Loveland Reporter-Herald

South Region


We know you’re upset. Underdogs have blown up every bracket in the country.

An upside of the upsets: perhaps the maddest March ever.

Defending national champion Kansas and fellow No. 1 seed Purdue are gone — the Boilermake­rs with a slice of unwanted history. The Sweet 16 won’t have blue bloods Kentucky, Duke or North Carolina for only the second time since 1979.

In are upstarts like Princeton, Florida Atlantic and a team picked to finish last in the Big 12 Conference.

And, this being March, of course there’s Tom Izzo.

The bracket has been nearly devoid of the buzzerbeat­ers that college hoops fans have been accustomed to, but the games have been close. There have been four games decided by one point, the most since there were six in 2017 and three short of the record last matched in 1998.

Alabama has looked every bit the No. 1 overall seed, blowing out Texas A&m-corpus Christi and Maryland despite turmoil swirling around the program.

Waiting for Alabama in Louisville, Kentucky, will be San Diego State. The fifth-seeded Aztecs are old and love to knock around opponents — just ask College of Charleston and Furman.

The second game marks Princeton’s first Sweet 16 in 56 years. The No. 15 seed Tigers had the first major March upset by knocking off No. 2 Arizona and proved it was no fluke by taking down Missouri.

They face Creighton, one of three Big East teams to get this far. Inconsiste­nt early, the bombing Bluejays and big man Ryan Kalkbrenne­r are in the Sweet 16 for the second time in three seasons after bouncing No. 3 seed Baylor. 16th NCAA Tournament game as a lower seed by bouncing No. 2 seed Marquette.

Jerome Tang is taking underdog Kansas State from one Manhattan to another in his first season in the Little Apple.

Picked last in the Big 12, the Wildcats and undersized but undeterred guard Markquis Nowell shoved aside Montana State and wore down Kentucky for their first Sweet 16 since 2018.

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