Busting Brackets

NCAA Tournament: Madness happens, Elite Eight invaded by lower seeds

(Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
(Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images) /

In the NCAA Tournament you never know what can happen, but it’s certain no one could have predicted how the 2018 Sweet 16 started on Thursday.

March Madness actually becoming mad appeals to you? You say you like the underdog? You love Cinderella stories in the NCAA Tournament?

Well, how about three Cinderella stories, with one more possible?

The Elite Eight has been invaded by the lower seeds after the first night of the Sweet 16, with No. 11 seed Loyola Chicago, No. 9 seed Florida State and No. 9 seed Kansas State all advancing to the quarterfinal round.

Atlanta was the site of two big upsets in the first night of Sweet 16 action, with Loyola Chicago knocking off No. 7 seed Nevada in a thrilling 69-68 win. Then, before fans in Philips Arena could catch their breath, Kansas State brought an end to the South Region’s “Kentucky Invitational” with a 61-58 win over John Calipari‘s Wildcats.

Meanwhile, over in Los Angeles, No. 3 seed Michigan made short work of upstart Texas A&M, solidifying the only non-upset of the night with a convincing 99-72 victory. But the upset train was still in motion, as FSU ended Gonzaga’s 16-game winning streak with a 75-60 win over the Bulldogs.

Quite a night of hoops, and we still have 11-seed Syracuse (coming out of the First Four) facing tournament-tough Duke. If I’m Mike Krzyzewski, I’m showing my team a few extra looks at Jim Boeheim’s vaunted 2-3 zone defense.

NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 Facts of the Night:

Kansas State was 0-9 against Kentucky all-time, and won the game with their best player – Dean Wade – on the bench for most of the night nursing his foot injury.

FSU held the hot-shooting Zags to just 33.9 percent shooting from the floor, and 25 percent from 3-point range.

Michigan had four starters and one bench player score in double figures, and hit 14 of 24 3-point attempts, for 58.3 percent. The Wolverines went up 2-0 in the first minute, and never trailed in the game.

Prior to Marques Townes 3-point jumper with just six seconds that put Loyola Chicago on top for good, the Ramblers only shot 6-for-26 from 3-point range.

Next: Sixteen Sweet 16 Facts to Know

The madness will continue with four more games on Friday, including the two remaining No. 1 seeds, Villanova and Kansas , taking on No. 5 seed West Virginia and No. 5 seed Clemson respectively.