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First weekend of March Madness lives up to its name

by Evan Wilt
Posted 3/19/18, 11:06 am

A historic first weekend in the 2018 NCAA men’s basketball tournament saw unprecedented upsets and comebacks. The field of 64 teams dwindled to 16 during the last four days, breaking many fans’ bracket predictions along the way. Virginia, the tournament’s overall No. 1 seed, lost to the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, (UMBC) by 20 points Friday—the first time a No. 1 seed has lost to a No. 16 seed in tournament history. The madness continued in the South Region with the next three highest seeds following Virginia’s lead and going home early. Since seeding began in 1979, this is the first time a region will not include a top four seeded team in the tournament’s second weekend. In the West Region, No. 9 Florida State knocked off No. 1 Xavier on Sunday during second round. Florida State joins Kansas State in the Sweet 16 after the KSU ended UMBC’s Cinderella run Sunday—the first time two nine seeds have advanced to the second weekend of play. Two 11 seeds also remain alive: Loyola Chicago in the South Region and Syracuse in the Midwest. And two seven seeds—Nevada in the South and Texas A&M in the West—pulled off upsets against No. 2 seeds on Sunday to advance. Nevada was down 22 points to Cincinnati but came back to win 75-73. A&M overwhelmed the tournament’s defending champion, North Carolina, winning by 21 points. The next round of games begins Thursday.

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Evan Wilt

Evan is a World Journalism Institute graduate and a former WORLD reporter.

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