Day 1 - 2nd Round Major Upsets - 2015 NCAA Tournament
To start off the 2nd round of the 2015 NCAA tournament, there were 4 games where the lower seed defeated the higher seed. One of the games wasn't a major upset, but let's discuss the 3 most exciting games which all concluded with a 1 point defeat. No. 10 seeded Ohio State Buckeyes needed overtime to move onto the next round against the 7th seeded Rams of VCU 75-72. All-world freshman D'Angelo Russell led the way for Ohio State with 28 points. Next up for the Buckeys are the Arizona Wildcats.
No. 14 UAB 60 - No. 3 Iowa State 59
The 14 seed UAB Blazers upset the 3 seed Iowa State Cyclones. This was the first major upset of 2015 NCAA Tournament. This marks the 3rd straight years where a 14 seed has knocked off a 3rd seed. The Blazers came into the tournament with only 20 wins on the season and wound up winning their first tournament game since 2005. For Coach Fred Hoilberg and the Cyclones, their magic finally ran out after winnings five straight coming back from double-digits in each of the Big-12 tourney games. UAB PF William Lee posted a double-double with 14 points and 12 rebounds. The high scorer for UAB was Junior Robert Brown with 21 points. Cyclones' forward Georges Niang only scored 11 points, about 4 under his season average with an inefficient 4-15 shooting from the floor. Up Next for UAB is the 11-seeded UCLA Bruins.
No. 14 Georgia State 57 - No. 3 Baylor Bears 56
In the second upset by a 14 seed, the Georgia State Panthers take down the 3rd seeded Baylor Bears. The Panthers' star player R.J. Hunter knocked down the biggest shot of his life from downtown with 2.7 seconds remaining. Hunter's shot capped a 12 point deficit. Georgia St. used their stifling defense to trap and force turnovers and then used Hunter's 9 straight points, including his game winner to move onto the next round against Xavier. Hunter scored 16 points and Junior Taurean Prince finished with a game high 18 for the Bears.
No. 11 UCLA Bruins 60 - No. 6 SMU 59
Lots of controversy surrounding the Bruins on selection Sunday with analysts and fans suggesting that the Bruins didn't even belong in the field and the NCAA Selection committee stating that they had a strong resume. This contest ended the same way the Bruins season ended with more controversy, as UCLA's Bryce Alford fired up a shot that appeared destined to send UCLA home, but instead, Yanick Moreira was called for goaltending with 13 seconds left in the game. The officials wanted to make sure they got the call right and headed right over to the monitors to view the replay. The ref determined the call wasn't reviewable. Mustang's HOF Coach Larry Brown couldn't believe his ears. Nic Moore had one last shot to win the game for SMU but couldn't hit the game winner. Moore's 24 points were not enough to move onto the next round. Bryce Alford who heaved up the controversial shot finished with a game high 27 points. Meanwhile, Moreira apologized to all of his fans and teammates but, the Bruins will move on to face UAB.
By Steven Spector - 3-20-15