pcloudy.png
Wednesday August 10th, 2022 11:18AM

Busted brackets mark another topsy-turvy NCAA tourney

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

Fourth-seeded Arkansas used what amounted to a sneak attack to take down No. 1 overall seed Gonzaga, not only knocking the Bulldogs out the NCAA Tournament but taking out a whole lot of fans still hoping to win bragging rights and office pools.

Then again, the number of busted brackets before the Elite Eight just might mean everyone gets a second chance.

Defending national champion Baylor? The first No. 1 seed to go down. Gonzaga and Arizona, two more top seeds and betting favorites, joined the Bears on the sidelines in the Sweet 16. Kentucky, Tennessee and Auburn? All ousted before the opening weekend was even done.

In the case of the John Calipari's bunch, that meant getting bumped by No. 15 seed Saint Peter's in the opening round, a loss that probably doesn't feel any better even with the Peacocks topping Murray State to reach the Sweet 16.

It all left exasperated SportsCenter anchor Hannah Storm to say: “My bracket's busted. It's just so bad right now.”

Then, after a beat: “I do have a lot of company though.”

No kidding.

The Bulldogs were a 10-point favorite to beat the Razorbacks and Arizona a 1.5-point favorite to beat Houston on Thursday night. Instead, they became the first 1-seeds to lose on the same day in the Sweet 16 or earlier since the 2011 tourney.

“Just being the underdog, man, use it to your advantage,” Arkansas' Trey Wade said. “They never see you coming.”

Very few people did anyway.

There were 17.3 million brackets filled out in ESPN’s Tournament Challenge and just 8.3% of them had Arkansas reaching the Elite Eight, an less than half of those have the Hogs going to the Final Four. By contrast, nearly 23% of brackets had Gonzaga winning it all.

In fact, nearly two-thirds of brackets had Gonzaga, Baylor or Kentucky advancing through their half of the bracket to reach the final in New Orleans.

Meanwhile, more brackets (19.9%) had Houston losing in the first round than advancing to the Elite Eight (14.2%), even though the Cougars made it to the Sweet 16 in 2019 and the Final Four just last year.

Houston, by the way, is now the favorite to win it all, according to FanDuel Sportsbook, ahead of No. 2 seed Duke and Kansas, the lone remaining 1-seed entering Friday.

The quest for a perfect bracket in the men's tournament? The NCAA said that was over before last weekend, the moment that No. 11 seed Iowa State beat LSU on Friday night to eliminate the final two perfect brackets remaining after the first 24 games.

And with the Cyclones playing No. 10 seed Miami on Friday night, at least one double-digit seed will be in the Elite Eight.

“You get seeded a certain spot, who cares about that? I tell the team all the time, if you’re in the dance, you’ve got a darned good team because you earned your way into the dance," said Miami coach Jim Larrañaga, who knows all about busting up brackets after taking No. 11 seed George Mason to the Final Four in 2006.

“To me, it doesn’t matter what you’re seeded. It’s not reflective of who you are,” Larrañaga said. “It’s just a number put by your name to start the tournament. What matters is how you play and how you match up against your opponent."

Yet plenty of well-known prognosticators have had trouble figuring those matchups out.

Television star Jimmy Fallon lamented his fortunes after picking Gonzaga and Tennessee to reach the Final Four. Former President Barack Obama had the Bulldogs playing Arizona in the title game and he hasn't fared a whole lot better in the women's tournament, where he had Baylor advancing to the Final Four with South Carolina, UConn and Stanford. The Bears were upset by South Dakota in the second round.

“We don't need Barack Obama's bracket. We don't need Jimmy Fallon. We don't need none of that, OK?" said Hailey Van Lith, the star guard for the top-seeded Cardinals. “Look, we are still here. That is what it is.”

