Well, so much for the celebrity-based methodology in picking NCAA tournament games.
When we were compiling the list of famous alumni from tourney participants, no one had a longer list than USC. A No. 1 star-power seeding didn’t really equate to firepower on the court, though, as the Trojans lost to Virginia Commonwealth, 59-46, in an opening-round game Wednesday night (March 16).
With the “First Four” games out of the way, the full tournament gets rolling on Thursday with a day-long marathon of games. Worker productivity allegedly goes way down during the early rounds of the tournament, and it may fall even more this year with every single game being broadcast live on CBS, TNT, TBS and TruTV.
If you’re not a hoophead, though, you might wonder what the big deal is. We can answer it in two words: Bryce Drew.
The allure of March Madness, and especially the opening rounds, is the possibility of some small school you’ve barely heard of upsetting a bigger, better-known and supposedly superior team. It happens every year, and every year it’s has the possibility of inducing fits among announcers (particularly if said announcer is CBS play-by-play man Gus Johnson) and goosebumps among fans.
For our money, the goose-bumpiest upset ever came courtesy of Bryce Drew, who hit a 25-foot shot (at the end of a beautifully executed play) to help 13th-seeded Valparaiso beat fourth-seeded Mississippi in 1998. So as you’re finishing up your picks before the games start just after noon ET Thursday, don’t forget to pencil in a couple of never-heard-of-thems (just not a 16th seed, since no 16 has ever beaten a 1 seed) to win a game or two. It’s what makes March mad.
Here’s Drew’s miracle shot.