For the final day of the NCAA Tournament's first week, this again is your BOTC-hosted home for March Madness discussion.
Saturday was an active day throughout the Big Dance, but for the purposes of this feature, all the relevant action occurred in the wide-open Southeast Region, in which I incorrectly predicted all four Sweet Sixteen teams.
In the headliner of the night, Butler delivered the biggest upset of the tournament by outlasting Pittsburgh in a last-minute dumb-off. While the way the game stumbled to a finish was notable, the final result itself was not.
Butler perennially is an under-seeded team in March, relative to its accomplishments, while Pitt is infamous for its early exits. It was a mismatch from the start. My only surprise was that the score was so close.
The Bulldogs will advance to play the Badgers of Wisconsin, who obviously ended K-State's season last night. The less said about that, the better. I'll let Kellis over-analyze the performance — I don't feel the need to make kids cry.
On the south side of the bracket, BYU and Florida will meet in a rematch of last year's first-round, overtime contest.
I wasn't surprised that the Cougars won in Denver, but I was surprised they won like that. That looked like the Gonzaga from early in the season, when the Bulldogs couldn't guard 3s to save their lives. In a word, they were Jimmer-ed, but their larger failure was an inability to push tempo, pound it inside and capitalize on superior depth.
As for Florida, the Gators grew immensely as the season wore on. I didn't think they would be this good. With both great guard play and great interior play, you have to like their chances to advance to the Final Four out of this region against three teams that don't have the same caliber of athletes.
Associated Press Ranking = 21
ESPN/USA Today Ranking = 24
Overall Record = 23-11
Big 12 Record = 10-6
Top 50 Record = 4-7
Big 12 Seed = 4
NCAA Seed = 5
RPI = 23
SOS = 11
Region (Site) = Southeast (Tucson)
Signature Wins (RPI 1-30) = Kansas, Texas, Utah State
Quality Wins (RPI 31-100) = James Madison, Virginia Tech, Gonzaga, Washington State, Baylor, Nebraska (2), Missouri
Bad Losses (RPI 101 or greater) = none
- James Madison (21-12, 10-8 CAA) | RPI = 88
- No. 1* seed Virginia Tech (22-11, 9-7 ACC) | RPI = 62
- Presbyterian (13-18, 7-11 Big South) | RPI = 204
- No. 11 seed Gonzaga (24-10, 11-3 WCC) | RPI = 56: Loss to No. 3 seed BYU (67-89 in the Southeast Region of the NCAA Tournament)
- No. 1 seed Duke (31-4, 13-3 ACC) | RPI = 4
- Texas Southern (19-13, 16-2 SWAC) | RPI = 192
- Emporia State (16-14, 12-10 MIAA**)
- No. 2* seed Washington State (20-12, 9-9 Pac-10) | RPI = 82
- Alcorn State (4-24, 4-14 SWAC) | RPI = 337
- Loyola-Chicago (16-15, 7-11 Horizon League) | RPI = 197
- No. 2 seed Florida (28-7, 13-3 SEC) | RPI = 8: Win over No. 7 seed UCLA (73-65 in the Southeast Region of the NCAA Tournament)
- UNLV (24-9, 11-5 Mountain West) | RPI = 25
- UMKC (16-14, 9-9 Summit League) | RPI = 212
- North Florida (15-19, 10-10 Atlantic Sun) | RPI = 149
- Savannah State (12-18) | RPI = 252
- No. 3* seed Oklahoma State (20-13, 6-10 Big 12) | RPI = 61
- No. 1* seed Colorado (23-13, 8-8 Big 12) | RPI = 65
- Texas Tech (13-19, 5-11 Big 12) | RPI = 165
- Missouri (23-11, 8-8 Big 12) | RPI = 37
- No. 24 Texas A&M (24-9, 10-6 Big 12) | RPI = 30
- Baylor (18-13, 7-9 Big 12) | RPI = 94
- No. 1 seed Kansas (33-2, 14-2 Big 12) | RPI = 1
- Nebraska (19-13, 7-9 Big 12) | RPI = 89
- Iowa State (16-16, 3-13 Big 12) | RPI = 138
- Oklahoma (14-18, 5-11 Big 12) | RPI = 126
- No. 4 seed Texas (28-7, 13-3 Big 12) | RPI = 11
- No. 19 Utah State (30-4, 15-1 WAC) | RPI = 15
- No. 4 seed Wisconsin (25-8, 13-5 Big Ten) | RPI = 16: Win over No. 5 seed Kansas State (70-65 in the Southeast Region of the NCAA Tournament)