2008 Ncaa Tournament

By: Ed Bagley

Copyright ? 2008 Ed Bagley

The first two rounds of the 2008 NCAA College Basketball Tournament underscored just how far parity has come in the men's competition as at least 1 major upset occurred every 6 games (8 major upsets and 3 minor upsets in 48 games). The major upsets included:

#10 Seed Davidson Knocks Off #2 Seed Georgetown 74-70

Georgetown breezed past UMBC 66-47 before running into this year's new media darling, Davidson, which upended #7 Gonzaga in Round 1, 82-76, behind 8-of-10 3-pointers by Wildcat guard Stephen Curry who finished with 30 points in the second half and 40 total.

Curry returned where he left off against Georgetown, throwing down 30 points (25 in the second half) and adding 5 assists, 3 steals, 3 rebounds and NO turnovers. Curry is the son of Dell Curry, a former Virginia Tech All-American and NBA star, proving that your gene pool does count.

With two major upsets in its first two NCAA playoff games, Davidson has caught the attention of everyone. The Wildcats now run smack into #3 Wisconsin and its tenacious Badger defense. Wisconsin just might give Curry another 30-35 points and win anyway.

#13 Siena Upends #4 Vanderbilt 83-62

Siena had its moment in the sun as Kenny Hasbrouck popped in 30 and Tay Fisher added another 19 with 6-of-6 3-pointers to stun Vanderbilt and become the first Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference team to reach Round 2 of the NCAA tourney since Manhattan in 2004. Then #12 Villanova promptly sent Siena back home in Round 2, 84-72.

#7 West Virginia Turns Back #2 Duke 73-67

Duke barely made it into Round 2 with a last-second shot that allowed them to sneak past #15 Belmont 71-70 before meeting West Virginia. The Mountaineers made Duke look like the Blue Devils did not belong in the tournament. The glory days of Coach K and his Blue Devils are slowing down as more athletes are leaving earlier for the NBA; for years Coach K was able to convince his great players to hang around the campus longer.

#13 San Diego Uses Overtime to Tame #4 Connecticut 70-69 and #12 Western Kentucky Uses Overtime to Tame #5 Drake 101-99

Talk about rooting for the underdogs. De'jon Jackson's pull-up jumper with 1.2 seconds left in overtime gave the San Diego Toreros their first win in 4 tournament appearances. How many of you actually knew the nickname for San Diego before its victory over Connecticut?

Ty Rogers drained a 3-pointer with 3 defenders in his face and no time on the clock to give the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers a stunning win over the Drake Bulldogs. The poor Bulldogs were down by 16 points but came back to lead 99-98 with 5.2 seconds left, then Tyrone Brazelton (who had a career high 33 points) raced up the court, kicked the ball to Rogers, who was not about to settle for a tie with 3 defenders in his face and no time on the clock.

Victories like these are why the NCAA March Madness tournament is the best organized, best run, most competitive and most exciting playoff in sports today. To put the icing on the cake, #12 Western Kentucky eliminated #13 San Diego 72-63 in Round 2.

#12 Villanova Outlasted #5 Clemson 75-69

Villanova, which has more wins as a lower-seeded team in the tourney than any other program since 1979, trailed by 15 in the first half but came back to win behind 21 points by Scottie Reynolds and 17 by Corey Fisher. The Villanova Wildcats then eliminated Siena 84-72 to move into the Sweet 16. Pretty slick work by the Wildcats.

#11 Kansas State Upsets #6 Southern Cal 80-67

In the battle of the freshman marquee playersMichael Beasley of Kansas State and O. J. Mayo of Southern CalKansas State won as Beasley scored 18 of his game-high 23 points in the second half and Mayo ended up with 20. Kansas State then got its lunch handed to it by Wisconsin in the second round, 72-55, as the Badger defense took K-State to school.

The 3 minor upsets between almost equal teams saw #9 Texas A&M beat #8 Brigham Young 67-62, #9 Arkansas beat #8 Indiana 86-72 and #5 Michigan State beat #4 Pittsburgh 65-54. No big tickle on my knee.

Two close games saw #2 Tennessee get by #7 Butler 76-71 in OT, and #3 Stanford sweat it out against #6 Marquette 82-81 in OT.

There were really only 5 blowouts among the first 48 games#4 Washington State over #13 Winthrop 71-40 (+31), #1 UCLA over #9 Kent State 71-58 (+41), #3 Louisville over #6 Oklahoma 78-48 (+30), and #1 North Carolina over #16 Mount St. Mary's 113-74 (+39) and over #9 Arkansas 108-77 (+31). A team flat needs to win by 30 for me to consider it a blowout.

