In what was the wildest first weekend in recent memory, the NCAA tournament became upset like ever before. No No. 16 seed has ever beaten a No. 1 seed in March Madness, but this year, all four No. 16 seeds pulled off upsets in a sight that is unlike anything we have ever seen.
It all came to a head Friday night, as the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers knocked off Kansas by a score of 64-57, which completed the quad of upsets. The game infuriated Kansas head coach Bill Smelf into a rage that we’ve never seen.
“My team is awful,” Smelf said. “First we lose to TCU and now this? You’ve got to be kidding me. Our guard play is pathetic. But hey, at least we’re not the only ones.”
Smelf’s final words were very true, due to the fact that the other three No. 1 seeds fell before him. A lot of people claim they weren’t shocked to see Gonzaga go down, saying they were the most overrated No. 1 seed playing in the WCC. They got blown out by Southern, 88-60. The Jaguars’ strategy saw them constantly pulling Kelly Olynyk’s hair.
“Whenever anyone asked me who we were playing, I would say Southern, and they would say Southern who?” Gonzaga head coach Mark Couple said. “No one actually knew they were a school. And then this shit happens.”
In what was the most shocking upset, North Carolina A&T, the school that was scheduled to play Louisville, got stuck in the Dayton airport. When 20-loss Liberty, the team that lost to them in the play-in game, heard this, they hopped on a bus and headed to Kentucky to play the Cardinals. They promptly knocked off Louisville on a buzzer-beater, 47-46.
“How is that even allowed!” said Louisville head coach Dick Pitino. “They were already eliminated from the tournament. And they lost 20 games. We’re the best team in the country. How the hell does this happen?”
The other No. 1 seed to fall was Indiana, and their loss was historic in its own right. They became the first NCAA team to ever get shut out in a game, losing 2-0 to James Madison. The result was even more stunning considering that the Hoosiers were the No. 1 offense in the country. JMU guard Andre Nation scored a layup of the opening tip, and not a single point was scored for the remaining 39 minutes.
“We shot zero percent from the field and zero percent from the free throw line,” Indiana head coach Tim Cream said. “There must have been a lid on the baskets or something. That’s absolutely ridiculous.”
Ridiculous is right. But Cream has to also remember that this is March Madness, where the impossible becomes the ordinary.