WASHINGTON, D.C.–If you tried your hand at predicting the NCAA Tournament men’s basketball championship outcome, you might have to consider your bracket officially screwed.
Two of the schools most favored to reach the Final Four were eliminated from the Sweet 16 round on March 28 as No. 2 Miami (29-7) lost to Marquette (26-8) and No. 1 Indiana (29-7) lost to No. 4 Syracuse (29-9).
Miami had a stunning season winning 29 games while reaching the Sweet 16 for the first time. They played so well all year that most “bracketologists” had them penciled in to win the national title. Instead, it was Marquette who dominated in the Sweet 16 contest, bullying Miami, 71-61, to advance on to the Elite Eight round for the first time since 2003.
Miami struggled to find their rhythm shooting the ball and Marquette banged bodies on the inside to score several easy buckets in the paint.
Marquette junior forward Jamil Wilson scored a game-high 16 points while Miami sophomore guard Shane Larkin scored 14.
Later in the night, Indiana, another popular pick for the title, struggled to escape Syracuse’s defensive press and fell behind in the score early in the game.
Indiana came into the game with the third ranked offense in the nation with an average of 80 points per game. But Syracuse’s defense kept Indiana in check as they pushed the lead up to 16 points midway through the first half and maintained a double-digit lead until the game was won.
Syracuse was led in victory by sophomore guard Michael Carter-Williams with 24 points while Indiana junior guard Victor Oladipo scored a team-high 16 points in the loss.
The following are the rest of the scores from the first of the Sweet Sixteen games March 28:
No. 2 Ohio State edged No. 6 Arizona, 73-70.
No. 9 Wichita State beat No. 13 LaSalle, 72-58.
No. 2 Marquette beat No. 2 Miami, 71-61.
No. 4 Syracuse beat No. 1 Indiana, 61-50.