Thoughts from Round 2 of the NCAA Tournament

Well Round 1 was fun. We saw tons of upsets and most of us saw our brackets fall to pieces. But something crazy about March Madness makes us enjoy watching our brackets fall apart for the sake of the upset. And we did while Lehigh and Norfolk State made two of the biggest upsets we’ve seen.

They got knocked back into reality in the 2nd round though.

On Sunday the Lehigh and Norfolk State both played. Norfolk State came up first and came out flat against Florida. The team that took the court against Norfolk State may have partied to hard after and it was obvious from the beginning that Florida had them figured out. Hats off to Billy Donovan and Florida for that. They earned their 34 point win and look dangerous moving forward.

Surely, Lehigh could try to make up for Norfolk State’s disappointment in the 2nd round. unfortunately though, they couldn’t come away with the victory although they played Xavier a lot closer than Norfolk State did with Florida. Lehighs 12 point loss was their first double-digit loss all season.

One thing to be learned from this is the same thing we see every time a major upset happens. The Norfolk State and Lehighs of the tournament may be able to surprise one team and catch them sleeping but once everybody else knows that they can’t sleep on them it’s up to talent which the teams usually can’t match up with.

There was action outside of Norfolk State and Lehigh though, and I want to start with Cincinnati. First off, here’s a thanks a lot to Cincy for officially destroying my bracket. Thanks a lot. The amazing thing though is that Cincinnati is even here. We all remember turning on the TV or seeing on ESPN the brawl that took place between Cincy and Xavier. I remember seeing Yancy Gates, who had just punched somebody in the face, barking at the whole Xavier team. Now both of these teams are in the Sweet 16. It’s absolutely remarkable and a special congrats has to go to both of those coaches and teams for bouncing back like they have.

North Carolina will have to be without their starting point guard, Kendall Marshall for the remainder of the tournament. Marshall, who averaged 7.8 points and 9.7 assists, broke his wrist after being fouled in the Tar Heels game against Creighton. Marshall will be missed greatly in the Tar Heels offense and their tournament run may be over without him.

Syracuse bounced back with an impressive win over Kansas State. For the first time they looked like they could actually be a competitive team without Fab Melo.

unfortunately, VCU has been eliminated again. Shaka Smart and VCU couldn’t have the same exact magic they did last year but I don’t doubt that he’ll have them back there next year.

Round 2 of the NCAA Tournament still had its ups and downs and even though there wasn’t as great of an upset special, the round was great. With the Sweet 16 starting on Thursday, we’ll have previews coming your way before tip-off.

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