NCAA Tournament 2012: Ranking Biggest Upsets Thus Far

Sam DrakeCorrespondent IMarch 19, 2012

NCAA Tournament 2012: Ranking Biggest Upsets Thus Far

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    It wasn't until the second day of the Second Round of the NCAA Tournament that Bracket Busters started to happen. 

    People were shocked that the Missouri Tigers lost to Norfolk State, and then were stunned when Coach K and the Duke Blue Devils were upset by the Lehigh Mountain Hawks. That made two fifteenth-seeded teams to upset a second seed.

    What once looked like a tournament where all top seeds were going to continue on, turned into a day where all top seeds were on upset alert.

    Here are the top six upsets from the second and third round of tournament play.

6. VCU over Wichita State

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    The only reason that this upset wasn't a shocker was because of Shaka Smart.

    Wichita State was the first lower-seeded team to lose to a double-digit-seeded team, and they lost a heart breaker.

    Bradford Burgess hit a late three point jumper to propel the VCU Rams into the third round with a 62-59 victory over the Shockers.

    Wichita State failed to score a basket in the last two minutes of the game when they were up by two points.

    Smart once again proved that he is capable of leading a team without the lure of a big school or storied program, like Kentucky or UNC, to victories in the NCAA Tournament.

    This year was supposed to be the year that Wichita State was going to make a deep run in the tournament, but the Rams derailed them by limiting them to shooting 39 percent shooting from the floor.

5. North Carolina State over Georgetown

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    Georgetown almost tied the game. Jason Clark had a chance at the end of regulation to hit a game-tying three-point jump from the wing, but his shot was off the mark.

    First, it was San Diego State, then it was the Hoyas. The Wolfpack are showing teams that they are able to compete with the big boys.

    The Hoyas were unable to contain the Wolfpack's forwards, led by C.J. Leslie who had 14 points, eight rebounds, and three blocked shots.

    It was the three-point shooting that ended up hurting the most. The Hoyas outshot the Wolfpack 41 percent to 37 percent, but Georgetown only shot 32 percent from deep, while NC State was at 47 percent.

    Also, NC State got Georgetown into foul trouble, with center Henry Sims fouling out, and guard Markel Starks getting four fouls in 19 minutes of work.

4. USF over Temple

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    Neither team started the game very well, but it was South Florida who caught fire in the second half.

    Temple shot an awful 2-12 from beyond the arc and had to play catch up for most of the second half. They got within three with six minutes left to play, but once again South Florida caught fire and Temple cooled off.

    South Florida used the gritty, tough style of the Big East to overwhelm their Atlantic 10 opponent. The Bulls out-rebounded the Owls overall, including an advantage in the offensive rebound category.

3. Colorado over UNLV

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    For pretty much all of the second half of the college basketball season, analysts have preached that the PAC-12 is a weak conference and will not be good come tournament time.

    Nobody told this to Colorado.

    The Buffs were a sixth seed in the PAC-12 Tournament, and if they wanted to make the big dance, they had to beat Oregon, California and Arizona. They did just that and earned themselves an eleventh seed in the NCAA Tournament. 

    They had to face a UNLV team who had already beaten UNC, San Diego St. and Illinois this season and were looking to bring back the glory days to Las Vegas.

    The Buff dominated the Rebels for the entire game but really turned up the heat in the second half until they were up by 20 points with 12 minutes to go in the game. UNLV came within two points with four minutes to play but were unable to take the lead.

    UNLV's loss follows the same story as the other upsets noted in previous slides—lack of three-point shooting. The Rebels shot 25 percent from deep, while the Buffs were seven of 12. They also outshot UNLV by 14 percent overall. 

    The Rebels came out flat in this game and never recovered, while the Buffs played inspired basketball and prroved to the rest of the teams that the PAC-12 was not as weak as previously thought.

2. Norfolk State over Missouri

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    The Missouri Tigers had no answer for Kyle O'Quinn of Norfolk State.

    O'Quinn scored 26 points and pulled down 14 rebounds in the first big upset of the tournament.

    Mizzou was a popular pick to reach the Final Four because of guard Marcus Denmon and because they had beaten Baylor twice and Kansas. They were experienced, and had the talent to make a deep run. 

    No one told Norfolk State that they were supposed to lose.

    The Spartans were deadly from long range, making 10 of 19 shots and dominating the boards by pulling down 12 more rebounds than the Tigers.

1. Lehigh over Duke

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    David vs. Goliath.

    Team U.S.A. vs U.S.S.R.

    Texas Western University vs. Kentucky.

    It may have not had the championship implications, but nonetheless the result sent shock waves throughout college basketball.

    The Blue Devils were an overwhelming favorite coming into this game. No one expected Lehigh to put up much of a fight.

    Once again, the favorite team, Duke, was unable to cash in from long range. They shot 23 percent from three-point land, while the Mountain Hawks hit 33 percent of their deep shots.

    Duke's guards were unable to contain C.J. McCollum, who torched the Blue Devils for 30 points, six rebounds and six assists.