First Round of the NCAA Tournament Ends with Almost No Drama

Round of 64 ends with almost completely chalk games

The first round of the 2017 NCAA basketball tournament largely lacked madness

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The first round of the 2017 NCAA basketball tournament largely lacked madness

Jacob Murphy, Staff Writer

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The first round of this year’s NCAA tournament featured almost no upsets. This tournament is called March Madness for a reason. People want more drama and excitement, and many fans hope the later rounds have more.

The only “upsets” that appeared in the first round, most people saw coming. The first upset of the tournament was USC’s 66 to 65 win over SMU. 81% of brackets on ESPN picked SMU to advance to the second round. SMU had the lead at the half due to solid shooting from three point range. USC was down by ten in the second half, but a clutch three pointer from Elijah Stewart gave the Trojans the win.

The big upset in the West region was Xavier beating sixth seeded Maryland by eleven points. Xavier was hanging in there most of the game, but in the second half, the flood gates opened. Led by Trevon Bluiett, the Musketeers went off for 41 second half points to show the nation that they deserved to be seeded much higher than an eleven seed.

The Midwest region also had an eleven seed upset when Rhode Island defeated Creighton by twelve. Creighton defended the three pointer well, but Rhode Island had many other threats. Rhode Island’s Jeff Dowtin showed that the Rams had “Cinderella story” potential by going off for twenty-three points and five rebounds to send Rhode Island to the round of 32.

The final big upset was Middle Tennessee over Minnesota. Middle Tennessee almost always ends up ruining someone’s trip to the big dance each year. This year, they did that to the Golden Gophers from Minnesota.

The round of 64 did not really live up to the March Madness name. There was at least one upset in every region, but none of them were a big surprise. Most of the upsets, besides USC, were done by teams that deserved a higher seed. Most fans hope the rest of the bracket brings a little bit more drama.