Saturday, March 20, 2010

Shocker: Kansas Bounced in 2nd Round

Wow. What an amazing development: Kansas -- the overwhelming Tournament favorite -- bounced out in the first weekend of the Tournament.

It was an astonishingly impressive win by Northern Iowa -- and "shocking" doesn't do it justice for KU and KU fans, whose expectations were "Title or Bust" (let alone "Final Four or Bust.")

I mark it as a refreshing balancing out of the past two tournaments, which featured an all-1-seed Final Four (2008) and the overwhelming favorite winning it all (2009).

It obviously crushes a huge number of brackets, and if you picked Kentucky or Syracuse -- or anyone else, frankly (including Duke!) -- you are feeling really good.

Cranks were quick to piss on the idea that this was one of the greatest upsets in NCAA Tournament history, but I absolutely think it was, if you consider the expectations for Kansas.

There was also the obligatory knee-jerk "This is why you don't expand the Tournament!" commentary, which is actually counter-intuitive: You would see MORE huge upsets if the Top 32 teams, getting byes, had to play another 32 teams that came from a 64-team gantlet. You would certainly see them in the 2nd round, as we saw tonight.

Anyway, tonight -- hell, the rest of the week -- is not about that, or even about superlatives (as much as I want them to be).

It's about the very definition of CRAZY, BRACKET-ROCKING UPSET.

I picked KU to win it all -- as did a lot of people. And I couldn't care less about my bracket. I am just savoring the unexpected. THAT'S what the Tournament should be all about.

-- D.S.

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