Norfolk State vs. Missouri: How Miracle Upset Reshapes the NCAA Tournament
Norfolk State became the first No. 15 seed to upset a No. 2 seed since 2001 when they defeated Missouri, 86-84, in a game that will reshape the NCAA tournament, especially the West Region.
Norfolk State will play No. 7 seed Florida in the third round with a berth to the Sweet 16 on the line. It was Norfolk State's first win against a ranked opponent since the school joined Division I basketball.
With the Tigers—the Big 12 Conference tournament champions—out of March Madness after just one game, the path to the Final Four has gotten a little easier for many teams.
Who will win the West Region?
For the region's No. 1 seed, Michigan State, Louisville and Marquette are the toughest possible opponents standing in the way of another Final Four berth.
If the Spartans can get to the Elite Eight, Marquette or Florida would likely be their opponent in that game. Missouri's loss has basically given the Spartans the easiest road to the Final Four of any No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament.
The Tigers' upset loss also has the potential to help the winner of the South Region, who will play the winner of the West Region in one of the two Final Four games.
If Kentucky, Baylor or Duke wins the South Region and advances to the Final Four, they won't have to face the Tigers, who would have created matchup problems for all three of those teams because of their athleticism and talent.
More importantly, Norfolk State's miracle upset will strike fear into the top seeds throughout the tournament, and you can bet no underdog will be taken lightly after this amazing upset.
Norfolk has proved that in one game, any team can be beaten, no matter how much more talent the favorite may have.
Expect the West Region to be the craziest and most unpredictable region for the rest of the tournament. There are three or four schools that have a legitimate chance to advance to the Final Four now that Missouri has been eliminated from the field.
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