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All the Essential (and NOT Essential) Details From Round 2 of the NCAA Tournament - The Annotated Thorough Breakdown

March Madness is more than just the scores - it’s the stories and the completely random facts that make it madness. 

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament Second Round-Miami (FL) vs Indiana David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

This is a guest post from Terence Blackburn. A former academic leader at Michigan State and long time basketball fan, Terence will add own, specifically annotated takes on the NCAA Tournaments. He is also the father of Brandon Blackburn-Dwyer, who writes here (that guy with the “BBD’s” thing). You can read his Round 1, Day 1 recap HERE, the Recap of Round 1, Day 2 HERE



Who would have thought it! After the second round, there is only ONE big 10 team remaining in the tournament! Six Big 10 teams went into the Round of 32, and only one came out of it – Michigan State. 4 of the other teams lost to higher seeded teams, and Indiana was upset.

Seven seed Michigan State upset 2 seed Marquette 69-60 with some incredible defense early in the game, and then again, just when it REALLY MATTERED, at the end. Marquette got their first FG only 10 seconds into the game (off a turnover) and didn’t get another one until the 13:28 mark, by which point MSU had a 14-5 lead. MSU stretched that lead to 18-5 at 12:24, and held a 25-13 lead at 6:33, but finished the first half up only 33-28. The Golden Eagles swooped in quickly in the second half, scoring 8 straight points to take the lead. The Spartans did not permanently re-take the lead until 8:48, 44-42, and although the Golden Eagles soared to within one point later in the half, they just could not reach the heights of the Spartans, and went home as the Tarnished Eagles, 69-60.[Annotation 1]

The rest of the Big 10 news isn’t so good.

5 Seed Miami Hurricanes huffed and puffed and blew out the 4 seed Indiana Hoosiers 85-69. Indiana trailed the entire first half, and although they briefly gained the lead at 47-46 at 14:20, they only scored 4 points in the next 6 and a half minutes, by which point the Hurricanes had built a 12 point lead. [2]

The Hurricanes certainly have done a lot of damage in Indiana. On Monday, March 20, the 9 seeded women’s Hurricane team upset #1 seed and champion hopeful Indiana while playing in Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall in Indiana. We knew that Indiana had to worry about tornadoes – but who knew that Hurricanes could also wreak havoc there.

7 seed Northwestern got edged out by 3 seed UCLA Bruins 68-63. UCLA finished the first half with a 10 point lead, 35-25. With the Bruins’ lead 41-28 in the second half, the Wildcats outscored the Bruins 17-4 to tie the game at 45 with 11:26 to go. Unfortunately, that was as far as the Wildcats’ momentum could take them. UCLA scored the next 6 points, and Northwestern could never get closer than 3 points after that.

8 seed Maryland Terrapins got swamped by 1 seed Alabama Crimson Tide[3] 73-51. The Tide led in every statistic except blocks (5-4) and turnovers (11-13). The Terrapins led 9-2 at 17:21, but the news just kept getting worse after that. With Maryland leading 12-10 with 14:10 remaining in the half both teams went scoreless for nearly 5 minutes before Alabama tied the game at 12-12. Alabama took the lead at 19-17 and never trailed after that, with their largest lead 24 points. The Terrapins went from “I may be slow but I am sure” in their game against West Virginia, to “I sure am slow” in this one.

And the 10 seed Penn State Nittany Lions got the hook from the 2 seed Texas Longhorns 71-66. Although PSU led only briefly early in the first half, they were never down by more than 5 points until the two-minute mark, and finished the half down 31-23. They regained the lead 56-55 with 5:12 remaining in the game, and extended the lead to 58-55 on a steal. However, at that point the Longhorn offense stampeded, scoring 10 points over the next 4 minutes, and kicking dust in the eyes of the Lion shooters, who scored none during the same time, to lead 65-58. Final score 71-66.

11 seed Pittsburgh Panthers were shot by the 3 seed Xavier Musketeers 84-73. Pitt led by one or two points for three brief periods totaling 96 seconds, the last one at 15-14. The rest of the game belonged to the trusty Muskies, who built a 16 point lead in the first half, and whose largest lead of the game was 20 points.


Things got a little calmer during the Second Round, but there were still some upsets of note.

The Big upset of this round took down another 1 seed team – 1 seed Kansas. OK, OK I wrote this game up as Day 2 instead of Round 2. SORRY! I was writing Day 2 after Day 3 had finished and got crossed up on the dates (it might have had something to do with my relatives playing piano and ukulele and singing songs while I was trying to write). Here it is again: There goes everyone’s brackets again. No, there were no perfect brackets anywhere after the carnage of Day 1, but lots of folks pinned their hopes of winning their personal pools on the 1 seed Kansas Jayhawks[4]. Those hopes were rooted out by the 8 seed Arkansas Razorbacks. The Hog’s only lead in the first half was 2-0, they were down by 11 points early in the second half, and they only caught up to the Jayhawks 52-51 with 8:52 remaining. They held that lead for less than 40 seconds, and didn’t regain the lead again until there were only 51 seconds remaining (67-65). From that point forward the only scoring attempted was free throws, and Arkansas made just enough of them, 72-71.

