This year's men's NCAA Basketball Tournament is the chalkiest it's been in 19 years. It's so chalky...dust is getting in my eyes. I can't see the underdogs!
For those who don't know the lingo, "chalk" means favorite and 14 of 16 top seeds made it into the Sweet Sixteen.
Back in 1991, Connecticut, an 11th seed, was the only team to make it to the Sweet Sixteen that wasn't expected to get there....the only team that didn't have 1,2,3 or 4 seed.
One of the tho favorites that didn't get into this year's Sweet Sixteen was fourth seed Wake Forest. They got beaten by Cleveland State, in the first round.
Washington, also a fourth seed, was the other favorite that didn't get in when they were beaten by Purdue, in the second round.
Arizona (12), who beat Cleveland State in the second round, joined Purdue (5) as the only teams to make it into this year's Sweet Sixteen that didn't have a 1,2,3 or 4 seed.
Sure, Siena (9) gave us a thrill for a while. They defeated Ohio State in the first round and gave Louisville a real scare in their second round game, but faded at the end.
Dayton (11), USC (10) and Maryland (10) all won first-round games and Cleveland State (13), as previously mentioned, had that great win over Wake Forest before losing in the second round.
Though Arizona (12) is considered a long shot this year, they have a good chance to go another round or two and Purdue (5) can certainly do the same.
Tournaments, in years past, seemed to have had so many more underdogs(teams seeded 5-16) that made it into the Sweet Sixteen.
Last year, Villanova (12), Western Kentucky (12), Davidson (10) and West Virginia (7) all made the Sweet Sixteen. Davidson got hot and beat Wisconsin before losing in the Elite Eight.
In 2007, UNLV (7), Vanderbilt (6), USC (5), Butler (5) and Tennessee (5) made it to the Sweet Sixteen.
2006 was a great year for Cinderellas. Bradley (13), George Mason (11), Georgetown (7), Wichita St. (7), West Virginia (6) and Washington (5) made the cut. Remember George Mason...they made it to the Final Four in 2006.
2005 was one of the best years for the underdog. Wisc.-Milwaukee (12), North Carolina St. (10), West Virginia (7), Texas Tech (6), Wisconsin (6), Utah (6), Villanova (5) and Michigan St. (5) were teams that reached to the Sweet Sixteen. Michigan State went on to the Final Four.
2004 was another year for the unexpected. Nevada (10), UAB (9), Alabama (8), Xavier (7), Vanderbilt (6), Syracuse (5) and Illinois (5) all made the Sweet Sixteen. Alabama and Xavier both advanced.
2003, 2002 and 2001 were also years with plenty of long shots surprising everyone and making into the Sweet Sixteen. In 2002, Kent State (8) and Missouri (8) and Indiana (5) all made it to the Elite Eight. This was the year that saw Indiana lose to Maryland in the Championship Game.
2000 was one of the greatest years for long shots. Seton Hall (10), UNC (8), Wisconsin (8), Tulsa (7), ,Miami (6), UCLA (6), Purdue (6) and Florida (5) all made the Sweet Sixteen. Florida made it to the championship game, where they lost to Michigan State.
This is a year it's getting just a little too predictable.
Arizona is about all that's left to root for, if you're looking for an upset...and only an upset on paper. Arizona is a very good team!
As for Purdue, I wouldn't exactly call them much of an underdog.... they are a fifth seed.
So, if you're like me and enjoy seeing David beat Goliath, if you want to see a major conference power lose to a virtual unknown in the Sweet Sixteen....it's not going to happen this year.
These 5-16 seeds Made it to the Sweet Sixteen between 1992-99:
1999: Oklahoma (13), S. W. Missouri St. (12), Purdue (10), Miami Oh. (10), Gonzaga (10),Temple (6)
1998: Valporiso (13), Washington (11), West Virginia (10), Rhode Is. (8), Syracuse (5)
1997: UT Chattanooga (14), Providence (10), Texas (10), Louisville (6), Iowa St. (6), California (5)
1996: Arkansas (12), Louisville (6), Mississippi St. (5)
1995: Memphis St. (6), Georgetown (6), Tulsa (6), Mississippi St. (5), Arizona St. (5)
1994: Tulsa (12), Maryland (10), Bost. Coll. (9), Marquette (6), Indiana (5)
1993: George Washington (12), Temple (7), Western Kentucky (7), Virginia (6), California (6), Wake Forest (5)
1992: New Mesico St. (12), UTEP (9), Georgia Tech (7), Michigan (6), Memphis St. (6)