The Atlantic 10 Conference shocked NCAA tournament bracket enthusiasts in 2013. However, they weren’t the only surprises. There have already been a fair share of Cinderella stories that have thickened the plot of March Madness.
Would you want it any other way?
Like all fairy tales, though, especially the one these underdogs get their name from, they are destined to run out of time.
Coming out of nowhere and winning a shocking upset is one thing. Stringing together a series of perfect basketball games to win a National Championship is quite another.
Let’s take a look at a couple of these programs who have done the unthinkable, but whose luck is about to run out in the not-so-distant future.
Florida Gulf Coast Eagles (15)
The Florida Gulf Coast Eagles became just the seventh school to score a 15th-seed over second-seed upset in the NCAA tournament. How have others fared after accomplishing such a feat?
A 15-seed has never won another tournament game after upsetting a No. 2 seed in the round of 64.
The historic odds are certainly stacked against the Eagles in their upcoming matchup with San Diego State on Sunday. While they weren’t as successful as they had hoped in the preseason, the Aztecs are solid basketball team that will continue the trend by pulling the rug out from under Cinderella at the Big Dance.
La Salle Explorers (13)
Before 2013, No. 13 seeds won just two of their 10 matchups against No. 12 seeds. The La Salle Explorers may have shocked Kansas State in the final seconds of their round of 64 matchup, but Ole Miss decisively dealt with a very good Wisconsin Badgers team.
The odds aren’t totally stacked against the Explorers, but if they have any intention of continuing their Cinderella story they are going to need to play two full halves of basketball against the Rebels, not letting up like they seemingly did against Kansas State.
Harvard Crimson (14)
The Ivy Leaguers from Harvard scored a huge win over third-seed New Mexico in just their second appearance in the tournament since 1946. It didn’t really look like an upset while watching it, either.
They looked and played like they were the favorites, shutting down Lobos’ star Tony Snell and dictating the pace of the game with their toughness on both ends of the court.
While their opening performance was certainly admirable, the Crimson doesn’t have a consistent enough offense to continue to push through the tournament. They hit an impressive eight out of their 18 three-point field goals to help propel them over the Lobos.
Living and dying by the three-pointer, especially in March, won’t get them very far even if they somehow strike gold twice and advance over Arizona to the Sweet 16.