by Eric Paolini
One of the compelling aspects of the NCAA tourney is the possibility of an upset at any time. In part because upsets are a certainty. You just don't which favorite is going down.
In the tournament thus far there have been a handful of notable upsets: Oregon over Oklahoma State, Ole Miss over Wisconsin, La Salle over Kansas State, Harvard over New Mexico, California over UNLV, and Florida Gulf Coast over Georgetown. Upsets happen every year and are usually forgotten relatively quickly. How many upsets can you name from last year's tournament? But that really isn't the point.
(Although I do think FGCU's upset will be remembered and possibly Harvard's. Have you ever heard of FGCU? Now this 11-year-old school will have a bit of basketball recognition.)
Part of what makes March Madness special, especially in the first round, is how much can happen at once. With so many games occurring simultaneously something notable seems to be happening consistently. Or at least, something notable is right around the corner.
After top ranked teams kept going down and Gonzaga's almost loss to a 16 seed, it seemed Western Kentucky may have been able to do what Southern University was unable to do, beat a 1 seed. The possibility seemed more realistic as WKU maintained a small lead throughout the first half and only trailed by one at halftime.
While the game itself between Western Kentucky and Kansas wasn't the greatest, the possibility of history (first 16 seed to win a game) provided the intrigue to keep me from switching to snowy soccer. But Kansas eventually woke from their first half slumber and played with some energy in the second half. Plus Western Kentucky couldn't hit a shot whatsoever (31.8% from the field plus a stunning 3-20 behind the arc).
Although the better thing for tonight would be a historic upset, in the long run it's better to have Kansas still in the tournament. It allows more high pressure games for NBA scouts to look at freshman, and potentially top 5 draft pick, Ben McLemore. Chances are Western Kentucky would have lost their next matchup against UNC where Kansas will be expected to win.
While this opportunity for an upset was not fulfilled, the great thing about the tourney is next round brings all new upset opportunities.
Here you can find all of our articles up to 2018.