___

More AP coverage of March Madness: https://apnews.com/hub/march-madness and https://apnews.com/hub/college-basketball and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Sports, AP Online Basketball, College Sports, AP Sports - Men's College Basketball
© Copyright 2022 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
The Latest: Tie enough for Horschel to advance in Match Play
The winning streak of Billy Horschel at the Dell Technologies Match Play is over
3:38PM ( 9 minutes ago )
Russia may shift war aims; 300 reported dead in theater
Ukrainian authorities say about 300 people were killed in the Russian airstrike last week that blasted open a Mariupol theater
3:34PM ( 13 minutes ago )
Busted brackets mark another topsy-turvy NCAA tourney
There were 17.3 million brackets filled out in ESPN's Tournament Challenge this year, and the quest for a perfect one was done before the first weekend of the NCAA Tournament
3:29PM ( 19 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Transgender sports ban veto likely to be overridden in Utah
Utah’s Republican lawmakers are preparing for a Friday push to override Gov. Spencer Cox’s veto of legislation banning transgender youth athletes from playing on girls teams
2:35PM ( 1 hour ago )
Papadakis, Cizeron shatter rhythm dance record at worlds
Olympic ice dance champions Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron shattered their own rhythm dance world record on Friday to take the lead over two American teams at the world championships in Montpellier, France
1:40PM ( 2 hours ago )
Niele Ivey set to watch son Jaden play in person at Sweet 16
Notre Dame coach Niele Ivey wasn’t going to miss a chance to see her son Jaden play in his first Sweet 16, Ivey will head down to Philadelphia from Connecticut after her team practices Friday afternoon to watch Purdue face Saint Peter’s in the men’s regional semifinal that night
1:31PM ( 2 hours ago )
AP Sports
Sweet 16: Coach K says 'It's not the coaching.' But it is
Duke keeps winning games in the NCAA Tournament and Mike Krzyzewski keeps telling anyone who will listen, “It’s not the coaching.”
3:57AM ( 11 hours ago )
TIPPING OFF: Peacocks looking to strut their stuff vs Purdue
The Saint Peter's Peacocks look to keep their surprise run in the NCAA Tournament going when they play Purdue in the East Region semifinal in Philadelphia
2:14AM ( 13 hours ago )
Shead scores 21 points, Houston knocks out 1-seed Arizona
Jamal Shead scored a career-high 21 points and Houston led throughout in a 72-60 victory over top-seeded Arizona
1:44AM ( 14 hours ago )
AP Online Basketball
Big brands and a big underdog in East at March Madness
The Sweet 16 at the East region features one game between UCLA and North Carolina and another between Purdue and underdog Saint Peter’s
4:45PM ( 23 hours ago )
Vetoes show lack of GOP lockstep on transgender sports bans
Republican governors in two states this week rejected legislation to ban transgender players from girls sports
4:04PM ( 23 hours ago )
SEC names David Cutcliffe special assistant to commissioner
Former Mississippi and Duke coach David Cutcliffe has joined the Southeastern Conference as special assistant to the commissioner for football relations
1:31PM ( 1 day ago )
College Sports
Study: Michigan, Kentucky top academics-based NCAA brackets
Michigan and Kentucky stood out in a study examining the men’s and women’s NCAA Tournament brackets based on graduation rates, academic success and diversity in the head coaching ranks
2:54PM ( 2 days ago )
Two St. Peter's NCAA games land in Nielsen's top 20
Here's a pretty safe bet: last week was the first time ever that two St. Peter's University men's basketball games landed among the Nielsen company's top 20 shows
7:18PM ( 2 days ago )
Missouri turns to Cleveland State's Dennis Gates as coach
Missouri is hiring wildly successful Cleveland State basketball coach Dennis Gates to help rebuild a long-floundering program that has churned through seven head and interim coaches since Norm Stewart prowled the sidelines in Columbia
10:21AM ( 3 days ago )
AP Sports - Men's College Basketball
The Latest: Tie enough for Horschel to advance in Match Play
The winning streak of Billy Horschel at the Dell Technologies Match Play is over
3:38PM ( 9 minutes ago )
UMass hires Frank Martin as new basketball coach
UMass has found a leader for its basketball program, hiring Frank Martin as its new coach
3:28PM ( 20 minutes ago )
UK Shark House owner dismayed at getting protected status
The 25-foot (7.6 meter) tall sculpture of a shark crashing through the roof of Magnus Hanson-Heine’s house in rural Oxford, England, is now a protected landmark — and he’s not happy about it
3:24PM ( 23 minutes ago )
Braves lefty Lee far removed from spotlight of World Series
Five months later, the Atlanta Braves’ decision to have Dylan Lee start last season’s World Series Game 4 against Houston is still shocking
3:20PM ( 28 minutes ago )
House leaders call on Nebraska Rep. Fortenberry to resign
Republican U.S. Rep. Jeff Fortenberry is facing growing pressure to resign from congressional leaders and Nebraska’s GOP governor after a California jury found him guilty of lying to federal authorities about an illegal $30,000 campaign donation from a Nigerian billionaire
3:15PM ( 32 minutes ago )