Monday, March 6, 2017

5 of the Biggest College Basketball Tournament Upsets

Photo credit: abcnews.com
The annual college basketball tournament in March is something to behold. For a few weeks, the world is exposed to a field of familiar and unknown teams that have fought and clawed their way into the always-entertaining, massive tournament to determine the best basketball team in American college sports. Most games are hectic and come down to the wire, and we imagine this year will be no different. There are always a handful of memorable upsets, as well. We decided to review some of the biggest ones. Who knows, maybe a huge upset will replace one of these in years to come!

1. George Mason over Everyone in 2006 – Probably the most memorable example of an upset in college basketball, the Colonials from George Mason came into the 2006 tournament as an 11-seed and rattled off wins against Michigan State, UNC, Wichita State, and UConn to make it to the last four teams.

Photo credit: thedailybeast.com
2. Florida Gulf Coast over Georgetown, 78-68 in 2013 – Coming in as a 15-seed against the mighty 2-seed Hoyas from Georgetown University didn’t seem to bother the small, unknown team from FGCU. Being a Division I team for only two years, the Eagles took the sports world by storm with their high-flying offense and scrappy defense. They earned the moniker “Dunk City” and made a run into the 16-team round of the tournament that year.

3. Harvard over Stanford, 71-67 in 1998 – 16-seeded teams have never upset a 1-seed in the men’s tournament, but it’s happened in the women’s tournament. The 1998 women’s squad from Harvard boasted Allison Feaster, that year’s leading national scorer, and took advantage of untimely injuries to a Cardinal squad before recording the first ever and only 16-seed win against a 1-seed in the NCAA tournament. Did we mention this game was played on Stanford’s home court?

4. North Carolina State over Everyone in 1983 – You can point to their 2-point victory over powerhouse Houston as the upset – and we probably should – but the Wolfpack’s entire run in this tournament should be considered an upset. They had to win the entire ACC tournament just to qualify for the national tournament and produced win after dramatic win on their way to a national title.

5. Louisville over Baylor, 82-81 in 2013 – The women’s game has produced some steamrolling squads in the last decade or so, with many of them going undefeated for multiple seasons at a time. The 2013 team from Baylor came into this game having won 74 of 75 previous games. They also had 6’ 8” Brittany Griner, a dominating force under the hoop. A scrappy Cardinals team found just enough shots to get over the Baylor hurdle on a ride to that year’s championship against UConn.

Upsets are fun, but they’re even more fun if the underdog goes on to make a deep run in the tournament. Hopefully this year will produce a few more bracket-busting moments in both tournaments and give us some new underdogs to follow. Who do you think will provide the next big upset in the tournaments? Share in the comments below!

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