Going into the first weekend of the NCAA tournament, every person who fills out a bracket believes that they will become rich after "One Shining Moment" plays its final notes and their bracket is perfect.
After the first weekend, people look at the bracket feeling the same way as they did when they looked at their second-grade essay—red everywhere.
This weekend, the only thing that wasn't surprising was the sheer amount of surprises. There are four double-digit-seeded teams in the Sweet 16 and a No. 1 seed (Pittsburgh) has already been knocked out.
What were the five biggest surprises from the weekend?
The Big East came into the tournament with 11 teams in the field—the most of any conference, ever. After the first weekend, only No. 11 seed Marquette (they beat No. 3 seed Syracuse) and No. 3 seed UConn remain.
It's not like the Big East had a ton of low-seeded teams that lost; Pittsburgh was a No. 1 seed that lost to No. 8 Butler and Matt Howard, who has seemingly traded in his basketball shoes for glass slippers as Butler's Cinderella run has lasted over a year. In addition, No. 3, 4 and 5 seeds have all lost from the Big East.
The Big East struggled last year too—and nobody quite knows why.
Sure, the Big East tournament is a bit longer than the other tournaments, but only by one game. And UConn is one of the two teams remaining and they played five games in five days. If anyone has tournament fatigue as an excuse, its the Huskies.
The issue might come down to intensity. After a season of playing top-ranked teams, the teams from the first couple of rounds of the NCAA tournament might be taken easily by players. The Big East has to do some serious self-evaluation if it ever hopes to send 11 teams to the Big Dance again.
The Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) supposedly was the weakest it had been in years. But after the first weekend, it has three of the four teams that made the tournament in the Sweet 16.
Duke and North Carolina avoided early upsets, but the ACC's story of the tournament so far is Florida State. A lot of people wondered whether Florida State really deserved a spot in the tournament, but they have proven the doubters wrong with wins against Texas A&M and No. 2 seed Notre Dame.
Florida State's success is likely most affecting Virginia Tech, a team that didn't make the tournament because of the ACC's weak reputation.
Virginia Tech beat Florida State in the ACC tournament.
In a tournament world where upsets are the norm, the biggest surprise comes when there are none. The West region of the bracket this year is filling in close to plan.
The No. 1, 2 and 3 seeds are all still in the Sweet 16, and No. 4 seed Texas lost to the No. 5 seed for the biggest second-round upset. In the first round, the higher seed won all eight games.
For those of you looking at your brackets, depressed by all the red, check the bottom left corner for some relief. If you're still seeing red there, you can throw your bracket away—this isn't your year.
Two teams from the city of Richmond are still in the NCAA tournament—the same number of teams that remain from the Big East.
Both Richmond and Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) scored first- and second-round upsets on their way to Cinderella Sweet 16 runs. Richmond is a No. 12 seed, while VCU is a No. 11.
While making the Sweet 16 is an impressive feat, the way these teams played is the true story—they've been blowing teams out. Aside from Richmond's three-point win in the first round against a very good Vanderbilt team, none of the games either team has played have been within fifteen points.
Expect VCU to beat Florida State to make it into the Elite Eight, and don't be entirely surprised if Richmond beats Kansas and the two Richmond teams end up playing each other for a spot in the Final Four.
Somehow, March Madness games are always closer than games during the regular season. There's something magical about tournament games that allow them to stay exciting—most of the time.
Butler, the most magical team of the past two years, and Arizona have already won two games each by a combined three points.
Every year, this continues to surprise people. When good teams play, great games result. No one will remember blowouts, but the games that tear fans' hearts out will stay with them forever, and fans who watch their favorite player hit a buzzer-beater will always remember that moment.
It's the greatest time of year. Surprises are around every corner. Just wait to sit back on the couch next weekend and have your breath taken away yet again.