Day two of the NCAA Men’s Division I Basketball Tournament early games, started where day one left off. Yesterday the record was broken for; number of lower ranked teams winning and advancing to the second round, which was 7 out of 16, nearly 50%. Yesterday also featured two other games that took overtime for the better seeded team to win, (#7 BYU in 2OT, and #2 Villanova).
Half of the sixteen games today are finished and in the books for the 2010 season. Among the teams that will be moving into the second round are; #6 Xavier, who defeated #11 Minnesota by eleven, 65-54. Many brackets had Minnesota pulling the upset and advancing to the Sweet Sixteen against Pittsburgh. It just wasn’t to be, as they fell short of making out of the first round.
Speaking of Pittsburgh, they will be advancing to the second round, as they easily moved past Oakland (89-66) in the #3 - #14 match-up, in the West Bracket.
It is looking like today’s action will produce nowhere near the upsets as yesterdays did. Currently, out of the 8 games that have gone final, we have seen only two upsets; #10 Missouri will be advancing to the second round to face #2 West Virginia, after pulling off the upset win over #7 Clemson, 86-78.
#2 West Virginia advances easily by defeating #15 Morgan State. Many felt that coming off of a very impressive Big East Championship, that West Virginia would have been awarded a #1 seed; instead it is looking like they will have a showdown with #1 Kentucky, in the Elite Eight.
The other big upset of the day featured #12 Cornell knocking # 5 Temple out in the opening round. This was Cornell’s first NCAA Tournament win, and they did it in grand fashion. Cornell, considered by many to be the best Ivy League team in years, (28-4, 13-1 Ivy), easily moved past Temple in action earlier today. Cornell built an early lead and never looked back as they moved past Temple, and will now look towards facing #4 Wisconsin.
#4 Wisconsin advanced to the second round after defeating #13 Wofford. This was one of those upset special games, that many thought would end with Wofford advancing. The Wofford team hung around until the final seconds of the game, forcing Wisconsin to battle for the victory.
The remaining early games played out as predicted, with #4 Purdue, moving past #13 Sienna, 72-64. Purdue will advance to meet #5 Texas A&M, who advanced today after defeating #12 Utah State, by a score of 69-53.
The ‘big’ games of the day have yet to tip-off, with #2 Ohio State and #15 UC Santa Barbara getting underway at 9:35p.m, and #1 Syracuse against #16 Vermont starting at 9:30p.m, Eastern Time.
If a #1 seeded team is going to lose in the first round, this will be the game to watch. It is highly unlikely that #1 Syracuse will come out and choke, but Vermont has the greatest chance of the four #16 teams to pull it off.
Many brackets have #2 Ohio State advancing through to the Elite Eight in a match-up against #1 Kansas. Personally, I had Georgetown advancing, but as we all know, they laid a real egg, bowing out in the first round to #14 Ohio.