22/07/2024

Young Runs

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First 2 Rounds in 2007 NCAA Tournament Produces Just 4 Real Upsets in 48 Games

First 2 Rounds in 2007 NCAA Tournament Produces Just 4 Real Upsets in 48 Games

The first two rounds of the 2007 NCAA Basketball Tournament produced just 4 real upsets in 48 games.

Do not tell Duke, Notre Dame, Wisconsin or Washington State that it was a good tournament. They were all eliminated and humbled by lesser lights with Hollywood’s biggest klieg lights focused on them.

Perhaps the toughest pill to swallow belonged to #6 seeded Duke, which fell to #11 Virginia Commonwealth, 79-77.

Eric Maynor of Virginia Commonwealth was the best player on the floor and proved it with a 15-foot jumper with 1.8 seconds left to seal the victory. He finished the night with 22 points, 6 in the final 1:24. Maynor’s just a sophomore.

The game was close as VC never led by more than 2 points. They overcame a 13-point first-half deficit and also trailed by 11 in the second half.

Virginia Commonwealth knocked off George Mason, the tournament’s surprise team last year, to win the Colonial Athletic Association title 65-59 and qualify for the tournament. Maynor sealed that victory as well by scoring 9 of his 20 points in the final two minutes.

Duke lost a first-round game for the first time since 1996, ending the Blue Devils string of Sweet 16 appearances at 9. Only North Carolina’s streak of 13 straight appearances is better.

Duke’s legendary coach Mike Krzyzewski had only two upperclassmen this year; his team was the most inexperienced in his 27 years at Duke, one of the nation’s powerhouse programs.

Notre Dame, a #6 seed, had high hopes coming into this year’s tournament, its first appearance since 2003, as the Irish won the most games-24-since its 1974 season, but #11 seed Winthrop had bigger dreams as it dropped the Irish 74-64 with a 37-10 run that bridged the first and second half.

Winthrop came into the tournament with a 29-4 record with its only losses coming from North Carolina, Wisconsin (in overtime), Maryland and Texas A&M, all teams that made the tournament with a combined 117-27 record.

Winthrop was clearly small but no slouch. Winthop was eliminated by Oregon 75-61 in Round 2.

Winthrop might well be a trivia question. Few who follow NCAA basketball would know that the little school from Rock Hill (SC) is part of the Big South Conference, which is only big to the teams in it.

Part of the greatness of the NCAA format is that each team that wins its conference tournament gets an automatic bid to participate in the March Madness that forces teams to advance by winning or see their season end abruptly.

Washington State, which was picked to hover at the bottom of the Pac 10 in preseason polls, rose up under new, first-year head coach Tony Bennett to become one of the nation’s huge surprises. The #3 seeded Cougars put together a 26-8 record and finished as runner-up in the Pac 10 season standings.

After knocking off #14 Oral Roberts 70-54 in Round 1 Washington State found it could not hit three open shots in the final moments of its game with #6 Vanderbilt and lost 78-74 in a double-overtime heartbreaker.

Number 2 seeded Wisconsin got by #15 Texas A&M Corpus Christi 76-73 before running into #7 UNLV and losing 74-68. UNLV became part of the Sweet 16 by polishing off Wisconsin after beating #10 Georgia Tech 67-63.

In six other games that hardly qualified as upsets, three #9 seeds beat #8 seeds, and three #5 seeds beat #4 seeds. They were all pretty equal. All of the 5 seeds-Butler, Southern California and Tennessee-made it to the Sweet 16. All of the 9 seeds-Purdue, Michigan State and Xavier-did not.

Here are the 2007 NCAA Tournament Round 3 Sweet 16 Match-Ups:

Midwest Regional:

#1 Florida versus #5 Butler – Friday

#3 Oregon versus #7 UNLV – Friday

West Regional:

#1 Kansas versus #4 Southern Illinois – Thursday

#2 UCLA versus #3 Pittsburgh – Thursday

East Regional:

#1 North Carolina versus #5 Southern California – Friday

#2 Georgetown versus #6 Vanderbilt – Friday

South Regional:

#1 Ohio State versus #5 Tennessee – Thursday

#2 Memphis versus #3 Texas A&M – Thursday

So who will make it the Elite 8?

