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Friday, April 19, 2024

Ranking best March Madness upsets from 2024 NCAA Tournament Day 2

Day two of March Madness delivered in terms of upsets.

Arguably the best sporting event of the year is currently in its early stages as March Madness got started on Tuesday night with the First Four, and then the first round got started on Thursday. The First Four gave us an early taste of the tournament and there were some great matchups, but Thursday was March Madness at its finest. The first day is always one of the best as there are 16 games going from noon all the way until around midnight ET. We saw a lot of great action on day one, and now, college basketball fans are ready to do it all again on Friday. It’s the most wonderful time of the year.

There is so much to love about March Madness, and the first week of the tournament is one of the best stretches in all of sports. Basketball begins at noon and there are countless good games all day and into the night. College basketball fans are currently setting up multiple TVs to be able to take in as much March Madness action at once as humanly possible. It doesn’t get much better than this weekend when it comes to sport

Another great part of March Madness are the historic performances put on by individual players. Every so often we will see a player completely take over a game and put their team on their back, and they sometimes carry their squad all the way to a national title. It’s always fun to watch. When it gets to the later stages of the tournament, everyone knows that player is getting the ball, and still, no one can stop him. We saw some of that yesterday, but we’ll get to that later.

The upsets are always special as well. It seems like every season there is at least one underdog team that captures America’s heart and makes a surprise deep run in March Madness. For example, #16 seed Fairleigh Dickinson took down #1 seed Purdue last year and ended up putting up a good fight in the second round too. They lost to Florida Atlantic, however. Then, #9 said Florida Atlantic turned into the cinderella team as they marched all the way to the Final Four. Upsets are one of the best parts of college basketball, and something about March Madness brings them out. We now have a cinderella team to root for after some great upsets took place during day one of the tournament.

Day one of March Madness did not disappoint. There were a ton of good games, and as always, perhaps the best part of the day was seeing the upsets. On Thursday, five lower seeded teams knocked off their higher seeded opponent as nine seed Michigan State took down eight seed Mississippi State, all three 11 seeds that played took down the six seeds yesterday as Duquesne beat BYU, NC State beat Texas Tech and Oregon beat South Carolina. Last, but certainly not least, 14 seed Oakland took down three seed Kentucky behind Jack Gohlke and his legendary performance. It was a great day of college basketball.

Kentucky was a popular pick to make a deep run in March Madness, but they are now already eliminated from the tournament. The Wildcats have struggled a lot in recent trips to the NCAA Tournament, and those woes continued on Thursday.

Day two of March Madness did not disappoint either

Yale Bulldogs guard Trevor Mullin (0) celebrates with guard Emir Buyukhanli (11) after a game against the Auburn Tigers in the first round of the 2024 NCAA Tournament at Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena.
© Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The upsets on day one were great, and we were treated with some more on Friday as well. Of the 16 games played on day two of March Madness, six of them saw the lower seed win. #9 Northwestern took down #8 FAU, #13 Yale took down #4 Auburn, #10 Colorado took down #7 Florida, #9 Texas A&M took down #8 Nebraska, #12 James Madison took down #5 Wisconsin and #12 Grand Canyon took down #5 St. Mary’s.

Now that Friday’s slate is done, the round of 64 is officially over and we are into the second round of the NCAA Tournament. The first round certainly didn’t disappoint in terms of upsets and close games. We have numerous double digit seeds still playing and we are guaranteed to have at least one of those teams make it to the sweet 16. We should get some more upsets as the weekend carries on.

There were a lot of good upsets to choose from on day two of March Madness, but here are the three best.

#3: #12 James Madison over #5 Wisconsin

This was a very popular upset pick as James Madison basketball has been great all season long. They put the country on notice when the college basketball season got started as the Dukes went on the road and beat then #4 Michigan State as huge underdogs. James Madison hasn’t lost since January and they came into the tournament scorching hot. A lot of people picked them to upset the Badgers, but not many people saw that kind of dominant performance.

James Madison basketball got out to an early lead and they never looked back. They dominated that basketball game, and they ended up winning 72-61 after coming into the game as 4.5-point underdogs. It was impressive, and the Dukes are still dancing.

#2: #12 Grand Canyon over #5 St. Mary’s

There’s just something about that 12-5 upset in March Madness. They always seem to happen, and on Friday, Grand Canyon basketball was the second #12 seed of the day to pull off a big win. The Gaels were favored by 5.5, but the Lopes had other plans. It was close for the first half, but Grand Canyon ended up opening up a big 16-point lead in the second half, and St. Mary’s wasn’t able to make it very close after that. The Lopes cruised to a win pretty easily as they won 75-66, and now they will play again on Sunday.

#1: #13 Yale over #4 Auburn

The biggest upset of the day was easily Yale basketball taking down the SEC Tournament champion Auburn Tigers. The Bulldogs were trailing for most of this game, but they just stuck around until the final minutes of the game, and then they pounced on every opportunity that they got. The Tigers led by as many as 10 points in the second half and that was with under eight minutes to go in the game. It looked like Auburn was going to win, but Yale pulled off an impressive comeback.

The Bulldogs finished the game on a 20-8 run to come away with a 78-76 win. What a victory for Yale, and so far, that is definitely a top-two upset in this year’s March Madness.

We are now moving right along to the round of 32 which gets going on Saturday afternoon. Things are heating up, and there is sure to be more chaos as the weekend goes on.

Scotty White_headshot

About the Author

Scotty White is a graduate of the University of Michigan and has been in the sports journalism industry since 2020. He has covered athletics at the University of Michigan and the University of Southern California and is now serving as an Associate Editor and Chicago Bulls beat writer at ClutchPoints.

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