Cleat Geeks

Are all the Up sets making this a Down year?

I knew going into this years tournament there was no solid, clear-cut #1 but this is ridiculous! And the night is not even over……on day two!

No. 12 Little Rock 85, No. 5 Purdue 83: Little Rock is moving on in the NCAA Tournament, thanks to an out-of-nowhere comeback that led to an 85-83 double-overtime victory over Purdue on Thursday in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.UALRTrojans

Josh Hagins sent the game into overtime with a shot from the edge of the mid-court logo, and then into double OT with an arcing shot off glass over an outstretched defender.

The 6-foot-1 senior finished with 31 points, including six in the second overtime.

The 12th-seeded Trojans (30-4), trailed 65-52 with 3:33 to go in regulation, and then went on a 12-0 run to make it a game. Trailing by three on the final possession, Hagins tried to find space, then stepped back and launched from 30 feet to tie it.

# 11 Gonzaga 68, Upsets #6 Seton Hall 52:  Sure, there were doubts that Gonzaga would make it back to the NCAA Tournament this year.

Now that the Zags are here, they’re making plans to stay a while.

The Bulldogs pulled away from Seton Hall for a 68-52 victory Thursday night behind a 21-point, 16-rebound effort from Domantas Sabonis and a shutdown defensive effort on Seton Hall’s Isaiah Whitehead.

In the bracket, this one goes down as an upset. Gonzaga (27-7) was an 11 seed, while Seton Hall (25-9) was a 6. Vegas knew better; the Zags opened the week as a 1-point favorite.

But Gonzaga was no sure thing to make this, its 18th straight tournament, until it won the West Coast Conference tournament last week.

Turns out, all that did was build steam, and some confidence, and suddenly, this looks like the sort of Gonzaga team hoops fans have come to know during March.


Next up for Gonzaga is a meeting with third-seeded Utah on Saturday, with a trip to the Sweet 16 at stake.







# 11 Wichita State 65, Upsets # 6 Arizona 55: Fred VanVleet and Ron Baker combined for 29 points and Wichita State’s swarming defense did the rest as the Shockers beat Arizona in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.

Wichita State (26-8) will play Miami (26-7), the third seed in the South Region, on Saturday.

Wichita-State-WallpaperArizona coach Sean Miller called a timeout 53 seconds into the game after VanVleet and Baker pounced on a loose ball in the Wildcats end. It was evident from the outset that Wichita State’s in-your-face defense was going to be the decisive factor against Arizona (25-9).

The Shockers forced 19 turnovers they converted into 22 points and snared nine steals.

Arizona’s big three of Ryan Anderson, Gabe York, and Allonzo Trier, each averaging 15 points, combined for 28.

#9 UConn 74, Upsets # 8 Colorado 67: uconn_huskies-alternate-2013

Rodney Purvis, Daniel Hamilton and a stifling defense carried Connecticut back from an 11-point first-half deficit, giving the Huskies enough for a 74-67 first-round victory over Colorado that kept coach Kevin Ollie unbeaten in the NCAA Tournament.

Purvis scored 15 of his 19 points after halftime, Daniel Hamilton had 17 points and 10 rebounds and the No. 9 seed Huskies (25-10) advanced to the second round of the South Region.

Josh Scott had 23 points and 11 rebounds for the No. 8 Buffaloes (22-12), finishing 0-3 in the NCAA Tournament in his career. He had five of Colorado’s 11 misses in 30 free-throw attempts, aiding UConn’s comeback.


#12 Yale 79, Upsets #5 Baylor 75: Makai Mason had a career-high 31 points, including six of YaleLogoYale’s final nine points, and the No. 12 seed Bulldogs held on to upset fifth seed Baylor 79-75 in the first round of the NCAA Tournament on Thursday.

Yale (23-6) earns its first NCAA Tournament victory. It comes in its first appearance since 1962.

Justin Sears added 18 points. Brandon Sherrod finished with 10.

The Bulldogs led by as many as 13 points in the second half before having its lead cut to 1 point. But a late turnover by the Bears helped Yale secure the victory.

Taurean Prince led Baylor (22-12) with 28 points. Johnathan Motley finished with 15 points and seven rebounds.

Expelled Yale player Jack Montague, dismissed last month because of a sexual assault allegation, was in the stands for the game. He was present as a fan and sat across from the Yale bench.

Yale will play No. 4 seed Duke on Saturday.


 #15 Middle Tennessee upsets #2 Michigan StateMiddleTennesseeStateLogo

Number 15 ranked Middle Tennessee arguably pulled off the greatest upset in NCAA history. Most people had Michigan State in the final four and some even had them winning the championship. Middle Tennessee is only the eighth 15 seed in history to defeat a number 2 seed.  The Blue Raiders started off strong making there first six shots and jumped out to an early 15-2 lead.Reggie Upshaw Jr. sealed the victory with a late dunk and being fouled in the final minute of the game to seal a 90-81 victory.  People are shocked to see how poorly Michigan State played defensively, as coming into the tourney they were considered one of the best.

#11 Hawaii upsets #5 Cal

HawaiiLogoAfter winning the Big west Conference Hawaii became the first team in the conference to win a NCAA tourney game.

“The state of Hawaii deserves this. They deserve this more than we do,” Hawaii guard Sai Tummala said.

Quincy smith scored a career high 19 points to lead the Bears to a 77-66 victory. Roderick Bobbitt added 17 and Stefan Jankovic chipped in with 16. Hawaii (28-5) had a strong second half to hold off California when the game got close. Hawaii shot 52 percent from the field and held the Bears to 16 percent shooting from long range.  The small things can decide a basketball game as well, including free throw shooting. The Warriors shot 80 percent compared to the Bears who shot 65 percent.  The Warriors will either play no.5 seed Maryland or no.12 seed South Dakota State in the second round.

#14 Stephen F. Austin Upsets #3 West Virginia

In a battle between the two teams who force the highest percentage of turnovers in college basketball this season, 14th-seeded Stephen F. Austin rolled to a 70-56 victory because the Lumberjacks’ pressure defense was far more effective than West Virginia’s was. Twenty-two turnovers by the Mountaineers led directly to 30 Stephen F. Austin points, much too big an advantage for cold-shooting West Virginia to overcome when it only forced seven Lumberjacks turnovers.

stephen_f_austin_lumberjacks-mascot-2002Stephen F. Austin’s victory adds to the Lumberjacks’ impressive list of accomplishments that will again make coach Brad Underwood a target for major-conference programs with a vacancy to fill.

In the past three years, Stephen F. Austin has lost just one Southland Conference game and advanced to the NCAA tournament each time. The Lumberjacks upset fifth-seeded VCU in the 2014 opening round and pushed Utah in the first round a year ago.

As the evening wore on we saw more upsets as #11 Northern Iowa upset #6 Texas, #10 Syracuse upset #7 Dayton with another #10 upsetting another 7 when VCU beat Oregon State.

But my question is because of all the upsets, is this now watering down the tournament? We all want to see and therefore usually route for 1 or 2 cinderella teams, but this year it is almost hard to decide which cinderella team to route because there are so many. Most of these teams I did not see, nor did I want to see play this year. It almost has the feel of watching minor league baseball teams at major league stadiums. Do you agree or disagree? Comment below and get a conversation started.



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