helped WVU overcome the Missouri Tigers 68-59. Missouri’s shooting was poor, with only 21 of 60 from the field and 12 of 20 at the line making their marks.
The Washington Huskies played better than a No. 11 seeded team usually does, and New Mexico bore the brunt of their strength. Quincy Pondexter scored 18 and Isaiah Thomas had 15 for the Huskies, while Dairese Gray of the Lobos contributed 25.
The Mountaineers of West Virginia will meet Washington on Thursday, making it their fifth trip to the final 16 and first time since 2008.
Cornell (12) vs. Wisconsin (4), Wake Forest (9) vs. Kentucky (1)
Cornell stunned Wisconsin via top players Louis Dale with 26 points and Ryan Wittman with 24. Cornell beat Wisconsin 87-69 and will advance to the Sweet Sixteen becoming the first team from the Ivy League since 1979 to do so.
The Kentucky Wildcats looked like a true champion when they beat Wake Forest on Saturday 90-60. It was Darius Miller of the Wildcats who had a career-high total of 20 points, DeMarcus Cousins with 19, John Wall with 14, and Eric Bledsoe with 13, who led the team to victory over the Demon Deacons.
The Big Red of Cornell will take on the Big Blue of Kentucky on Thursday in Syracuse.
Brigham Young (7) vs. Kansas State (2), Xavier (6) vs. Pittsburgh (3)
Jimmer Fredette of Brigham Young could not pull his team past Kansas State who were simply more powerful and won 84-72. Although Fredette scored 21 points, had 3 rebounds and 5 assists, Kansas State’s Jacob Pullen had 34 points, 1 rebound and 2 assists.
No. 6 seeded Xavier knocked off No. 3 seed Pittsburgh on Sunday 69-66 atoning for last year’s loss to Pitt in the NCAA. Jordan Crawford scored 27 points, and Jason Love scored 14 for the Muskateers. Pittsburgh’s Ashton Gibbs contributed 19 points Brad Wanamaker had 16 points and 10 rebounds.
Kansas State will meet Xavier on March 25, time TBA.
Murray (13) vs. Butler (5), Gonzalez (8) vs. Syracuse (1)
Although they are both smaller schools, it was Butler who came out on top of the Murray State Racers in a close run at 54-52. Ronald Nored of the Butler Bulldogs pulled in 15 points, while Isaiah Canaan made 14 for the Racers.
Syracuse’s Wes Johnson was simply too much for the Gonzaga Zags. With 31 points and 14 rebounds, Johnson was on fire, and Elias Harris who tossed in 24 for Gonzaga and Robert Sacre with 17 could not pull their team past the Orangemen. Coach Jim Boeheim of Syracuse said of his team, “This team has come to play every game.”
Syracuse will now meet Butler in the Sweet Sixteen on Thursday, March 25, time TBA.
OSU vs. Georgia Tech, Ohio (14) vs. Tennessee (6)
Ohio State beat Georgia Tech 75-66 and can largely thank Evan Turner for making that happen who had 24 points, 9 rebounds and 9 assists. Jon Diebler contributed 20 points, and David Lighty had 18 for the Buckeyes, while Georgia Tech’s Gani Lawal and Glen Rice, Jr., both had 11, and Iman Shumpert added 7 points.
J.P. Prince and Scotty Hopson put the Tennessee Volunteers over the Ohio Bobcats 83-68 with 18 and 17 points, respectively. Tommy Freeman of Ohio played well with 23 points, but teammates Armon Bassett and D. J. Cooper did not have the same contribution as they did when playing against Georgetown.
Ohio State will now meet the Tennessee Volunteers on March 26, time TBA.
Michigan State (5) vs. Maryland (4), Northern Iowa (9) vs. Kansas (1)
It was neck-and-neck but the Spartans, courtesy of a 3-pointer by Korie Lucious at the buzzer, pulled ahead of Maryland and won 85-83. Durrell Summers had 26 points and 4 rebounds, while Maryland’s Greivis Vasquez had 26 points, 4 rebounds and 8 assists.
It was the Northern Iowa Panthers who delivered the knock-out punch to the Kansas Jayhawks in the NCAA tourney, 69-67, and will be the team forever remembered in NCAA history for doing so. The shot that was nearly a fatal blow to the Jayhawks was made by Ali Farokhmanesh, who daringly shot a 3 point basket even though he had 34 seconds left on the shot clock in the last minutes of the game. It was a bold and brazen move that paid dividends to the Panthers and left the Jayhawks and much of the nation in shock.
The Michigan State Spartans will meet the Northern Iowa Panthers on Friday, March 26, time TBA.
Saturday, March 20 Results
Sts. Mary’s75- Villanova 68
Butler 54 – Murray State 52
Tennessee 83 – Ohio 68
Northern Iowa 69 – Kansas 67
Baylor 76 – Old Dominion 68
Washington 82 – New Mexico 64
Kansas State 84 – Brigham Young 72
Kentucky 90 – Wake Forest 60
Sunday, March 21, Results
Syracuse 87 – Gonzalez 65
Ohio State 65 – Georgia Tech 58
Michigan State 85 – Maryland 83
West Virginia 68 – Missouri 59
Cornell 87- Wisconsin 69
Xavier 71- Pittsburgh 68
Purdue 63 – Texas A&M 61 (OT)
Duke 68 – California 53