The South Regional was the only regional without an upset in Round 1, and the East Regional was the only regional without an upset in Round 2.

North Carolina is scary. The Tar Heels are ranked No. 1 in the country, have a 34-2 season record, claim 4 NCAA tournament titles, have been in 16 Final 4s and made 39 NCAA tourney appearances. Oh yeah, Tyler Hansbrough is one competitive, bad dude.

The Tar Heels have not, of course, played against #4 Washington State's defense. It should be interesting.

Here are the 2008 NCAA Tournament Round 3 Sweet 16 Match-Ups:

West Regional: #1 UCLA versus #12 Western Kentucky - Thursday (March 27) and #3 Xavier versus #7 West Virginia - Thursday (March 27)

East Regional: #1 North Carolina versus #4 Washington State - Thursday (March 27) and #2 Tennessee versus #3 Louisville - Thursday (March 27)

Midwest Regional: #1 Kansas versus #12 Villanova - Friday (March 28) and #3 Wisconsin versus #10 Davidson - Friday (March 28)

South Regional: #1 Memphis versus #5 Michigan State - Friday (March 28) and #2 Texas versus #3 Stanford - Friday (March 28)

2008 NCAA Tournament Results for Round 1:

Midwest Regional: #1 Kansas eliminated #16 Portland State 85-61 #2 Georgetown eliminated #15 UMBC 66-47 #3 Wisconsin eliminated #14 Cal State Fullerton 71-56 #4 Vanderbilt was upset by #13 Siena 83-62 #5 Clemson was upset by #12 Villanova 75-69 #6 Southern Cal was upset by #11 Kansas State 80-67 #7 Gonzaga was upset by #10 Davidson 82-76 #8 UNLV eliminated #9 Kent State 71-58

West Regional: #1 UCLA eliminated #16 Mississippi Valley State 70-29 #2 Duke eliminated #15 Belmont 71-70 #3 Xavier eliminated #14 Georgia 73-61 #4 Connecticut was upset by #13 San Diego 70-69 in OT #5 Drake was upset by #12 Western Kentucky 101-99 in OT #6 Purdue eliminated #11 Baylor 90-79 #7 West Virginia eliminated #10 Arizona 75-65 #8 Brigham Young was upset by #9 Texas A&M 67-62

East Regional: #1 North Carolina eliminated #16 Mount St. Mary's 113-74 #2 Tennessee eliminated #15 American University 72-57 #3 Louisville eliminated #14 Boise State 79-61 #4 Washington State eliminated #13 Winthrop 71-40 #5 Notre Dame eliminated #12 George Mason 68-50 #6 Oklahoma eliminated #11 St. Joseph's 72-64 #7 Butler eliminated #10 South Alabama 81-61 #8 Indiana was upset by #9 Arkansas 86-72

South Regional: #1 Memphis eliminated #16 Texas-Arlington 87-63 #2 Texas eliminated #15 Austin Peay 74-54 #3 Stanford eliminated #14 Cornell 77-53 #4 Pittsburgh eliminated #13 Oral Roberts 82-63 #5 Michigan State eliminated #12 Temple 72-61 #6 Marquette eliminated #11 Kentucky 74-66 #7 Miami (FL) eliminated #10 St. Mary's 78-64 #8 Mississippi State eliminated #9 Oregon 76-69

2008 NCAA Tournament Results for Round 2:

Midwest Regional: #1 Kansas eliminated #8 UNLV 75-56 #2 Georgetown was upset by #10 Davidson 74-70 #3 Wisconsin eliminated #11 Kansas State 72-55 #12 Villanova eliminated #13 Siena 84-72

West Regional: #1 UCLA eliminated #9 Texas A&M 70-29 #2 Duke was upset by #7 West Virginia 73-67 #3 Xavier eliminated #6 Purdue 85-78 #12 Western Kentucky eliminated #13 San Diego 72-63

East Regional: #1 North Carolina eliminated #9 Arkansas 108-77 #2 Tennessee eliminated #7 Butler 76-71 in OT #3 Louisville eliminated #6 Oklahoma 78-48 #4 Washington State eliminated #5 Notre Dame 61-41

South Regional: #1 Memphis eliminated #8 Mississippi State 77-74 #2 Texas eliminated #7 Miami (FL) 75-72 #3 Stanford eliminated #6 Marquette 82-81 in OT #4 Pittsburgh was upset by #5 Michigan State 65-54

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