The third round of the NCAA tournament kicked off today, and the continued theme of close games, upsets, and blowouts continued. Michigan gave an absolute beatdown to VCU today, looking like a team with Elite 8 potential. This was somewhat surprising to me, mainly because VCU had just destroyed Akron two days earlier. To turn around and get blown out in the 4-5 matchup was a little surprising for a team that made the Final Four just two years ago. Michigan State, Louisville, and Arizona all took care of business against inferior opponents. Personally, I would love to a Michigan State vs. Louisville matchup with a Final Four berth on the line. Both teams have experience, great players, and coaches with Final Four experience. It would be a great matchup, but you certainly can’t count Duke out of the mix as well.
The first upset of the day went to the Oregon Ducks. They were able to easily handle business against a St. Louis team that many thought could be a dark horse in this tournament. The difference in the game was the 3 pointer. The Ducks shot over 70% from range while the Billikens couldn’t buy a three-point shot. Oregon will advance to face Louisville in the Sweet 16, and while the Ducks could make some noise I expect the number one overall seed to take care of business. The real upset of the day came courtesy of the ninth seeded Witchita State Shockers. They jumped out to an early lead against Gonzaga, and after the Zags fought back in the second half to take an 8 point lead, the Shockers unleashed a barrage of 3 pointers and ultimately held on to knock off the #1 seed in the West. Witchita State will either play #12 Ole Miss or #13 Lasalle in the Sweet 16, and I like their chances to advance to the Elite Eight.
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