Sports Perspective: A Bracket Busting Sweet Sixteen - Sports - Explorer

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Sports Perspective: A Bracket Busting Sweet Sixteen

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Four days and 48 games into the NCAA Tournament and there are zero perfect brackets and only 16 teams remaining in the fight to achieve the ultimate goal, a National Championship. The madness of March is truly upon us and this year’s NCAA tournament is already making history. From game-winning shots to unbelievable upsets, there are a few teams that are taking the tournament by storm and shocking sports fans everywhere. 

The face of that history and surprise comes from Florida Gulf Coast University, a 15-seed that no one saw coming — especially Georgetown and San Diego State. They are the lowest seeded team in tournament history to reach the Sweet Sixteen.

Along with them, wins by La Salle, Wichita State and Oregon have raised some eyebrows and have forced people to crumple up their brackets. 

The Arizona Wildcats won their first two games, beating 11th seeded Belmont by 17 points, followed by a 23 point blowout of 14th seeded Harvard. 

So far, the Cats have been led by seniors Mark Lyons, Solomon Hill and Kevin Parrom who have accounted for nearly 57 percent of their points, with just under 33 percent of those points coming from Lyons himself. 

Neither Belmont nor Harvard have standout point guards, which Lyons was able to take advantage of. However, Arizona’s next opponent, Ohio State, has one of the best point guards in the country, Aaron Craft. 

The key to Arizona’s success has always been and continues to run through Lyons. In addition, the Cats need to rely on their offensive productivity from their seniors, as the freshman trio of Ashley, Jerrett and Tarczewski dominate the defensive end.

It has always been the same story and the same game plan for Arizona; hold the opponent to under 70 points and when you’re struggling offensively, put the ball in the hands of a senior. If the Cats continue with that mentality, they can beat anyone in the country. 

Down to only 16 teams, the championship picture becomes no clearer. The unpredictability from the regular season has continued so it’s close to impossible to predict how the final 15 games will play out.  

If you follow the statistics, a No. 1 seed has won the national championship 17 times in the past 28 years (when the current 64-team system began). The remaining No. 1 seeds are Louisville, Indiana and Kansas. 

However, with the exception of the underdogs mentioned earlier, nearly all of the remaining teams have a legitimate chance at winning the National Championship; and at the rate this season is going, it is very likely that a non No. 1 seed will be crowned champion. 

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