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March Madness is dismissing the Big Ten in the NCAA tournament

The Tar Heels join Butler, UCLA and Kentucky in the Sweet 16 of their region. One of his favorite lines had to do with the time-honored notion that you have to play the best to be the best. The Bulldogs are the only one-loss team left in the country and are entering the NCCA tournament with a 32-1 record, being attributed to how efficient the team is at scoring.

No, but I wouldn’t have believed a team could shoot 20 percent in the first half and beat Duke.

Sindarius Thornwell had 24 points, Chris Silva scored 13 of his 17 points in the second half, and seventh-seeded SC stunned No. 2 seed Duke, 88-81, in the East Region on Sunday night to advance to its first Sweet 16 in the NCAA Tournament’s expanded bracket. A day after Wisconsin took out overall No. 1 seed Villanova, Michigan knocked off No. 2 Louisville on Sunday.

As much as these teams want to win and fans are pulling for their teams, it is just a game.

Virginia Tech and Miami suffered first-round knockouts in 8-9 games.

So far, Xavier has been the surprise team in the tournament. The Ivy-league champion Tigers came one 3-point clunk off the rim from upsetting the Irish, ultimately falling 60-58.

This was closer for much of the game, but when Josh Jackson and Frank Mason combined for 43 points and one turnover, beating Kansas is almost impossible. The sunshine state themed matchup stayed true to the hype, with Florida State moving on in the 86-80 thriller. Teams from mid-major conferences that were short on size and depth can use their experience to take down the big boys in a single-elimination game. Oklahoma State had the make in a 1-point loss to MI, which didn’t matter to anyone except for gamblers, as the 3 meant the Cowboys ended up covering the spread. Catch your Round 2 NCAA Tournament Bracket updates, upsets, and highlights here…

Another big upset came when #2 Louisville, lost their place to #7 MI. The Gators are the favorites to get to the Final Four from the East and +1200 on the NCAA tournament odds. Notre Dame put up something of a fight before being dispatched by West Virginia. The Mountaineers led wire-to-wire en route to an 83-71 win over the Irish. A nERD of 2.98, for instance, means we’d expect that team to beat an ordinary one by about 3 points on a neutral court.

And when Xavier upset Florida State late Saturday, there were no flawless brackets left at all.

Arizona is the second seed in the West Region. “The pace was faster than the final score indicated even in number of points”.

Even the 20-point win by Kansas over Michigan State was filled with highlight-reel plays. While these wins weren’t the most atrocious ever seen, if the ACC was truly as good as it was advertised, its teams would have found ways to win these games.

Kansas Jayhawks guard Josh Jackson (11) and forward Landen Lucas (33) react during the first half against the Michigan State Spartans in the second round of the 2017 NCAA Tournament at BOK Center. The Wolverines have won seven straight games, including the Big Ten Championship and Sunday’s upset victory over No.2 Louisville.

OR and Quinnipiac are crashing the Sweet 16.

On Sunday night, No. 7 SC pulled off a memorable 88-81 upset of No. 2 Duke in Greenville, S.C., setting up a hodgepodge four-team face-off Friday night at Madison Square Garden that will involve these schools: No. 5 Florida vs. And as much as we might love them, an under-seeded Wisconsin team that’s made three previous Sweet 16 appearances in a row and sat in the Top 25 all season doesn’t count either. There was also a play where Meeks blocked an Arkansas players’ shot out of bounds and the ball was still given back to the Tar Heels late in the second as well. The mighty ACC? Just one, the same amount as the WCC.

The growing trend of transfers from smaller schools to power programs hasn’t helped, either.

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During the course of the college basketball regular season, whenever the ACC was discussed it was generally in grandiose terms. Seeing as the conference underperformed in the first weekend, those doubts have every right to surface.

Nigel Hayes

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