Mandatory Credit - USA TODAY SPORTS- Bob Dunnan

NCAA Tournament First Weekend Recap

Wow! I am somewhat speechless. This first weekend was a bracket-busting disaster. So many top seeds were knocked out of the dance, and we saw plenty of frantic, last-minute basketball that only Tru TV can bring us once a year. Here is a just a regional breakdown of the carnage we saw this weekend. Come back later this week to check out how the “local” UConn Huskies matchup with their Sweet Sixteen opponent, the Iowa Stats Cyclones.

East

  • UConn was the surprise team in this region. It’s not super surprising to see them in the final sixteen, but it was a bit of a shock to see how easily they handled Villanova.
  • Harvard gave Michigan State a scare, but the Spartans sent Tommy Amaker home with a great run to end the game.
  • Iowa State vs. UNC was the game of the first weekend for this section. The Cyclones play an exciting brand of basketball, and their matchup with UConn is going to be like a road game for them.

South

  • A Stanford vs. Dayton matchup isn’t sexy, but it does guarantee a double-digit seed making it to the Elite Eight. Kansas really blew their game with Stanford, but my hopes are that Andrew Wiggins and his poor performance drop him to the fourth spot of tankapaloza 2014.
  • Florida may have a walk into the Final Four. I do like UCLA and their offense, but if they get frustrated at all by the Gator D, their youth could get the best of them.
  • Oh Syracuse! Dayton manhandled you, and for all of the talk about Tyler Ennis being the most clutch player in the nation, he didn’t play so well, but scored some garbage time points to make his line look better. Hopefully, he sticks around for one more season.

West

  • Lute Olson must be very happy. The Arizona Wildcats and the Wisconsin Badgers would be a great Elite Eight contest. Both of these teams have looked pretty good so far, and I was impressed with the Badger offense, usually nonexistent this time of year.
  • Baylor may have something to say about that before all is said and done. They were firing on all cylinders against Creighton, but they tend to be a very inconsistent team. The week off may hurt the Baylor Bears more than anyone.
  • Remember Steve Fisher? He coached those five freshman who played at some school up north that was a big deal about 20 years ago? I can’t remember much of it, but he has built a great program at San Diego State, and though he doesn’t have a Kawhi Leonard on this year’s squad, they play great team basketball. Arizona is officially on notice.

Midwest

  • Who isn’t rooting for Nik Stauskas to take Michigan back to the championship game? He is so pretty to watch and I would love to see him in Celtic green next year. This has inspired me to write something about him soon…
  • Duke is out (Mercer, white guys can’t actually dance), Wichita State is out, and Louisville didn’t look great in the first two rounds. Maybe this wasn’t the strongest bracket out there?
  • Speaking of which, a Louisville/Michigan rematch would make for an exciting Elite Eight. However, Kentucky is playing really good, and efficient basketball. This team has a scary amount of talent, but perhaps more important, a lot of size. Julius Randle is another guy I wouldn’t mind seeing at TD Bank next year.

Tags: 2014 NCAA March Madness 2014 NCAA Tournament Andrew Wiggins Julius Randle Mercer College Nik Stauskas Tyler Ennis

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