It was a historic opening weekend for both the men's and women's college basketball tournaments, with a record 14(!!!) combined double-digit seeds, seven in each tournament, advancing past the first-round. Even further, six of those (four men's and two women's) advanced to the Sweet 16.
The common themes? Shooting and defense. The teams who held their opponents to low shooting percentages advanced, as did those who shot the ball well themselves, no matter the seed number ahead of their name.
15-seed St. Peter's MBB
9-of-17 (53%) from 3-point range in first-round upset
Held first two opponents to combined 12-of-39 (30%) from beyond-the arc
Just the third 15-seed in history to advance to the Sweet 16
10-seed South Dakota WBB
Combined 14-of-30 from 3-point range in first two rounds
Held first and second round opponents to just 48 points-per-game
Joins fellow No. 10 Creighton as only two double-digit seeds in 2nd weekend
Every tournament, there seems to be a high-major double-digit seed everyone overlooks as a potential noise-maker. This year, Jim Larranaga's Miami squad has been that team. The 10-seeded Hurricanes followed up a narrow 68-66 opening round win over No. 7 USC with a wire-to-wire 79-61 handling of No. 2 Auburn, who many thought to be a championship contender.
While not a double-digit seed, North Carolina may have scored the biggest upset of the men's second round, as the No. 9 Tar Heels knocked off top-seeded Baylor 93-86 to advance to the Sweet 16. Combine that with a 95-point performance in the opening round, and UNC has the most combined points of any tournament team after two rounds.
Providence survived a first-round scare from 30-win mid-major South Dakota State, but the Friars weren't going to let that happen again in the round-of-32. A 4-seed, Providence held serve as the favorite in both matchups, capping the weekend off with 12 three-pointers in a 79-51 rout of No. 12 Richmond.
On the women's side, Louisville didn't fall victim to the upset trend. The No. 1 seed cruised through the opening weekend with relative ease, winning by a combined 41-points.
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