What a Start for March Madness and the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament

Eric ThomasonCorrespondent IMarch 20, 2010

Roll out the red carpet, March madness has arrived in grand fashion.

Three overtime games, four buzzer beaters and seven higher seeds advancing highlighted day one of the NCAA tournament.  

Cinderella is certainly alive this spring.

A 14, 13, two 11’s and a 12 all advanced to the second round in one of the most exciting two days of college basketball ever.

The Big East and A-10 struggled, while the Big 12 and the WCC impressed and the PAC 10 proved to be a better league than expected.

After 33 games and the field cut in half, here’s what we learned:

A misconception of the Big East conference’s strength obviously led to teams being over-seeded.  Whether the physical nature of the league wore down some of these teams or not: Villanova, Notre Dame and Georgetown didn’t deserve the seeds they were given.

At first glance it seemed Duke would have the easiest path to Indianapolis, but the Blue Devils could see two favorable match-ups for lower seeded teams in the Houston with Texas A&M and Baylor looming.

Cornell proved the best three point shooting team in the country is dangerous no matter what conference they play in.

If going 18-0 in conference play and Butler’s previous tournament resume wasn’t enough to impress, the Bulldogs dominant win over UTEP definitely was.

Granted not much should be taken from the No. 1 vs. No. 16 match-up, but youth certainly didn’t look like it will be an issue for Kentucky. 

We were reminded just how bad of a tournament coach Oliver Purnell is, as Clemson lost to a lower seed in the first round for the third straight year, improving Purnell’s record to an impressive 0-6 all-time.

That outside of the top six teams there isn’t much difference separating the rest of the field.

Also that Billy Packer can still yell with the best of them.

So whether you’ve already tossed your bracket in the garbage or not, sit back and enjoy because the madness has just begun.