It happens every year.
We watch a lower-seeded school that’s shooting the ball lights-out and clearly have the higher-seeded team on the ropes. They’re on the brink of destroying everyone’s bracket on the first day of the NCAA tournament.
Yesterday was no exception, as UNC-Asheville and South Dakota State both made their opponents at times look like tournament novices before losing their second-round games. With parity being the norm in college basketball, it’s only a matter of time before a No. 16 seed defeats a No. 1 seed.
Here are the bracket busters we didn’t see coming from Day 1 of the tournament:
Luck is on the side of the Colorado Buffaloes, as they would be watching the NCAAs with us if they didn’t win the Pac-12 tournament last weekend.
The school doesn’t have much of a basketball heritage, as the Buffs' lone bright spot is that guard Chauncey Billups attended school there.
Second-year head coach Tad Boyle and top scorers Carlon Brown and Andre Robertson have entered the season hot. Opponents cannot force turnovers out of them, as Colorado has 10 or fewer turnovers in six of their last eight games.
Yes, the VCU Rams are very dangerous and have the experience of playing in the NCAA tournament under their belt. If you watched their conference tournament, you quickly realized that the Rams are better than last year’s Final Four team.
VCU has some of the same personnel from last year and is a better defensive unit. They create turnovers that translate into easy baskets.
Can lightning strike twice?
Yes, as VCU can proudly say it has Shaka Smart, and the rest of the field in the tourney doesn’t.
The Murray State Racers could make a name for themselves if they defeat nationally-ranked teams on their way to a Final Four appearance. The Racers are having a memorable year, as they’re 31-1 and fully capable of stringing together a tournament run.
This season, Murray State found its formula by slowing the tempo down with a half-court offense. And if Isaiah Canaan gets hot from the outside, it could a long day for any opponent. He can quickly turn a four-point lead into a double digit cushion in a matter of minutes.