Northern Iowa Knocks Out KansasPosted by jstevrtc on March 20th, 2010
Kansas has been sent packing by Northern Iowa in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
This has to be the biggest second-round upset in the history of the event. The Panthers weren’t afraid to get physical with the Jayhawks, and forced them into 15 turnovers while committing only nine themselves. Kansas was of course the overall #1, and their departure means that Kentucky probably takes over as the favorite to win the title. They play Wake Forest in a second round game in New Orleans later tonight.
Ali Farokhmanesh hit a three — his fourth on the day — with about 25 seconds left to put the Panthers up four just as they were looking their shakiest. He then sank two free throws with 4.8 seconds left to put a lid on the Panthers’ amazing performance, giving him 16 points on the day. Sherron Collins and Tyshawn Taylor went a combined 0-10 from three-point land, while Farokhmanesh, Jordan Eglseder, and Johnny Moran combined for 8-16 shooting from behind the arc.
The Panthers’ dismissal of the Jayhawks brings to mind the tournaments of 2000 and 2004. In 2000, a pair of #8-seeds got the best of two top-seeded squads. Stanford was the #1 seed in the South region and was beaten by the #8-seed North Carolina in the second round. Arizona was the #1 seed in the West and also suffered a second round loss. They were beaten by #8 Wisconsin, and both Wisconsin and North Carolina went on to the Final Four. In 2004, two #1-seeds went down in the second round on the same day — Kentucky (#1 in the St. Louis region) lost to #9 UAB and Stanford (top seed in the Phoenix region) lost to #8 Alabama.
Take a look at the Midwest bracket. The region that ESPN’s Doug Gottlieb rightly called “The Region of Death” is now wide open, with #3 Georgetown having been dispatched by Ohio University on Thursday night. #2 Ohio State and #4 Maryland are the two top seeds left, but every supposed underdog team will play with renewed vigor, knowing there are no Jayhawks with whom to deal. The Buckeyes will take on #10 Georgia Tech and Maryland will play #5 Michigan State on Sunday afternoon. The winner of the Maryland/Michigan State game gets the Panthers in the Sweet 16.
More on this throughout the evening. Oh, and if you’re a favorite today…you better come strong.