In the NCAA tournament, sometimes you have to wait a few hours for March Madness upsets to happen. March Madness Upsets: The Impact of Princeton, Furman Sometimes, things don’t even start happening until the second Thursday.
This year, no.
We had just finished lunch when a late turnover by 4-seed Virginia led to a 3-pointer by 13-seed Furman’s JP Pegues that won the game in a way that seemed impossible. And that wasn’t even the most interesting thing that happened.
Before dinner, 2-seed Arizona lost to 15-seed Princeton despite having a 10-point lead. The state of Kentucky says hello.
But now we don’t know what to do. Because the South Region of the men’s March Madness bracket for 2023 has changed, Alabama no longer has such a strong hold on it.
Let’s take a look at what just happened and how the South Region looks now that there have been two big surprises.
This simple guide will help you make the right decisions when betting on the NCAA Tournament.
March Madness Upsets: Why did Arizona lose to Princeton? What happened to Virginia?
Let’s see some of the reasons for these early March Madness upsets.
The guards for Arizona were the worst they’ve been all season. The Wildcats’ big men, Azuolas Tubelis and Oumar Ballo did what they usually do: they scored 35 points and grabbed 17 rebounds. On the other hand, Kerr Kriisa, Courtney Ramey, Pelle Larsson, and Cedric Henderson Jr. shot 1 for 12 from 3-point range and scored a total of 15 points.
Even though the Wildcats are one of the best teams in the country at passing the ball around, they only had 10 assists and turned the ball over 13 times.
Virginia took the lead early, but its slow pace isn’t good for burying the other team under a barrage of points. Before the Hoos could set their defense, Furman was able to score a few points. This gave the Paladins some momentum and let them get back into the game.
And, like most of the season, Virginia had a lot of trouble shooting the ball. Since January, the Cavaliers haven’t won a game where they made 40% of their 3s. On Thursday, they only made 2 of 12 from beyond the arc.
March Madness Upsets: How far can both Furman and Princeton go in the tournament?
After these March Madness upsets, how far can these two franchises go?
I picked Furman to make it to the Sweet 16 when the NCAA tournament started, so I’m sticking with them against San Diego State in the second round. Mike Bothwell will need to stay out of foul trouble in that game, though, because the Paladins are a different team without him. San Diego State’s defense is among the best in the country, and it really forces its style of play on opponents, as it did after the first few minutes against Charleston.
I’ll pick Princeton to lose to Missouri, but hey, I also picked Missouri to lose to Arizona. Up front, Tosan Evbuomwan vs. Kobe Brown should be a great game.
Which team has the most to gain from two huge upsets in the South?
It’s for sure Alabama. Arizona was one of the few teams in the region that could keep up with the Crimson Tide on offense. It would have been the toughest test for the Crimson Tide in the region. Even though I thought Furman would beat Virginia, a matchup in the Sweet 16 against the slow-paced Cavaliers would have been a huge change of pace.
Now, though, the bottom half of the region is wide open, which could help Baylor or Creighton. The Bears have had trouble on defense, but they have some of the best guards in the country. On the other hand, when Ryan Kalkbrenner has been healthy, Creighton has been one of the best teams in the country. Now, either one of them could be in the Elite Eight.
Thank you for checking out our article on these early March Madness upsets, we wish your next NCAA Tournament bets to be a complete success!