This NCAA Not a Tournament Of Upsets


So with the Final Four set — No. 4-seed Louisville vs. No. 1-seed Kentucky and two No. 2 -seeds, Kansas facing Ohio State — before we move on, it’s time to take a quick glance back at what everyone was calling a tournament of upsets just a week or so ago.

And, of course, there were upsets. None of us will soon forget two No. 2 seeds, Missouri and Duke, going down in flames before a couple of 15-seeds, Norfolk State and Lehigh. But by the time we reached the Sweet Sixteen, as the AP pointed out last week, 14 teams from the six major conferences already had slots – the first time that’s happened since 2003.

Only two of the final sixteen teams, Ohio University and Xavier, were
not from major power conferences. Aside from the Bobcats and
Musketeers, those 14 teams have copped 71 Final Four berths and 26
national titles.

No matter how exciting things looked early on, if it’s underdogs you
like, once again, this was not your tournament. The last four teams
standing are bullies, who among them have won 13 national titles and
have made it to the Final Four 43 times. And the favorite to take home
the trophy is the Kentucky Wildcats, a school whose seven national
titles rank only behind UCLA’s 11. Which once again proves that if you
want a spectacle and challenging office brackets, 68 teams is great. But
if you’re trying to settle a national title, 32 is more than adequate.