Cooper’s Corner

Cue the March Madness iconic theme tune, the tournament has already been upon us. Reducing the field of 64 to 16 in 4 days is always a dramatic proposition and numerous upsets are bound to happen. I think that it is unfair to consider 8-9 and 7-10 matchups as true upsets, because those teams are so close talent wise. Today on Cooper’s Corner we are going to explore some of the biggest upsets that left our brackets in shambles. 


The South Region was home to 2 of the biggest bracket busting upsets of the tournament so far. 

Furman’s 1 point win over 4 seed Virginia was a stunning upset that few saw coming. The Cavaliers were viewed as a sure sweet 16 bid in a majority of bracket pools and from bracket experts. The game was close to the end and a late Virginia turnover allowed Furman to score a late basket that put them up 1. I for one had Virginia in my final 4, and their loss proved catastrophic for many brackets. 

The 15 seed Princeton upset Arizona in one of the biggest shockers of the tournament. Arizona is not known for their tremendous tournament longevity, however this early upset was certainly a shocker. Princeton continued their run to the Sweet 16 after another upset of Missouri the 7 seed in the South. 

In the second round Creighton upset Baylor in a landslide, but it was a 6-3 matchup so we here on the Corner are not as surprised yet. 

Creighton and Princeton meet in the sweet 16 and the winner continues their dream run this tournament. 

With the exception of Alabama, your bracket is likely a conglomeration of red X like mine is. The South was a minefield this tournament.


The East Region was certainly not immune to dramatic upsets in this tournament either.

Number 1 seed Purdue went down in the first round to number 16 Fairleigh Dickenson, where Purdue looked inept all game. Zach Eddy played well but the rest of the Purdue offense could not find a groove against a difficult 16 seed. Purdue, famous for folding when the pressure was on in the NCAA tournament, was a pick I would have cautioned against, however I believed that they could outlast FDU.

The biggest surprises in the East were the second round games. FAU advanced past FDU making a run to the sweet 16. A very popular choice, Duke, could not beat Tennessee however that matchup wasn’t really an upset because it was a 5-4 matchup. 

Michigan State the 7 seed upset Marquette the 2 continuing their Cinderella Run this tournament. With 3 of the east’s favorites eliminated, your bracket has likely suffered greatly within this region. 


The Midwest Region was likely the easiest region to pick for most bracketeers. With the exception of ‘upsets’ in the 8-9 and 7-10 games there were really no bracket destroying upsets in this region. 

Pittsburgh’s win in the round of 64 over 6 seed Iowa State is the only first round upset in this region, however they were knocked out in the round of 32 by the 3 seed Xavier.

In the elite 8 for this region Houston plays Miami(FL) and Xavier plays Texas.


The first round of matchups in the west featured no upsets, the higher seed won in every matchup which has to be a record.

A similar phenomena occurred in the second round baring one exception, 8 seed Arkansas upset number 1 Kansas in a 1 point game that prompted Arkansas coach Eric Musselman to rip his shirt off in celebration. 

In the third round, UConn took out Arkansas and Gonzaga eliminated the Bruins. This ends the Bruins potential NCAA run, which was an extremely popular pick this year. My bracket is now busted, but watch out for the Zags to finally get the win. 

Watch out for: 

Watch out for Gonzaga in the West, they have consistently underperformed but in the tournament, however in a year of doubt, the Zags might just surprise some people. 

The University of Miami(FL) is an underdog who can certainly make some noise. Don’t sleep on the Hurricanes but ultimately I think Texas makes it out of the Midwest. None of the teams in this region excite me enough to predict that any of them will be cutting down the nets in Houston. 

The East to me is a region reminiscent of the chaos that happened when Virginia went down in the first round in 2018. Loyola Chicago escaped the chaos that year, and I think this year FAU will make a similar run. Tennessee isn’t known for its tournament longevity even at a 4 spot, and neither is Kansas State. Michigan State is a feel good story in this tournament which many fans are rooting for after the tragedy that occurred on its campus this year but I do not think their magic can last much longer. I think that FAU will turn some heads and get to the Final 4.

Alabama seems to be the favorite to escape the south, however watch out for the tigers of Princeton. The Ivy League representatives seem keen on making a deep run this year, but I think that it will be the Crimson Tide that advance from the region.