NCAA Tournament 2011: The 5 Biggest Surprises from the Round of 32

Matt FaulconerFeatured ColumnistMarch 22, 2011

NCAA Tournament 2011: The 5 Biggest Surprises from the Round of 32

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    This past weekend proved to be a surprising one in college basketball.  A top seed fell early in the tournament again, and the Big East was left with just two teams.

    The ACC who entered the tournament with only four teams still has three teams remaining, while the Big 12 is left with only one team.

    It was upset weekend in Washington D.C. as Butler knocked off the Pittsburgh Panthers, but was that the most surprising upset of the weekend?

5. Arizona (5) Defeated Texas (4)

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    While not a huge upset in terms of the seeding by the NCAA committee, the Arizona Wildcats defeated a Texas team that many analysts considered a potential Final Four team.

    Texas appeared to have the game won with the ball in hand and under ten seconds remaining, however a questionable five second violation (which can be seen in the video) sealed the fate of the Longhorns.

    Derrick Williams is one of the best players in the country and a sure fire bet to be a top five pick in the NBA draft, however, he had an off night on Sunday and the Wildcats were still able to escape with a victory.

4. Marquette (11) Defeated Syracuse (3)

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    Marquette defeated Syracuse during the regular season, as well, and proved that they were worthy of being in the tournament by defeating Syracuse on a late three pointer Sunday night.

    Marquette appeared to be dominated by Syracuse as they were outshot 55 percent to 41 percent.  However, Marquette did a very good job on defense against Rick Jackson and kept him from getting easy looks.

    Jackson has been the rock on offense for Syracuse this season, but could not get anything going on Sunday night and his inability to score was the downfall for Syracuse.

    Syracuse also turned the ball over 18 times, which was the dagger in the coffin for the Orangemen.

    Syracuse may have been the better team, but the Marquette Golden Eagles stepped up at the right time and earned themselves a date with the North Carolina Tar Heels.

3. VCU (11) Defeated Purdue (3)

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    Purdue did not look like a basketball team that should have received a three seed after their last two games against Iowa and Michigan State, however, not many people had VCU in their Sweet 16. 

    VCU was not a team projected to even make the tournamen,t according to most bracketologists, however, they proved they were worthy in their lopsided victories over Purdue and Georgetown.

    VCU dominated Purdue on both sides of the floor and set up the first ever matchup in the Sweet 16 between No. 11 and No. 10 seeds.

    Bradford Burgess looked like a star for the Rams, as he scored 23 points, and made it look easy in the 93-76 victory.

    VCU shot 59 percent from the field and were able to defend the interior and exterior against Purdue, keeping them under 50 percent shooting for the game en rout to an easy victory for the Rams.

2. Butler (8) Defeated Pittsburgh (1)

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    Pittsburgh losing in the second round was a huge shock to the college basketball world, however, Butler is the defending runner-up and proved that they were tournament worthy again.

    Pittsburgh has yet to make a Final Four under Jamie Dixon, but the Panthers appeared to have an easier run to the Final Four this year than in past years.  However, the Butler Bulldogs should not have been overlooked as they were beginning to find their 2010 form.

    Selvin Mack took complete control of this game and helped Butler gain an eight point lead at the half.  That lead did not hold up as Pittsburgh came back early in the second half. 

    Pittsburgh's biggest knock when it comes to tournament time is their offense, and that did not change this season.

    Pittsburgh was unable to convert late when they needed a basket and Butler was able to keep the pressure on just enough to sneak out a victory after a last second foul by Pittsburgh.

1. Florida State (10) Defeated Notre Dame (2)

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    The Florida State Seminoles defeating the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame was by far the biggest shock of the weekend.

    The Seminoles defeated the Fighting Irish by a score of 71-57, holding Notre Dame to their second lowest total of the season (their lowest total came in a win against Pittsburgh, as they won 56-51).

    Ben Hansbrough and Tim Abromitis combined for 39 of the 57 points that the Irish scored as Florida State's ferocious defense was able to hold the Irish to a 31 percent field goal percentage.

    Notre Dame likely should have been the one seed over Pittsburgh, however, they were completely dominated and blown out by the Seminoles. 

    Pittsburgh losing in the second round may have been a shock, but no one expected Notre Dame to be blown out by 14 points against an ACC team not named Duke or North Carolina.