NCAA tournament upsets


Patrick Newell

How does your NCAA men’s tournament bracket look after the first full day? How many people had Morehead State winning its intrastate matchup with Louisville? Not me. Did anyone have Richmond defeating Vanderbilt? Without fail, either a 13 or 12 seed beats a four or five seed in the first round. The 13 and 12 seeds happen to be in the same region and on the same half of that regional bracket. One team’s Cinderella run will end in a hurry.
We can make one local connection to Morehead State as former Norwich athlete, Brad Hagen, competed on the Morehead State men’s bowling team. Hagen, also an accomplished golfer, assumed the Sam Houston State women’s bowling head coaching duties in 2009. Hagen is surely smiling today, although majority of us – who picked Louisville – are probably scratching their heads, and probably cannot name the conference in which Morehead State plays.

It was a mild upset, and perhaps not even an upset at all. Gonzaga, featuring David Stockton (son of NBA legend John Stockton) upended St. John’s in a Southeast Regional game last night. The Red Storm entered as the higher seed, but without do-everything starting guard D.J. Kennedy, clearly were lacking. Kennedy tore his ACL against Syracuse in the Big East tournament, and most pundits agreed it would be tough for St. John’s to advance in the tournament.
Again, we can make a local connection, more apt, a personal connection to Gonzaga. My significant other, Aidamarie Rull, attended Gonzaga Preparatory in high school at the same time as John Stockton, and was best friends with Stockton’s first cousin, Lori Holthaus. “He was (and still is) a legend at the school,” Rull said of Stockton. “There is a shrine dedicated to him in the (school’s) main hall.”
John Stockton retired as the NBA’s all-time leader in assists, and was named one of the NBA’s 50 greatest players in 1996.