Biggest Upsets In The First Two Rounds

This year’s March Madness has been just that, madness.  I would say that it’s been a little more crazy than most years. If you look at the first round alone more than 28% of the games were statistical upsets.  That’s nine upsets in the first round alone.  The second round saw six upsets which was almost 38% of the games (6 upsets). We saw the first number one seed to go down in the first round ever.  I mean we all knew it would happen some day but I didn’t think it would be in my lifetime.  Let’s take a look back at all the biggest upsets so far in this tournament:

  1. #16 UMBC annihilates #1 Virginia 74-54 in the very first round of the tournament.  This is the first time in NCAA history that such an upset has happened.  UMBC was ranked #111 in the nation in RPI at the time while Virginia was the overall #1 seed.
  2. #13 Buffalo destroys #4 Arizona 89-68 in the very first round.  To be honest, I didn’t have much hope for Arizona this season as the Pac-12 was really weak all year and they seemed to be the only real contender to come out of it.  I actually saw Buffalo play two years ago at Duke.  They played more transition ball back then but they are most definitely an up and coming mid major.  It’s just too bad they ended up drawing Kentucky in the second round.
  3. #11 Loyola-Chicago upsets #3 Tennessee 63-62 in the second round.  This was one of the many games that really ruined a lot of brackets.  That seems to be Loyola (Chi)’s mantra in this tournament.  They are the lowest seeded team still left in the tournament as of this point.
  4. #11 Loyola-Chicago makes it to the second round on a buzzer beater three taking down Miami 64-62 in the very first round.  While this game was a major upset, for them to advance to the Sweet 16 is a big deal which is why I put this one lower on the list.
  5. #13 Marshall beats Wichita State 81-75 in the very first round.  This game has me questioning whether or not mid majors have actually “earned the right” to play in this tournament.  Wichita State only lost by 6 points but Marshall would go on to lose by 23 to West Virginia (a mediocre Big 12 team).
  6. #9 Florida State takes out #1 Xavier 75-70 in the second round. Xavier was ahead for most of this game and were even up 9 points with a little over 5 in a half minutes left. The last four minutes of the game were the deciding factor as Florida State ended the game on an 11-2 run.
  7. #11 Syracuse upsets #3 Michigan State 55-53 in the second round.  This was a great classic back and forth tournament game.  It came down to free throws and a last second three point shot that didn’t go in.
  8. #7 Nevada overtakes #2 Cincinnati 75-72 in the second round.  This was one of the crazier comebacks that I have seen in a while.  The game started out with Cincinnati getting out to a 10-0 lead.  Less than five minutes into the game the score was 18-4 Cincinnati.  It was 27-10 with 12 minutes still left in the first half.  With 11 and a half minutes left Cincinnati was up 21 points.  That’s when Nevada woke up.  With less than a minute left they finally tied it back up for the first time since 0-0 14 seconds into the game.  The rest is history.  This was one of the best games so far in the entire tournament. Cincinnati scored just two points in the last 5:48.
  9. #7 Texas A&M crushes #2 North Carolina 86-65 in the second round.  I don’t even want to talk about this game.  Personally speaking this is probably the biggest heartbreak of my entire college basketball life.  North Carolina is my favorite college basketball team…has been since I was a little kid.  Texas A&M is my arch enemy because I grew up outside of Austin, Tx.  This could not have been a worse moment for me. I will leave it at that, but yea…North Carolina got wrecked.
  10. #11 Syracuse takes out #6 TCU 57-52 in the very first round.  This was another heart-breaker for me because I love TCU so much.  My significant other went to grad school there just a few years ago so I spent a lot of time around the campus and grew to love them as a whole.  Syracuse just wanted it more apparently.



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