It’s been no new story that the NCAA Tournament is full of crests and troughs for both high seed and low seed teams. If we talk a walk down the memory lane, in the last 10 years, the March Madness has been bringing highs and lows to every single participating team, likewise the NCAA betting too has been bring in overwhelming results and setbacks to the bettors too. If we carry out an NCAA analysis of upsets of the tournament in the last 10 years, we would come across situations where the NCAA seeding process has been turned down by the upsets.
The upsets are the best way to define why actually the tournament has been tagged with the word “Madness”. The tournament’s full of uncertainties, where teams with lagging seeds like 14, 13, 12 and 11-seed too upsets over way better teams, like the ones with 3, 4, 5 and 6-seed. The real Madness is experienced when a 15-seed team comes out of nowhere and upsets over a #2-seed team (though it happens on the rarest of rare occasions). Now let’s carry out a brief analysis on some of the biggest March Madness upsets in the last decade.
#8 UCLA over #1 Cincinnati:
It seems to be something as if it happened yesterday; when Steve Lavin’s then criticized Bruins squad took over the nation’s best Bearcats, and recorded the best ever win in the Bruins’ history. It was the combo of flawless playmaking by the rest of the squad and the extraordinarily offensive attack by Jason Kapono that has to be thanked to register the 101-95 win over the #1-seeded Bearcats. In fact, the flawless performance by the UCLA team left the Bearcats to experience the trough of the game, as they had long way to go even in the extra time.
#10 Kent State over #3 Pittsburg:
Going back to 2001-2002 season, it was the time when Stan Health’s #10-seeded Kent State squad really shocked Ben Howland’s fine Pittsburg team. The former recorded a 78-73 close win after battling with a perfect blend of physicality and hot attitude against the overrated Pittsburg team. It was then as the Kent State advanced to the Elite Eight. It was the post-victory time that Health landed into a prime job at Arkansas, leaving behind red-faced Howland.
#12 Manhattan over #5 Florida:
The 2004 game was the perfect show for any basketball fan that recorded probably the best win of Manhattan over Florida. Gators suffered the humiliating 75-60 defeat by the Jaspers. Flawless 26 points strike by Luis Flores and David Holmes’s 12 points scoring and bringing down 12 rebounds must be thanked for comprehensive win that the Jaspers recorded. The annihilation of the Gators by then #12-seeded Manhattan is still considered to be the one of the biggest upset of the tournamentin the last decade.
#12 UW-Milwaukee over #5 Alabama:
Down the lane back in 2005, it was Bruce Pearl’s UW-Milwaukee squad who recorded another historical upset over an overrated team, Alabama. The 83-73 win for the then #12-seeded UW-Milwaukee over the #5-seeded Alabama was an outcome of 52% shot percent and 12 three-pointers. Apart from Ed McCants and Joah Tucker’s individual 21 points strikes, Alabama’s 19 turnovers proved to be fatal for the #5 team in the Round of 32.
#13 Vermont over #4 Syracuse:
One of the finest upset of the last decade came as Tome Brennan’s Vermont recorded a fine win against Syracuse. Initially, Coppenrath-Sorrentine duo combined for scoring 33 points, that gave them, which was later followed by stunning 20 points scoring (including a go-ahead three-pointer) by Germain Mopa Njila to give the Vermont an edge over Syracuse. Finally, Sorrentine’s late-minute classic scoring sealed the win for the Vermont.
#14 Bucknell over #3 Kansas:
It’s another upset story from 2005, when the Wayne Simien-led Bison recorded a close win of 64-63 against elite squad of Kansas State to give the team its first Tournament victory. The winning basket came as a stunning finish by Chris McNaughton just 10.5 seconds before the final buzzer buzzed.
#14 Northwestern State over #3 Iowa:
The 64-63 defeat in 2006 turned out to be one of the most embarrassing loss for Steve Alford’s Iowa squad. The Hawkeyes experienced the shocking loss as Demons’ Jermaine Wallace hit a deep fadeaway with just 0.5 seconds to go, after his previously missed chances of a three-pointer and a long rebound. The ripple was so significant for the Hawkeyes that Steve Alford was let go at Iowa.
#13 Bradley over #4 Kansas:
The upset streak for the Kansas didn’t get over in 2005, as the team experienced another upset in 2006 by Bradley. It was the Braves who recorded a 77-73 win over the Jayhawks, which then followed Braves’ 72-66 win over #5 Pittsburg. Braves’ performance in 2006’s tournament is still remembered to be the best, as they advanced to the Sweet Sixteen then.
#11 Virginia Commonwealth over #6 Duke:
It was Eric Mayor’s flawless performance in 2007 that propelled the VCU to the Final Four. Anthony Grant’s squad (read Eric Mayor) literally humiliated the Duke squad by knocking them out in the first round of the title.
#13 San Diego over #4 UCONN:
The seed-lagged San Diego recorded a win against the overrated city rivals (UCONN) in the extra time. It was the extra time, when Gino Pomare and Brandon Johnson’s strikes led the Toreros to take a 70-69 win over the Huskies.
#11 George Mason over #1 UCONN:
The upset that the Huskies experienced from the USD didn’t seem to be enough, as the Connecticut experienced another blow by the George Larranga’s George Mason squad, which propelled the latter to the Final Four. It was Rudy Gay’s team in the Elite Eight that got a slap of 86-84 defeat from the George Mason.
#9 Northern Iowa over #1 Kansas:
The Jayhawks experienced another blow when they were defeated by an underrated Northern Iowa squad. It was Panthers’ guard, Ali Farokhmanesh’s three after three strikes that turned out to be enough for the Jayhawks to get derailed.
#11 Virginia Commonwealth over #1 Kansas:
The upset that the VCU gave to the #1-seeded Jayhawks was the best win for the former against the Kansas State. The Rams recorded their best win as Joey Rodriguez, Brandon Rozzell, Bradford Burgess and Jemmie Skeen gave the team 26 points by their strikes, propelling the team to the Final Four.
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