NCAA Bracket 2012: 4 Teams Guaranteed to Go Deep Following Massive Wins
Day one of March Madness is like Christmas day for college basketball fans: tons of presents and surprises that sometimes make you ecstatic and sometimes make you cry.
For half of the teams today, they have made sure their "holiday season" extends into the weekend with a Round of 32 matchup on Saturday. For the other half, their short trip on the dance floor has come to an end.
Unfortunately, for four teams, their day was particularly harsh.
Four other teams came out on Thursday and made a bold declaration to the world that they should be considered in your revamped bracket. Some of these teams we expected to dominate and make a statement.
Others, we were pleasantly surprised by. Click through to see four teams that are now going to have targets on their backs...and will live up to the hype.
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After BYU's amazing comeback against Iona, Princes were hoping they had found their Cinderella. Marquette quickly put an end to those hopes.
The Golden Eagles did not get much respect all season as they finished in the top 10 in the country, second to only Syracuse in the Big East, and finished the regular season 6-2. An early exit in the Big East tourney surely helped with this lack of notoriety, but they really got no respect.
Marquette stomped BYU by 20 and carried a 15-point lead into the half. Jae Crowder and Darius Johnson-Odom had 25 and 20 points, respectively, accounting for just over half of Marquette's offense.
These two players are some of the most exciting and athletic in the Big East and are now making a national argument for themselves as well. Marquette should do well in their half of the bracket as the highest seed they could face is No. 2 Missouri, a team they match up well against defensively and offensively.
They had a chance for an Elite Eight run in some people's minds; now they have to be considered very strongly, especially after an opening 20-point victory.
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The Badgers did not play like a No. 4 seed as they ran Montana out of the gym by 24 points. The Grizzlies had no answer for Wisconsin as they had four players in double figures, led by forward Ryan Evans.
Wisconsin, not normally a team to score a lot, is set up perfectly in their bracket. Next up, they face Vanderbilt, not a cake walk by any means, but a team that has struggled to play consistently all season against great defenses.
This should vault the Badgers to the second weekend, and they could go even further since Syracuse looks to be vulnerable to a physical team with a post presence and defense. The Badgers are a team that could use this momentum to go far as they finished their season with three straight wins against tough competition.
However, in order to go further, the Badgers will have to overcome the next team on the list...
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Ohio State has been an enigma all season. Voters wanted to rank OSU in the top three in the county all season, but they continued to find ways to lose winnable games.
Beating Loyola by 19 is a great way to make critics jump back on the bandwagon. Ohio State had a very balanced attack where Jared Sullinger finished third on the team in scoring and first in rebounding.
Deshaun Thomas shot over 50 percent to score 31 points and gave the Buckeyes a legitimate No. 2 scoring threat. Much like the Badgers with Syracuse weakened, Ohio State is now the favorite in the East bracket, even by President Obama.
Thanks to performances like this, the Buckeyes are going to be able to gather momentum and now make a legitimate Final Four run to meet the final team...
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Was there any surprise here? Kentucky may be the most talented team in the country, the most pro-ready team, and is definitely the best team in the country.
"The Battle for the Bluegrass" ended up being a massacre as the Wildcats trounced the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers by 15.
Should we expect this kind of performance every night?
No, but Kentucky has the talent to do it and that is the scary part. With Syracuse reeling and every other No. 1 and No. 2 seed having questions, the Wildcats are now the odds-on favorite to win it all.
Expect to see the Wildcats reach AT LEAST the Final Four, if not the National Championship game.