Ballin' and bloggin' on the national and local college hardwood.
March Madness Day 2 Analysis
It was truly a historic Friday in the NCAA Tournament. What were the odds of two No. 2 seeds falling to 15 seeds in the same tournament on the same day? Hoops Scoops has no idea, but it had to be something like a million, billion, trillion to one.
We’ll start with the first upset of the day.
By now everyone in America has heard of Norfolk State University. And we just can’t wax poetic enough about the 15th-seeded Spartans, who knocked off Missouri, 86-84. Missouri became the fifth 15th-seed to beat a No. 2.
As for the nuts and bolts of the game, Norfolk State took advantage of Missouri’s lack of size. The Tigers (30-5) got away with playing seven guards and just one big man during the regular season. They were exposed big time by Norfolk State (26-9). With just one player in its rotation over 6-6 (Ricardo Ratliffe), Norfolk State’s Kyle O’Quinn (6-10, 240) had an easy time getting 26 points and 14 rebounds.
O’Quinn was humble, but excited after the game.
Said O’Quinn: “I can’t explain it right now. At the beginning of the season I told the coaches this is my only offer and the only way I can pay you back is with a [MEAC conference championshp]. I got that. This is a little overtime. I paying it back with a little overtime right now for that one scholarship offer. God only knows where I would have been without these coaches here.”
Norfolk State coach Anthony Evans was certainly pleased with is teams’ all-world effort. “They played hard. They did what we asked them to do and we came out with a victory,” said Evans.”
New York’s impact on Norfolk State
We can’t forget to mention how much of an impact the New York metro-area has on Norfolk State. Spartans’ star center Kyle O’Quinn is from Queens and played at Campus Magnet for legendary coach Chuck Granby. Marcos Tamares, another Queens kid, played at St. Mary’s HS in Manhasset. Kievyn Lila-St. Rose (Queens), Jamel Fuentes (Brooklyn), Winston Graham (Bronx), Quasim Pugh (Brooklyn), Brandon Goode (Bronx) and A.J. Rogers (Queens) are all from the New York metro-area.
Lehigh beats Duke
Now for the second huge upset of the day. Lehigh, another 15 seed, topped Duke, 75-70. An argument can be made that Lehigh’s win was more impressive than Norfolk State’s because the game was played in Greensboro, NC. Greensboro has been a home-away-from-home for Duke over the years.
So how exactly did the Blue Devils lose? Try shooting 6-for-26 from three-point range. The Blue Devils have relied heavily on the three-pointer the last dozen years or so. But even when Coach K’s crew doesn’t shoot well, they don’t generally go down in an opening-round game
Here’s a list of the previous 15 seeds that beat 2 seeds
1991 East regional
Richmond 73, Syracuse 69: The Spiders become the first No. 15 to pull off the upset, never trailing in their victory over the Orangemen.
1993 West regional
Santa Clara 64, Arizona 61: Santa Clara survived a 25-0 run by Arizona at one point, thanks to freshman Steve Nash.
1997 East regional
Coppin State 78, S. Carolina 65: Coppin State came back from a seven-point deficit in the second to stun the Gamecocks.
2001 West regional
Hampton 58, Iowa State 57: Hampton made their first NCAA appearance a big one as Tarvis Williams hits the winner in the lane with 6.9 seconds left.
Ohio beats the Wolverines
It might not garner the headlines that Norfolk State and Lehigh will, but No. 13 Ohio deserves a ton of credit for knocking off fourth-seeded Michigan, 65-50. It’s a game that will get lost amid the other big upsets. Don’t worry Bobcats, Hoops Scoops won’t forget about you.
Non-upset of the day
Just like we didn’t think VCU-Wichita State was an upset, No. 11 N.C. State knocking off 6-seed San Diego State, 79-65, wasn’t a big shocker for us either. In fact, this Hoops Scoops blogger took the Wolfpack. Sorry, but an ACC team with 22 wins beating a Mountain West squad just can’t be considered a major upset. The Wolfpack has won five of its last six games.
Second non-upset of the day
No. 10 Xavier beating seventh-seeded Notre Dame wasn’t an upset either. We know the Musketeers struggled after the brawl with Cincinnati, but they are still a good squad that is peaking at the right time. Hempstead’s Tu Holloway came up big at tournament time again and had 25 points on 10-for-15 shooting. And by the way: The lane violation called on the Fighting Irish was legit.