The vindicating beauty of March Madness was captured in No. 13 seed Buffalo dominating No. 4 Arizona, a squad that despite being in the midst of an FBI probe and scandal was still picked to win the National Championship in a lot of brackets.
When the song “One Shining Moment” plays underneath the montage of highlights and upsets from the NCAA Tournament it magnifies what the tourney is all about. Small schools getting the opportunity to play the powerhouse teams and time after time proving that an upset can happen – in this case a shellacking can happen when a team has one chance to win a game.
Nobody gave Buffalo (27-8), an automatic qualifier out of the Mid-American Conference a chance to pull off the 89-68 upset over the Wildcats the South Region on Thursday night.
Bracket busters. Underdogs. @UBmenshoops remains in the dance with a huge win over Arizona! #UBDancing https://t.co/XGLUjYz9EU
A team boasting a pair of 7-footers, one of which is multifaceted talent Deandre Ayton who is being touted as a Top 3 NBA Draft pick rarely takes Ls in the first round of the NCAA Tourney, but it happens and thats why people stay glued to the TV and stay gripping their brackets in high anxiety mode.
Every year there are BracketBusters and SUNY Buffalo, the largest campus in the State University of New York system and New York’s leading public center for graduate and professional education, schooled Arizona about the unpredictable madness of March college basketball.
When UB shoots 50 percent from three and Arizona shoots 11 percent, that is a recipe for an upset. Remember the names Wes Clark (25 points), Jeremy Harris (23 points) and CJ Massinburg (19 points) for Buffalo, which shot 55 percent.
The Bulls upset Deandre Ayton and Arizona by 21 points! Watch highlights, game recaps, and much more from the 2018 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Tournament on the official NCAA March Madness YouTube channel.
They have put a preseason Final Four favorite to bed and will now be going against another legendary college program in Kentucky on Saturday. They have the formidable task of beating two powerhouse Wildcat programs in three days.
As Buffalo basks in the glory of a monumental win, so does the NCAA as Arizonas removal from the tournament also relieves some of the media headache and drama concerning head coach Sean Miller that was sure to follow the Wildcats throughout this tournament.
Arizona was the last of the conferences three teams still in the bracket. Its the first time since 1996-97 a school from the six major conferences failed to send a team to the round of 32.
Bracket-busting @UBmenshoops talks about its upset of Arizona. #MarchMadness https://t.co/ggNFx6hvQ6
Arizona has played through one of the most difficult seasons in program history, twice entangled in a federal investigation into illegal recruiting practices and losing one of their best players twice to injury. Also, Allonzo Trier missed two games after testing positive for the same banned substance that cost him 19 games a year ago.
In many ways, it was poetic justice that a team like Arizona that seems to embody all that is wrong with college hoops falls to a team like Buffalo that carries the flag for everything right with student-athletics.