The first weekend of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament has come to a close and it has not disappointed. With the likes of Michigan St. and West Virginia shown the door so early, the South Region had its own upsets. After defeating Vanderbilt in the first round, the Wichita St. Shockers was able to bring back their magic to the Madness. The Shockers were able to upset the sixth seed Arizona Wildcats 65-55 led by seniors Fred VanVleet and Ron Baker.
With their eyes set on the Miami Hurricanes in the second round, they almost once again pulled off another miracle in the 2nd half of the game. After being down 21 points, the Shockers were able to crawl back into the game and eventually take the lead with 10:29 left in the game. However, Canes point guard Angel Rodriguez willed his team to a victory over the Shockers 65-57. Rodriguez, who dropped 28 points against Wichita St, has arguably been the Canes best player through out the Tournament.
Miami, the three seed in the South Region was able to handle the fourteen seed Buffalo Bulls in the first round 79-72. Miami is one of six teams from the ACC to have made it the Sweet 16 which is a new record of number of teams from a single conference. It has been Miami’s seniors ( G Sheldon McClellan, C Tonye Jekiri and Rodriguez) who have led the way for the Canes all season and will continue to do so in the Sweet 16 against the two seed, Villanova.
The Villanova Wildcats have had their own success cruising to victory against UNC Asheville 86-56 in the first round and even looked more in their blowout win against the seven seed Iowa Hawkeyes. The Wildcats went 10-of-19 from beyond the arc against Iowa and was led by Junior guard Josh Hart. Villanova and Miami will face off in Louisville at 7:10 PM EST on CBS.
In the top of the South Region, the number one overall seed Kansas was able to handle the business against Austin Preay 105-79. Kansas was led by their top duo of Wayne Selden Jr. and Perry Ellis who combined for 43 points helping the Jayhawks defeat UCONN 73-61.
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) March 21, 2016
The biggest upset in the South Region belongs to thirteen seed Hawaii who defeated the four seed California 77-66. This was Hawaii’s first ever victory in the NCAA Tournament after winning the Big West Conference. Star freshman Jaylen Brown of the Golden Bears was shut down in the game on 1-6 from the field, eventually finishing with only 4 points.
However, the Rainbow Warriors Cinderella journey came to a close after facing fifth seed Maryland in the 2nd round losing, 73-60. One of the most all-around teams in the tournament, Maryland was led by star guard Melo Trimble who scored a grand total of 24 points.
The Terrapins will face off against the Jayhawks on Thursday at 9:40 p.m. on CBS.