Ohio Represented Heavily as Sweet 16 is Set
And then there were 16.
For the first time in tournament history, four teams in the sweet 16 come from a single state. The great state of Ohio is the beneficiary, sending Xavier, Ohio, Ohio State, and Cincinnati to the next round after Sunday’s action.
Just like in the first round, day two was crazier than day one. There were three upsets on Sunday, as the first weekend of the 2012 NCAA Tournament came to a close.
NC State (11) started off the day of surprises and drama with a 66-63 victory over Georgetown (3). They enter a matchup against Kansas that is a potential upset.
Kansas slipped by a resilient Purdue squad, who hung on until the wee seconds of the game. The final was 63-60, despite Robbie Hummel’s 26 points and 9 rebounds for Purdue.
The win was not pretty; Purdue led for almost the entire game, but Kansas made the right plays at the very end to take the victory. The win shows that Kansas is prone to being upset, and NC State will give them all they can handle as they ride a hot streak into next weekend.
Ohio U dropped USF 62-56, as the South Florida Bulls were unable to overcome another poor second half. Ohio solved USF’s dominant defense for 41 points in the second period.
Both 15 seeds were eliminated, Lehigh being sent home at the hands of Xavier 70-58, and Norfolk State in a 34-point rout courtesy of Florida.
Florida State could not keep up with their in-state rival, being ousted in the final minutes by Cincinnati. The Bearcats had a late run that ended FSU’s season, falling to 22-1 when leading at halftime.
What to Watch Out For Next Weekend
NC State vs. Kansas: NC State tries to follow in VCU’s footsteps from last year, hoping to enter the Elite 8 as an 11 seed by upsetting Kansas.
Cincinnati vs. Ohio State: At least one Ohio team will be eliminated after this one. I’m sure the Bearcats would not mind if a win here propelled them into an eventual Final Four matchup with Xavier.
All four one seeds remain: Only once in history (2008) have all four one seeds made it to the Final Four. In 2012, they all remain alive so far with only MSU having played in a nail-biter. History tells us at least one of those squads will not make it past the upcoming weekend.
E.J. Aguado Jr. is a freelance writer based in New Jersey and Fox News Latino's official March Madness correspondent.
E.J. Aguado Jr. is a freelance journalist living in New Jersey. Follow him on Twitter at: @ejaguado