The Month of Upsets
March 25, 2021
When basketball fans start filling out their brackets every march, one of the first things they think about are which upsets will they choose this year. The 2021 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament has seen many upsets just through the first two rounds. As of Saturday, March 20, there were no perfect brackets left.
Oral Roberts University
The Oral Roberts University Golden Eagles faced the Ohio State Buckeyes on Friday in the first round. The 15-seed stunned the Buckeyes when they took down the Big Ten runner-ups in overtime, 75-72. NCAA leading scorer Max Abmas had 29 points for the Golden Eagles and Kevin Obanor put up 30. EJ Liddell scored 23 points for the Buckeyes. ORU went on to face the University of Florida in the second round. Oral Roberts University is located in Tulsa, Oklahoma and is a member of the Summit League. This has been their sixth appearance in the NCAA tournament.
Many brackets filled out in Ohio had the Ohio University Bobcats winning in the first round over Virginia, however any bracket that was perfect before this game was not after. Before the Bobcats took the court in Bloomington, Indiana, there were 121 perfect brackets left. The Virginia Cavaliers were the 3-seed in the West region, while OU was the 14-seed. The Bobcats won the game, 62-58. Ben Vander Plas had 17 points for Ohio along with 4 assists and 5 rebounds. The leading scorer for Virginia was Sam Hauser with 15. OU lost to Creighton in the second round of the tournament.
In another match-up between the 3 and 14-seeds, Abilene Christian stunned Texas, 53-52. The Wildcats ultimately outplayed the Longhorns and forced Texas to make turnovers. Texas had 23 totals during Saturday’s game. Abilene Christian’s defense is ranked sixth in the country. ACU was led by forward Joe Pleasant and guard Coryon Mason, who both had 11 for the Wildcats. Abilene Christian later lost in the second round to UCLA.
Nearly 20 percent of brackets had the Big Ten tournament champions winning the NCAA tournament. The University of Illinois’ chances of winning the big dance came to an end in the second round when they faced Loyola Chicago on Sunday. The Ramblers beat the Fighting Illini 71-58. This, however, is not the first time the Ramblers have pulled off an upset like this. In the 2018 tournament, Loyola had made it all the way to the Final Four before getting beat by Michigan.
As the tournament goes on, some of these teams will try to carry their momentum to an NCAA title. The road ahead is still long, as only one team gets to finish the season with a win.