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Underdogs again rule in first half of NCAA Sweet 16

Underdogs again rule in first half of NCAA Sweet 16

Lagerald Vick, Malik Newman and Devonte Graham hit 3-pointers in the first 1:07 of the second half as the Jayhawks went ahead by 20 points.

When NCAA tournament last came to town in 2012, the banners were replaced by ones noting past college basketball champions. "It would be really cool to be apart of (the NCAA Tournament)". "I don't think we'll see any more, but I'd prefer it". For me, 2011 and 2014 come to mind the most because there was absolute chaos in two regions.

No lead ever reached double digits, and not until Trent Jr. swished his free throws was the game sealed for Duke, which will try to take Krzyzewski to his 13th Final Four. In '14 the title game featured 7-seed UConn matching up against No. 8-seed Kentucky. Until she broke her hip this past November, Sister Jean had only missed two home games over the past 23 years-and still followed the team on an iPad while she was recovering from surgery.

I hate to brag but I did some research on this.

Texas Tech finished in a tie for second place in the Big 12 with West Virginia and lost to the Mountaineers in the semifinals of the conference tournament. There were five in '85, seven in '86, five in '87 and five in '88. With four games Thursday, we saw two tight contests, one utter blowout, and one disappointment. It puts the eight weakest qualifiers against each other, four of which are the lowest seeded teams that automatically qualify for the brackets and the other four the lowest seeded teams that have been invited to compete.

Despite the mid-March departure, Blackshell-Fair earned quality minutes for head coach Ronald Hughey and played in 25 of 32 games with one start. Zavier Simpson had five steals to spark his team.

Press Virginia is causing all kinds of problems for Villanova.

It's quite a feat considering three of those teams faced at least some bubble uncertainty in the final month of the regular season.

They played Notre Dame on the road last season, splitting the two-game series. He is such a good basketball player and such a good person, I am just so happy he dominated the game tonight and he led us.

In '11, again, you had Butler and VCU; '13 9-seed Wichita State; '14 UConn and Kentucky; '15 7-seed Michigan State; '16 10-seed Syracuse; '17 7-seed SC. The other half are either blue-blooded programs (UK, MSU) or a tier below the blue-blood status (UConn, Syracuse).

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At the height of the Civil Rights Movement, the team had four black starters when they beat an all-white Mississippi State squad in what became known as the "Game of Change".

The one-and-done rule does cause a tremendous roster overhaul from season to season.

The tournament will feature lots of talent from around the country. Yet, Cal catches all the heat for this, while Coach K has flowers tossed at his feet as if he were a Roman general returning from a conquest. So in a way it has helped keep things slightly even.

The Ramblers fell behind by 12 points in the early going, but got back in the game when Nevada's run-and-gun offense suddenly went cold.

"We were excited for the game [in 2016], but I don't think we realized there was another level", said Stevens, who scored a goal in the 2016 NCAA tournament game. The Longhorns controlled the match for most of the game, being up by as much as 14 points in the second-half. He is the opposite of John Calipari, who is the quintessential example of the college-basketball-coach-as-salesman trope.

These guys play together so well like they have been playing together forever.

"Nobody had us here", Seminoles guard Braian Angola said.

Plus, the tournament is single-elimination which is bound to create wild scenarios.

Yet, the Ramblers beat 6-seed Miami 64-62 in the first round on 3-pointer by Donte Ingram with 0.3 seconds left.

Not bad for a program that hadn't been in the Sweet 16 in 33 years.