16 March 2012

A Day of Upsets

Mizzou downed by Norfolk State on Bracketbuster Friday
by Mizzou Matt
OMAHA, NE- 86-84 and a last second Phil Pressey shot that went off the short side of the rim. That's how Mizzou's season ended. 15-seed Norfolk State became just the sixth team in NCAA tournament history to knock off a 2-seed. The last time it happened was Hampton over Iowa State in 2001.

The Tigers were led by the Big 12's 6th Man of the Year Michael Dixon, who had 22 points. Two other Tigers netted 20- Marcus Denmon and Flip. Ratliffe chipped in a well-earned 14 of his own, while English struggled to get going, only scoring 2. Matt Pressey had 6.

The Spartans, on the other hand, were lights out. They also had three players with at least 20 points. Kyle O'Quinn led all scorers with 26 points and 14 rebounds. Chris McEachin and Pendarvis Williams had 20 each, respectively. Marcos Tamares was the fourth Spartan in double digits with 11.

Both teams appeared to have lived and died by the 3-pt shot. Mizzou shot an impressive 13/29, but Norfolk State was electric, shooting 10/19 from beyond the arc. During the regular season, the Spartans only averaged five 3s a game.

They were not alone in their upset, however, as Ohio defeated Michigan 65-60, a 13 over a 4. Lehigh had their time in the spotlight as they became the second 15-seed to knock off a 2 in the same day, a tournament first. Lehigh beat Duke 75-70. Purdue (10) topped Saint Mary's (7) and Show-Me State's own St. Louis Billikens defeated the Memphis Tigers. Mark Gottfried's 11-seed North Carolina State Wolfpack also upset the 6th-seeded San Diego State Aztecs. Yesterday, Colorado won over UNLV, an 11 over a 6, and 12-seed Virginia Commonwealth Rams played "shocker" over the 5-seed Wichita State Shockers.

What many experts called the "biggest upset in tournament history", Norfolk State over Mizzou, was quickly overshadowed by Lehigh over Duke, at least on the scale. Duke, former national champions and perennial NCAA powerhouses, loses to Lehigh. But if you were to watch ESPN, all they're talking about is the Spartans over the Tigers. What will it take to get the monkey off Mizzou's back?

Detroit defeating Kansas.

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