After four days of March Madness, the 2011 Sweet 16 is set and Ohio State seems to have cemented its status as the team to beat. Your NCAA Tournament bracket is littered with the carcasses of top seeds and one region has a 10, 11 and 12 seed remaining. Pitt was the only No. 1 to fall, but both Kansas and Duke struggled at times.
If any man or beast (like Paul the Psychic Octopus who correctly made seven straight 2010 World Cup predictions or Baby Bob the Orangutan from the South Carolina Zoo who picked the Packers over the Steelers) still has a perfect bracket intact, congratulations.
If you don’t, is there a way to salvage your contest or is it time to start focusing on Sweet 16 pools or individual wagers? You can also focus on NIT, CBI and CIT tournament action today with matchup reports, previews and trends on every game.
Because if you bet every underdog on Sunday, including three NIT games, you would have gone 9-2 ATS. Only Ohio State and Kansas covered spreads as favorites.
First Round Upsets
"We picked a 13 seed to win, but it was Oakland and they just lost to Texas," said Mark Presley of OddsShark.com. "We knew Texas was a pretender but it was Arizona that got them in the second round instead."
"And we knew Kansas State wasn’t for real, but we picked them to lose in the first round to 12-seed Utah State. Instead, Wisconsin ousted them in the second. Close, but no cigar, and no winning bracket!"
Instead of Oakland, the victorious 13 seed was Morehead State, who took out Louisville, before losing to No. 12 seed Richmond, a team OddsShark had been trumpeting all week as a Cinderella candidate.
While the West’s top seeds escaped unscathed (except for the Longhorns), the Southwest saw every seed between 2 and 9 go down the drain. Kansas remains to face Richmond, while the Elite 8 will feature either No. 10 Florida State (upset winners over the Irish) or VCU (winners of three straight, including against No. 3 Purdue).
Second Round Upsets
8-seed Butler Bulldogs over 1-seed Pittsburgh Panthers – Butler made Pittsburgh the first 1-seed to be ousted in a crazy foul-filled finish. The Bulldogs look like they still have some of last year’s magic up their sleeve.
11-seed Virginia Commonwealth Rams over 3-seed Purdue Boilermakers – Riding the wave of upsetting Georgetown, VCU dominated Purdue in a 94-76 blowout. They keep looking more and more like 2011’s Cinderella story.
10-seed Florida State Seminoles over 2-seed Notre Dame Fighting Irish – Notre Dame battled Pitt all season for the top spot in the Big East, but they both met the same fate in the second round when Florida State shut them down.
11-seed Marquette Golden Eagles over 3-seed Syracuse Orange – Many thought that Syracuse would represent the Big East in the East bracket’s section of the Sweet 16, but it will instead be Marquette taking on UNC.
Effects on the Sweet 16
The East and West brackets remain fairly bracket buster free, with only one team lower than a 5-seed (11-seed Marquette) sneaking through. Butler’s upset over Pittsburgh opens the door a bit for Florida, which is now the highest remaining seed in the Southeast.
But the biggest benefactor of the madness by far is Kansas, who only has 12-seed Richmond, 11-seed Virginia Commonwealth, and 10-seed Florida State remaining in their way in the Southwest.
Check out the HYPERLINK "http://www.oddsshark.com/ncaab/database" searchable college basketball database to see the results of the only two meetings between Duke and Arizona in the past 15 years and the results of any other search you wish to make.