Just like Greg Anthony has been saying in those commercials of his, it's not called "March Monotony," it's called "March Madness," and after last night's "no lead is safe" games, the tagline is proving to be quite prophetic. March Madness is here and it looks like it's going to be another exciting tournament that completely wrecks millions and millions of well-planned bracket submissions.
Aside: did you know the official title for "March Madness" or "The Big Dance" is the "Men's Basketball Championship?" Pretty boring, huh? No wonder all the catchphrases associated with the tournament are so popular. Not being bland goes a long way, apparently. As for the opening round of the Big Dance--previously known as the play-in games--it's going to be hard to top the first two games, at least in regards to teams staging dramatic comebacks to win the game.
Both BYU and Western Kentucky, the winners of last night's doubleheader, set NCAA Tournament records for overcoming the deficits they faced:
It was a busy night for the NCAA, what with the official start of the tournament--sorry folks, like it or not, the play-in games are now considered the first round--and the special guests who took in the first game (Western Kentucky/Mississippi Valley State). The guests of honor were President Obama and British Prime Minister David Cameron. For Cameron, it was his first time attending a college basketball game, and while the overall play was sloppy, he was treated to an exciting finish as the Hilltoppers finished off their part of the comeback trend.
Highlights from the opening game:
For their trouble, the Hilltoppers get to face the tournament's overall number one seed, the University of Kentucky.
Serving as an encore to Western Kentucky's comeback, BYU overcame a 25 point deficit--as the embedded tweet says, it's the largest comeback in NCAA Tournament history--to advance for the right to play Marquette. While the BYU/Iona game was more aesthetically pleasing than the first game, both offered exciting comebacks and tearful departures as players from all the teams involved went as hard as they could in an effort to survive and advance.
As indicated, if the tournament is going to follow the script offered by WKU and BYU--that is, no lead is safe and comebacks will be a trending topic--it's going to be incredibly exciting, if not outright heartbreaking.
Just ask MVS's Kevin Burwell: