March Madness 2012 Bracket: Shocking Upsets That Changed Next Season's Landscape
It wouldn't be March Madness without upsets; but honestly, did any of you see this coming?
The Lehigh Mountain Hawks and the Norfolk St. Spartans became the fifth and sixth No. 15 seeds to pull the upset on a No. 2 seed.
While these upsets affect our brackets during the month of March, they also impinge on the landscape of next season.
Is a coach on the hot seat for dropping the ball (no pun intended) to a low-ranking seed? Is an NBA prospect going to leave the university for bigger and better things?
Let's take a look at three second-round upsets thus far and break it down.
No. 15 Lehigh defeats No. 2 Duke
When Lehigh upset Coach K and the Duke Blue Devils, there was a black cloud of questions looming over the Duke locker room.
The most important?
"Is Austin Rivers going to leave Duke after his first season and enter the NBA draft?"
Well, you already know how I feel about Rivers entering the NBA draft after one year, but Rivers himself hasn't given much inclination on his status.
It's impossible to tell whether this loss will have any affect on Rivers' decision—he says it won't—but it's hard not to think that if Duke found success in the tournament, the freshman guard may have put everyone in Durham at rest, announcing that he would remain at Duke for another season.
But that didn't happen.
Rivers leaving Durham would not only affect Duke next season, but would change the landscape of the entire ACC.
No. 15 Norfolk St. defeats No. 2 Missouri
The Missouri Tigers were on the wrong end of one of the biggest tournament upsets in the past decade.
One question surrounding Missouri is, "How on earth did this happen?" Especially when Missouri was one of the favorites to win it all after being crowned Big 12 champs.
The 86-84 upset was the last career collegiate game for three starting Missouri seniors, leaving Tigers head coach Frank Haith with a lot of questions entering next season.
Another issue for the Tigers entering next season is defense. After averaging 69 points per game during the regular season, Norfolk St. put up 86 on Missouri in the second-round upset.
The result of allowing so many points to a team that doesn't boast a hefty offense may result in Haith focusing more on defense during the offseason, especially since he must now prepare for the SEC.
No. 13 Ohio defeats No. 4 Michigan
If anyone had Ohio advancing to the Sweet 16, I give you props.
In order to make it to the Sweet 16, Ohio had to go through the Michigan Wolverines, who tied for third in the Big Ten standings at 13-5, with Ohio St. and Michigan St.
So what went wrong for the Wolverines against a lowly No. 13-seeded Ohio team?
They shot just 30 percent from beyond the arc and saw only two starters score in double digits, which wasn't a shock.
For the season, only Trey Burke and Tim Hardaway Jr. averaged double-digit scoring for Michigan, which is something head coach John Beilein will certainly have to work on during the offseason.
Michigan averaged a mere 66.5 PPG as a team in 2011-12, which ranked No. 202 in the NCAA.
If Michigan wants to stay afloat with Ohio St. and Michigan St. in the Big Ten for seasons to come, they'll need to recruit and develop pure scorers and add depth to their bench.
For your printable bracket for the 2012 NCAA tournament, click here.
Follow Pete Schauer on Twitter @Pete_Schauer
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