Impact of Princeton, Furman upsets on males’s March Madness bracket
Sometimes you want a couple of hours earlier than the upsets arrive within the NCAA event. Sometimes, the motion does not even actually start on the primary Thursday.
Not this 12 months.
We’d barely completed lunch when a late 4-seed Virginia turnover turned an unbelievable, game-winning 3-pointer by JP Pegues to assist 13-seed Furman advance. And that wasn’t even essentially the most memorable second.
Before dinner, 2-seed Arizona blew a 10-point lead in a loss to 15-seed Princeton. Kentucky sends its regards.
But now now we have questions. Because the South area of the 2023 males’s March Madness bracket, and Alabama’s sheer management of it, has modified.
ESPN’s professional panel of Jeff Borzello, John Gasaway and Myron Medcalf analyze what simply occurred and what the South area seems like with two massive upsets on the books.
Find reside protection of the primary spherical of the boys’s NCAA event right here.
1. What sunk Arizona within the loss to Princeton? What about Virginia within the recreation in opposition to Furman?
Myron Medcalf: I hate to sound like a highschool coach, however the place was the hassle within the final 10 minutes of the sport? Arizona performed with conceitedness. And that is at all times harmful. They led by double digits on the 11-minute mark, however as Tosan Evbuomwan and Co. rallied, the Wildcats appeared shocked and by no means correctly responded. And, give Tigers coach Mitch Henderson credit score. This was Arizona’s third loss in a recreation with 67 or fewer possessions. They slowed the sport down, and it labored.
Furman was decided to the final minute. It began with this group’s response to taking part in with out prime scorer Mike Bothwell, who fouled out within the second half. Jalen Slawson turned an actual nightmare for Virginia as a 6-foot-7 ball handler. Then, late within the recreation, they performed excessive of that Virginia protection, which opened up the ground. What adopted: Furman was ready to make a late play to win the sport.
Jeff Borzello: Arizona’s guards had been as dangerous as they have been all season. The Wildcats acquired their typical manufacturing from their bigs, with Azuolas Tubelis and Oumar Ballo combining for 35 factors and 17 boards — however Kerr Kriisa, Courtney Ramey, Pelle Larsson and Cedric Henderson Jr. mixed to shoot 1-for-12 from 3, totaling simply 15 factors. And for the most effective groups within the nation at sharing the ball, the Wildcats had simply 10 assists to 13 turnovers.
Virginia jumped out to an early lead, however its intentionally sluggish tempo is not suited to burying opponents underneath a barrage of factors. Furman was in a position to get a couple of baskets earlier than the Hoos had an opportunity to set their protection, which gave the Paladins some momentum and allow them to again within the recreation. And, as has been the case for a lot of the season, Virginia actually struggled taking pictures the ball. The Cavaliers have not made 40% of their 3s in a recreation since January, and went simply 2-for-12 from behind the arc on Thursday.
John Gasaway: The Wildcats had been a woeful 3-of-16 on their 3s, and Kriisa personally was 1-of-7. Teams have off taking pictures nights on a regular basis, in fact, however the truth that the Ivy League event’s No. 2 seed was in a position to preserve an NCAA No. 2 seed from getting second probabilities was much more shocking. Give full credit score to Tosan Evbuomwan and Caden Pierce. They did glorious work on the defensive glass. Arizona pulled down lower than one in 5 of its misses.
As for Virginia, it bumped into an identical March useless finish. The Cavaliers transformed two 3s in 40 minutes. Furman hit 10.
Furman stuns No. 4 seed Virginia 68-67
The Paladins shuts down the Cavaliers on the final possession to safe the upset.
How far can Princeton and Furman each go within the event?
Gasaway: The Tigers will draw their inspiration from one other New Jersey workforce. No one gave Saint Peter’s a lot of an opportunity as a No. 15 seed final 12 months, and the Peacocks made all of it the best way to the Elite Eight. Princeton will now play the 7-seed Tigers of Missouri, and Kobe Brown and D’Moi Hodge shall be a handful.
Then once more, Mitch Henderson’s group may very well have a greater likelihood than oddsmakers will give Furman in opposition to 5-seed San Diego State. To this level within the season, the Aztecs have been even higher than Virginia on protection.
Borzello: Entering the NCAA event, I had Furman within the Sweet 16, so I’m driving with the Paladins once more within the second spherical in opposition to San Diego State. Mike Bothwell should keep away from foul bother in that one, although, because the Paladins aren’t the identical workforce with him on the bench. San Diego State is elite defensively and actually imposes its model of play on opponents, a lot because it did in opposition to Charleston after the opening minutes.
I’ll have Princeton dropping to Missouri — however hey, I had the Tigers dropping to Arizona, too. Tosan Evbuomwan vs. Kobe Brown needs to be a improbable matchup up entrance.
Medcalf: I feel a San Diego State squad that simply had its palms full with Charleston needs to be involved. Paladins coach Bob Richey pulled off the varsity’s biggest NCAA event feat with out his prime scorer within the recreation late, and with out with the ability to rating greater than 7 factors till the 10-minute mark of the primary half. Slawson shall be an issue for the Aztecs, too. He’s a singular matchup at that measurement. We most likely did not see Furman’s greatest. And which means one thing.
But I’m not choosing Princeton to beat Missouri. I belief Dennis Gates and Kobe Brown. Sincerely, an ESPN reporter who picked Arizona to achieve the Final Four.
Which workforce stands to profit most from two epic upsets within the South?
Borzello: It’s undoubtedly Alabama. The Crimson Tide’s hardest check within the area would have possible come from Arizona, one of many few groups that had the offense to maintain up with it. While I had Virginia getting bounced by Furman, a possible Sweet 16 tilt in opposition to the slow-it-down Cavaliers would have been an enormous distinction in kinds. The backside half of the area is extensive open now, although, which may gain advantage Baylor or Creighton. The Bears have had bother defensively, however they’ve elite guards, whereas Creighton has been the most effective groups within the nation with a wholesome Ryan Kalkbrenner. One of the 2 might discover themselves within the Elite Eight now.
Gasaway: Alabama. None of this can come into play for the Crimson Tide till subsequent weekend, in fact, however eradicating the No. 2 and 4 seeds out of your bracket helps the workforce on the highest line. Even when the brackets had been introduced, the South was considered as comparatively hospitable to ‘Bama. Now, the area has turn out to be much more accommodating.
Medcalf: Yep, undoubtedly Alabama. Arizona’s measurement and pace figured to be its biggest check within the area. With Arizona gone, there’s an opportunity Alabama places collectively a reasonably dominant run to the Final Four. And Tony Bennett’s defensive changes for Virginia had been problematic for many groups. Alabama’s path is far simpler now.