One thing any March Madness fan has learned over the years is to never count out any team in March. No matter how small the school is or how unfamiliar the athletes are to us, never underestimate a mid-major program looking to be the next Cinderella.
This years’s 10 wins by double-digit seeds is the most ever in a NCAA tournament, surpassing the nine recorded in 2001 and 2012. The most dramatic of all the upsets came courtesy of Northern Iowa’s Paul Jesperson whose half-court heave led the Panthers to an upset over Texas. The most shocking, however, came earlier on Friday.
The Blue Raiders of Middle Tennessee State stole the show as they knocked off the heavily-favored Michigan State Spartans in what being debated as the greatest upset in NCAA Tournament History. Michigan State, who was ranked a No. 2 seed, was not only projected to beat No. 15 seed Middle Tennessee State by 97 percent of ESPN brackets, but the Spartans were predicted to make the Final Four by 61 percent of voters and were even the second favorite behind Kansas to be crowned National Champions at 22 percent according to ESPN Fantasy Sports.
Some of the other notable upsets include No. 12 Yale beating No. 5 Baylor, No. 14 Stephen F. Austin defeating No. 3 West Virginia, No. 13 Hawaii taking out No. 4 California and No. 11 Wichita Stata beating No. 6 Arizona in a convincing fashion.
The Round of 32 of the NCAA Tournament has already seen a couple of those teams fall as Miami and Duke sent home Wichita State and Yale respectively. It’ll be intriguing to see if any of the other underdogs will continue their cinderella stories now that they have America behind them, because if there’s one thing that’s shown over time it’s that America loves an underdog.