March Madness: Looking back on the first two rounds of the Men’s Tournament

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The first weekend of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament has come and gone and, as always, it did not disappoint. With nine truly significant upsets, and more than that if we look at seeding alone, it was the same old madness. A quarter of the teams still remaining in the Sweet 16 are double-digit seeds; previously unknown stars are emerging; household names continue to dominate; and the “One Shining Moment” team has its work cut out early on.

So, let’s break it down.

St. Peter’s: Challenging the big boys and smashing brackets

How could we start anywhere except St. Peter’s? The 15-seed Peacocks were tied with 2-seed Kentucky at halftime and at the end of regulation in the first round, a situation which so often spells the end for a lower seed with the more talented team coming together in overtime.

St. Peter’s, though, would not be denied. They outscored Kentucky – one of the favorites to win the whole tournament – 14-8 in overtime (85-79 final score) to move on to the Round of 32. St. Peter’s only had two players score in double figures, but Daryl Banks III and newly discovered fan favorite Doug Edert combined for more than half of their team’s points with 47.

National Player of the Year candidate Oscar Tshiebwe (30 points, 16 rebounds) did more than his fair share to try and will the Wildcats into the second round, but with St. Peter’s shooting percentages of 50/52/85 from the field, 3pt range, FT line respectively, Kentucky’s pedestrian 42/26/65 line wasn’t enough to save them from an early exit.

INDIANAPOLIS, IN – MARCH 17: Doug Edert #25 of the St. Peter’s Peacocks and his teammates celebrate after defeating the Kentucky Wildcats in the first round of the 2022 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament (Photo by Jamie Sabau/NCAA Photos via Getty Images)

Just two days later, the Peacocks took on 7-seed Murray St., who entered the tournament with a record of 30-2, were undefeated in conference, and were recently crowned champions of their conference tournament with several players having previous NCAA Tournament experience.

Despite a less impressive performance by St. Peter’s on the offensive end, shooting just 41/23/74 percentages, they locked down on the defensive end, winning 70-60. To this point in the tournament, St. Peter’s 10-man-deep rotation is paying huge dividends. The Cinderella story of this tournament so far will face 3-seed Purdue in the Sweet 16, with NBA caliber potential throughout the rotation. Still, St. Peter’s has made their point and the Boilermakers would be wise not to underestimate the Peacocks.

Richmond Spiders leave their mark on March Madness

From one bracket-buster to another! The Richmond Spiders’ only way to make the NCAA Tournament was to win the A10 conference tournament as a 6-seed. They ran the table, beating Davidson in the A10 championship, only to gain a 12-seed and the unfortunate draw of the high-powered, red hot 5-seed Iowa Hawkeyes. The Spiders were unfazed.

BUFFALO, NEW YORK – MARCH 17: The Richmond Spiders huddle up during the second half against the Iowa Hawkeyes in the first round game of the 2022 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

Iowa averaged almost 84 points per game this season, but Richmond dictated the pace of play with their stifling defense, allowing just 63 points to the Big10 champs. While Big10 Conference Player of the Year candidate Keegan Murray got his with 21 points and nine rebounds, the Hawkeyes as a team shot just 20.7% from 3 point range and only 36.4% from the field. Just like that, a trendy Final Four pick in the Iowa Hawkeyes were headed home, 67-63. Richmond would go on to lose to 4-seed Providence, but their presence was felt in the 2022 NCAA Tournament.

An historic tournament for upsets

So far, a 1-seed, two 2-seeds, two 3-seeds, and a 4-seed have been eliminated.

After hammering Longwood in the first round, #3 Tennessee fell to #11 Michigan. #1 Baylor gave up 93 points in a loss to #8 North Carolina. #2 Auburn had their periodic backcourt deficiencies completely exposed in a whopping 18 point loss to #10 Miami. #3 Wisconsin fell apart after an injury to freshman point guard Chucky Hepburn, scoring just 49 points in a loss to #11 Iowa St., who is on to the Sweet 16 after winning just 2 games last season.

As usual, excitement, heartbreak, and fulfilled dreams were anywhere we looked in the first two rounds of this year’s tournament, and there are many more to come.

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It’s safe to say 2022 was a TV-worthy season for Patrick Mahomes and the #Chiefs. 📺

Mr. Box Office. 🔥

#NFL x #Quarterback twitter.com/NFL/status/167…

me on the couch now that Quarterback dropped:

@la_academiapc suffer shock defeat
📈 @DvoTachira gaining ground on the top
👏 Eduardo Lima’s heroics for @DvoLaGuaira

Here are all the major headlines and talking points from jornada 18 in the #LigaFUTVE.

#VenezuelaEsFUTVE
https://t.co/yCiP4QGlfJ

🔟 days until the @Superligaen begins.

Still plenty of time to read our analysis of the most exciting young players in Denmark right now. Which of these superstars will move on this summer? ✨

#sldk | #transferdk
https://t.co/viCwrXPU3n