March Madness will see its initiation later this week and the competition is going to be hotter than ever. As a taste of what’s to come, there were some awesome games this past weekend as the NCAA Men’s Basketball tournament series is set to get going on Wednesday. While most games went as expected, there were a couple of upsets, as well. All the NCAA conferences are running their own tournaments right now, giving a prelude of what’s to come.
Mercer To Fight For The Title
The Mercer Bears defeated the VMI Keydets in yesterday’s semifinal game in the Southern Conference (SC). It was not what had been expected, and the 73-59 win puts Mercer against the UNC Greensboro Spartans in the SC Championship Game tonight. This is the first time the Bears have ever gone for the title, despite one previous semifinal appearance in 2015. VMI hasn’t gotten this far since 2003.
The Penn State Nittany Lions held on to beat the Maryland Terrapins this weekend in an upset. Seth Lundy was a big reason for that, as his 31 points helped Penn State secure the 66-61 victory. His 3-pointer and a couple of successful free throws by John Harrar with less than three minutes on the clock sealed the deal, and the Nittany Lions go into their Big Ten Conference tournament action this Thursday against the Michigan State Spartans.
Michigan State Continues Winning Streak
The Spartans may have seemed like a team destined for an early departure this season, but that’s no longer the case. Michigan State has had a great couple of months and gave a taste of what’s to come in March Madness when they beat the Number-2 Michigan Wolverines this weekend by a score of 70-64. Michigan State is now five of seven after having beaten the Ohio State Buckeyes and the Illinois Fighting Illini, and are ready to turn up the pressure in the tournament.
The Baylor Bears are 21-1 on the season and are poised for a superb performance in March Madness. Their win against the Texas Tech Red Raiders this past weekend wasn’t too much of a surprise, and the 88-73 final score was in line with what was expected. Still, the Big 12 Champions had some extra support as MaCio Teague, possible candidate for NBA action next year, put up awesome numbers. He had 35 points as the Bears completed their 11-0 record on the season. It’s the first time they’ve gone undefeated at home since 1947, and only nine games were played then.
Pac-12 Title Stays In Oregon
The Oregon Ducks and the Oregon State Beavers met to decide the Pac-12 Conference’s champion this week, with Oregon taking the title for the second straight year. The 80-67 final score came as the Ducks took an early lead and never looked back from there. After that, it was a double-digit advantage for Oregon for most of the game. With the win, Oregon has a top seed in the upcoming tournament and, on Thursday, will face either the Arizona State Sun Devils or the Washington State Cougars. These two will play this Wednesday.
The Carolina Tar Heels met one of its oldest rivals this past Saturday when they faced the Duke Blue Devils. That game brought to a close an interesting year for the Tar Heels that has included some near-misses. However, with the game being played on Senior Night, Carolina wouldn’t be denied this time, beating Duke 88-70. It was the biggest margin of victory at Cameron Indoor Stadium since 2012, and gave the Tar Heels a shot in the postseason. The Blue Devils, on the other hand, are almost definitely out. This Wednesday, Carolina will play the winner of the game between the Notre Dame Fighting Irish and the Wake Forest Demon Deacons, which will be played tomorrow.