Games that sent your bracket to the shredder

Duke guard Tre Jones, center, covers his face as he walks off the court with teammates Zion Williamson (1) and Cam Reddish (2) after losing to Michigan State in the NCAA men's East Regional final college basketball game in Washington, Sunday, March 31, 2019. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

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Duke guard Tre Jones, center, covers his face as he walks off the court with teammates Zion Williamson (1) and Cam Reddish (2) after losing to Michigan State in the NCAA men's East Regional final college basketball game in Washington, Sunday, March 31, 2019. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

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Were you caught up in the “Madness” of March? Was your school or office bracket, in the shredder or fire after round 1? With the championship game on the horizon tonight, lets review some of the upsets, comebacks, and wild finishes that made or busted your bracket.

Marquette vs. Murray State

The Marquette Golden Eagles were the #5 seed yet, 42.3% of ESPN brackets picked the Murray State Racers to win this Round of 64 matchup.  And those march madness fans were glad they did as the Racers beat the Golden Eagles 83-64 in a blowout. Projected 2nd overall pick, Ja Morant, put his name in the history books by picking up the 9th triple-double in tournament history (17p/11r/16a).  With Murray State winning, this setup an easier matchup for the #4 seeded Florida State Seminoles, who beat Murray State and went to the sweet sixteen.

Kansas State vs. UC Irvine

A shocker to wake up to the next day and realize your bracket was probably already doomed from the start, 4th seeded Kansas State found an early exit in the 1st round and we can all thank UC Irvine for that. Topping the Wildcats, 70-64, the Anteaters pulled off perhaps the tournaments biggest upset thanks to a 17-19 (89.5%) shooting performance from the line and a lockdown defensive effort to force the Wildcats to a low 8-27 (29.6%) from behind the arc.

Kansas vs. Auburn

This was the first of three straight upsets for the Auburn Tigers, who entered as the #5 seed.  They beat the #4 seeded, Kansas Jayhawks, with ease as they won 89-75. The Tigers forced 16 turnovers along with shooting 43.3% from three-point land.  This moved Auburn to matchup against the highly favored North Carolina Tar Heels.

Tennessee vs. Purdue

The #3 seed against the #2 for a trip to the Elite Eight.  And they did not disappoint putting up a combined 193 points.  The Purdue Boilermakers (#3 seed) came out on top beating the Tennessee Volunteers (#2 seed) in overtime 99-94 in an incredible game.  NBA prospect, Carsen Edwards, made two free throws with 2 seconds left in regulation to send the game to overtime where the Boilermakers outscored the Volunteers 17-12.  Just a great game, where bracket makers had a very stressful night of worry.

North Carolina vs. Auburn

Stunning the #1 seed always requires the best performances, big buckets in clutch moments and a little luck in order for the game to go in a lower seeded teams favor. That’s what 5th seeded Auburn grasped in their 97-80 win over #1 ranked North Carolina in the tournament’s sweet sixteen. Topping UNC in defensive rebounds, shooting percentage and a double-double performance from China Okeke (20 points/11 rebounds) allowed Auburn to get the better edge of the Tar Heels and shock the team with the 2nd highest pick rate to win the whole thing.  Auburn’s second upset of the tournament led to an elite eight matchup with the #2 seed Kentucky where yet again, the Tigers got another upset. All in all, Auburn had a very tough path to the final four and with their performance in this year’s tournament, maybe more will pick Auburn to go further next year.

Duke vs. Michigan State

After finding themselves on the wrong end of the madness in the 2nd round of last year’s NCAA tournament, Michigan State looked to avenge themselves when they got set to square off with #1 ranked Duke, in the elite 8. Taking down the Zion led Blue Devils, who had the highest pick percentage to win the championship, is no easy task.  But the Spartans defense led the way by forcing 15+ turnovers and tallying up 11 total steals, to go along with a double-double performance by Cassius Winston (20 points/10 rebounds) as they punched their ticket to the final four, while Zion and R.J. Barrett watched from their dorms.

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