And here’s another misplaced write-up from Day 2: The 15 seed Princeton Tigers did it again! In a Tiger - Tiger game, the 7 seed Missouri Tigers turned out to be toothless. With nearly identical overall FG scoring percentages, the East Coast Tigers did it with 6 more threes, 14 more rebounds, 4 more assists and 9 less fouls than their Midwest relatives. The Misserable Tigers never led after the 15:44 mark in the first half, were down by 14 points in the first half and never got closer than 7 points in the second half. Final score 78-63. So now we have a Tiger wearing a glass slipper, and hoping that the Ball does not end early for them.

And the third upset of the Round, one I did NOT write up as Day 2, was the victory of 6 seed Creighton Blue Jays over 3 seed Baylor Bears 85-76. The Bears really never got out of hibernation. They led very early, but the BJs tied it up 12-12 at 15:39, then ripped off 8 straight points and never looked back. The half ended 39-29. Creighton led the entire second half, with their largest lead 16 points. So the Bears are headed back to their cave, and the Blue Jays will get ready to try to ruin Cinderella’s Tiger-themed coming out party[5].


  • 1 seed Houston burned Auburn 81-64
  • 3 seed Gonzaga squeaked by 6 seed Texas Christian 84-81 and 3 seed Kansas State defeated 6 seed Kentucky 75-69
  • 4 seed Tennessee ousted 5 seed Duke 65-52, and 4 seed University of Connecticut defeated 5 seed St. Mary’s 70-55
  • 5 seed San Diego ruined the dreams of upstart 13 seed Furman 75-52
  • 9 seed Florida Atlantic spoiled another Cinderella’s party defeating 16 seed Fairleigh Dickinson 78-70

And now for a little extra…

The NY Times had asked the Bing ChatBot to create a bracket taking into account only this year’s record and allowing for the possibility of upsets (so that it did not simply replicate the official seeding). The Times author also asked the Bot to justify its choices – and they were quite good – probably just as good as any of us would have done, or better since it had access to real research. The Bot picked Baylor to win. You may want to read the article – it’s quite interesting[6].


[1] In the HOW DID THEY DO THAT commentary, MSU won the game while shooting only 12.5% of their 3PTs (2 out of 16). The answer lies in them hitting 58% of their 2PTS, 85% of their FTS, and their defense. Although Marquette shot 38.5% of their FGs, they made 11 of 27 3PTs, but only managed NINE 2PTs (9-25) for the entire game. After the prior game Coach Izzo said that the team had gotten their defensive mojo back. We can only hope that they will find their 3PT mojo for the upcoming game against 3 seed Kansas State.

[2] This gave the Hurricanes the opportunity to say to the Hoosiers “Who’s Your Daddy now!”

[3] No, that’s NOT the same crimson tide that is currently landing on the Florida Gulf Coast beaches. Alabama has a tiny portion of the Gulf Coast coastline, but I have been informed by the University of Alabama public relations department that the team is not named for a fish-killing, potentially toxic to humans, 5 mile wide, stinking mass of seaweed.

[4] Don’t let that red-headed, yellow-beaked bird fool you. There is no such bird in Kansas or anywhere else. Although the term was originally applied to anti-slavery group associated with John Jay (first chief justice of the US Supreme Court), the name became associated with the Kansas territorial period when Missouri pro-slavery Bushwackers fought the anti-slavery Jayhawks in Kansas. Kansans try to ignore the fact that the Jayhawks degenerated into driving pro-slavery residents from their land, and to robbing and murdering. See that impeccable source Wikipedia for more information.

[5] That’s meant in the old fashioned debutante sense, of course.

[6] The NYTimes also asked the Bot to create a bracket based on the mascots (as I assume quite a number of Bracket entrants do). Here is its analysis of two of its mascot based picks:

South Carolina (Gamecocks) vs. Norfolk State (Spartans): I think the Spartans would win this matchup. They are trained warriors who can fight with swords and shields, while the Gamecocks are just roosters who might peck at their ankles.

Miami (Hurricanes) vs. Drake (Bulldogs): A hurricane wins. A hurricane is a violent storm with strong winds and rain that can cause massive destruction. A bulldog is a medium-sized dog with a wrinkled face and a short muzzle that was originally bred for bull-baiting. In a fight, I think the hurricane would win because it has more force and impact than a dog with strong jaws.

RELATED: The Rest of the Thoroughly Annotated NCAA Recaps