Point-counterpoint: Biggest surprise of Tourney

first_imgAckerstein:Duke may not be the power it once was, but the Blue Devils’ poor performance in this year?s NCAA tournament still ranks as the most surprising one so far.Though Duke was knocked off in the first round last season and looked a little soft as a No. 2 seed this year, the manner in which the Blue Devils went down was nothing less than shocking.No. 15 Belmont not only gave Duke a game in the first round, but it appeared poised to pull off the biggest tournament upset in several years until a Gerald Henderson layup propelled the Dukies into the second round.In the second round it seemed Duke would correct its mistakes and get back on track. For a few minutes, it looked like that was the case.West Virginia came back, though, poking another hole in the Duke image by taking the Devils down and making it the second straight season that Coach K?s team failed to reach the Sweet 16.Maybe it wasn?t a Final Four caliber team, but it was a No. 2 seed, with a coach who has more wins than any other in tournament history.Two disappointing games make Duke?s performance the most surprising of the tournament.?Mason:It shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone anymore when Duke fails to live up to the hype in the NCAA Tournament. For how good everyone always says the Blue Devils are, they haven’t made the Final Four since 2004, and they have lost in the second round four times since the tournament expanded to 64 teams in 1985.So, then, what has been the biggest surprise in this year’s Big Dance? Look no further than Tampa, Fla.If you love upsets in the tournament ? and just about everyone does ? you had to love the games in this city. No. 12 seeds Villanova and Western Kentucky topped a pair of five seeds, while No. 13 seeds Siena and San Diego pulled off the unthinkable against No. 4s Vanderbilt and UConn, respectively.While it seems as if every year at least one 12-seed upsets a five, it happened twice this year ? in the same venue. And no one gave the USD Toreros a chance against the Huskies, but a last-second shot by De’Jon Jackson sealed his team’s fate as one of the most talked about and surprising stories of the tourney.Four upsets in the first round? That’s expected. Four in the same city? Surprise of the tournament.last_img

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