Consider three cold, hard facts of life:

1) When you know that no team less than a #4 seed has won the championship for 18 straight years, you might want to eliminate #5 Butler, #7 UNLV, #5 Southern California, #6 Vanderbilt and #5 Tennessee.

That leaves #1 Florida, #1 Kansas, #1 North Carolina, #1 Ohio State, #2 UCLA, #2 Georgetown, #2 Memphis, #3 Oregon, #3 Pittsburgh, #3 Texas A&M and #4 Southern Illinois.

2) Only three of the #1 seeds are likely to advance to the Final Four since only 70% of #1 seeds advance into the Elite Eight.

So you figure out who will be eliminated on Thursday or Firday: Florida, Kansas, North Carolina or Ohio State.

3) Amazingly, exactly one or two #1 seeds have made the Final Four 18 of the last 22 years.

You figure it out. Good luck, you will need it.

2007 NCAA Tournament Results for Round 1:

Midwest Regional:

#1 Florida eliminated #16 Jackson State 112-69

#2 Wisconsin eliminated #15 Texas A&M Corpus Christi 76-63

#3 Oregon eliminated #14 Maimi (Ohio) 58-56

#4 Maryland eliminated #13Davidson 82-70

#5 Butler eliminated #12 Old Dominion 57-46

#6 Notre Dame was upset by #11 Winthrop 74-64

#7 UNLV eliminated #10 Georgia Tech 67-63

#8 Arizona lost to #9 Purdue 72-63

West Regional:

#1 Kansas eliminated #16 Niagara 107-67

#2 UCLA eliminated #15 Weber State 70-42

#3 Pittsburgh eliminated #14 Wright State 79-58

#4 Southern Illinois eliminated #13 Holy Cross 61-51

#5 Virginia Tech eliminated #12 Illinois 54-52

#6 Duke was upset by #11 Virginia Commonwealth 79-77

#7 Indiana eliminated #10 Gonzaga 70-57

#8 Kentucky eliminated #9 Villanova 67-58

East Regional:

#1 North Carolina eliminated #16 Eastern Kentucky 86-65

#2 Georgetown eliminated #15 Belmont 80-55

#3 Washington State eliminated #14 Oral Roberts 70-54

#4 Texas eliminated #13 New Mexico State 79-67

#5 Southern California eliminated #12 Arkansas 77-60

#6 Vanderbilt eliminated #11 George Washington 77-44

#7 Boston College eliminated #10 Texas Tech 84-75

#8 Marquette lost to #9 Michigan State 61-49

South Regional:

#1 Ohio State eliminated #16 Central Connecticut State 78-57

#2 Memphis eliminated #15 North Texas 73-58

#3 Texas A&M eliminated #14 Pennsylvania 68-52

#4 Virginia eliminated #13 Albany 84-57

#5 Tennessee eliminated #12 Long Beach State 121-86

#6 Louisville eliminated #11 Stanford 78-58

#7 Nevada eliminated #10 Creighton 77-71 (OT)

#8 Brigham Young lost to #9 Xavier 79-77

2007 NCAA Tournament Results for Round 2:

Midwest Regional:

#1 Florida eliminated #9 Purdue 74-67

#4 Maryland lost to #5 Butler 62-59

#3 Oregon eliminated #11 Winthrop 75-61

#2 Wisconsin was upset by #7 UNLV 74-68

West Regional:

#1 Kansas eliminated #8 Kentucky 88-76

#4 Southern Illinois eliminated #5 Virginia Tech 63-48

#3 Pittsburgh eliminated #11 Virginia Commonwealth 84-79 (OT)

#2 UCLA eliminated #7 Indiana 54-49

East Regional:

#1 North Carolina eliminated #9 Michigan State 81-67

#4 Texas loses to #5 Southern California 87-68

#3 Washington State was upset by #6 Vanderbilt 78-74 (2OT)

#2 Georgetown eliminated #7 Boston College 62-55

South Regional:

#1 Ohio State eliminated #9 Xavier 78-71 (OT)

#4 Virginia lost to #5 Tennessee 77-74

#3 Texas A&M eliminated #6 Louisville 72-69

#2 Memphis eliminated #7 Nevada 78-62