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A blog on UConn women's basketball.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Chaos rules in Lincoln bracket

No. 12 seed BYU celebrates after stunning fourth-seeded Nebraska
Quick, a show of hands of everybody who predicted DePaul and Brigham Young would be among the teams headed to the Lincoln regional.

I didn't think so.

While things went pretty much according to plan in the other three regions last night, upsets wreaked havoc in the portion of the bracket UConn is in.

I actually remember saying when I saw the brackets on Selection Monday that I wouldn't be surprised if DePaul could take out second-seeded Duke since the Blue Demons could expose a Duke team ravaged by injuries at the guard position. But Brigham Young beating Nebraska was truly a stunner.

With two spots yet to be determined, this will become just the second regional with two teams seeded seventh or lower. The last time it happened was just three years ago when seventh seeded Louisville and No. 11 Gonzaga advanced in the Spokane bracket which was won by No. 1 seed Stanford.

This is the fifth season in a row a double-digit seed advances to the Sweet 16 and the third time in five years that a West Coast Conference squad accomplished the feat as Gonzaga made it out of the subregionals as a No. 11 seed  in 2011 and 2012.

If 11th-seeded James Madison upsets No. 3 Texas A&M tonight, it would mark the first time that two double-digit seeds have made it to the same regional since the NCAA went to its current 64-team format in 1994.

Another bit of trivia - 1999 was the only time the top 16 seeds qualified for the Sweet 16.

BYU's win over Nebraska could be a buzz kill in terms of attendance since the expectation was that Nebraska, which perennially ranks in the top 20 nationally in attendance, would draw at least 5,000 fans to the regional in Lincoln. If the higher seeds hold serve tonight, by my math the four teams would be an average of more than 900 miles from Lincoln so it will be interesting to see what the turnout is going to be for the games.

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