This weekend you probably have some kind of social plans whether it’s drinking with your buddies or a child’s birthday party hanging out with the other parents, or maybe a cookout (or barbecue or grill depending on your region) with your neighbors, or, God help you, maybe you have some kind of monstrous pseudo-mandatory fun with your co-workers. For all of you who might have to carry on a conversation with people you don’t know that well (your buddy’s wife, other parents, your co-worker’s boyfriend) here is a quick update on March Madness so you can seem like you know stuff about sports and neutral current events.
Don’t worry I got all these tips from actual sports people.
It’s Sweet Sixteen now
This weekend’s round of games will be the final 16 teams of the tournament which is called “the Sweet Sixteen.” The first four games of this round begin tonight, Thursday March 23rd, at 6:30 pm. It will be Michigan State v Kansas State; Connecticut v Arkansas; Florida Atlantic v Tennessee; and UCLA v Gonzaga. The latter game will be the biggest game.
Arkansas overcame big odds to make it to Sweet 16
Arkansas beat Kansas (consistently the best team in the country and No.1 seed) to make it into the Sweet 16 pretty unexpectedly. They aren’t likely to upset UConn due to UConn’s shooting strength particularly in the context of free throws. Their only advantage is at the free throw line so expect some attempts to force fouls.
Also their coach took off his shirt and swung it around when they won. Fun fact.
Brother/Sister siblings at UCLA have both made Sweet 16
Jamie and Gabriela Jaquez will both be suiting up for UCLA this weekend to play in the Sweet 16 round of the tournament. Jamie is the Pac-12 player of the year and the siblings are the first ever brother-sister pair to make simultaneous appearances playing for the same school in the NCAA tournament.
There have been a record number of lower seed upset victories in this year’s tournament
It’s the year of the underdog. 13 teams with lower seeds than their opponents beat the better teams to advance. Here is a full list of those:
- (9) Maryland 67, (8) West Virginia 65
- (13) Furman 68, (4) Virginia 67
- (15) Princeton 59, (2) Arizona 55
- (9) Auburn 83, (8) Iowa 75
- (10) Penn State 76, (7) Texas A&M 59
- (11) Pittsburgh 59, (6) Iowa State 41
- (16) Fairleigh Dickinson 63, (1) Purdue 58
- (9) FAU 66, (8) Memphis 65
- (8) Arkansas 72, (1) Kansas 71
- (15) Princeton 78, (7) Missouri 63
- (7) Michigan St. 69, (2) Marquette 60
- (6) Creighton 85, (3) Baylor 76
- (5) Miami 85, (4) Indiana 69
Big 10 only has one team left in the tournament
The Big 10 only has Michigan State left to carry their conference.
Short Kings are the story of the season
From the unlikely first round victory of the shortest team in the NCAA, Fairleigh Dickenson, to Kansas State star Markquis Nowell who is only 5’7. The short kings are teaching their tall brothers all about hustle. In fact, Nowell is the top game scorer of any player on a team left in the tournament.
This should be enough to get you ready for some small talk and to enjoy a couple games! Good luck out there.