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The Mid-Major Bracket, First Round: Sister Jean gains extra year of eligibility to keep Loyola University Chicago close

Also a 15-over-2 upset!

COLLEGE BASKETBALL: MAR 05 SEC Women’s Tournament - Arkansas vs Texas A&M Photo by John Byrum/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Here we go! I’m too worried about the state of the world to write a proper introduction, so here’s some nonsensical content to get you through the day!

Mid. Major. Bracket. Time. For the uninitiated, the NCAA Tournament has switched to only including mid-majors. Beware.


If you came for chaos, you came to the right place.

(1) Dayton 75, (16) Siena 71

Through the first 30 minutes of the game, Dayton tried to see if it could beat the Saints using exclusively Obi Toppin between-the-leg dunks. They were miraculously able to stay ahead for a while, but after the Saints took a four-point lead, the Flyers’ staff decided to put normal Toppin dunks back on the table. Toppin eventually won.

(9) Colorado State 69, (8) Loyola Chicago 68

It’s no secret that Sister Jean has been key to the Ramblers’ recent success. They really needed her today, when after every single starter and key bench player got into foul trouble, Loyola compliance officials discovered an NCAA loophole that left Sister Jean an additional year of eligibility. She helped erase a 13-point deficit with her 17 points in the second half, and her fadeaway gave the Ramblers the lead with 24 seconds to play. But she fouled out herself on the ensuing possession, and a questionable flagrant foul was called. 6-foot-11 Nico Carvacho hit one of two, then scored on the extra possession to push the Rams into the second round.

(12) Colgate 71, (5) UNC Greensboro 68

UNC Greensboro opponents shot a staggering 100 percent this year from behind half court to win games, so naturally the Spartans were excited to be holding the ball for the last shot in a tie g—wait, there’s a steal—wait, that’s a 76-footer. Oh boy. The dentists pull the upset.

(13) Northern Kentucky 66, (4) Vermont 61

Anthony Lamb was sharp as expected for the ‘Mounts, with 25 and 11. The problem was, there was an opponent who was more sharp: Sharpe. Tyler hit six triples and helped extend his own career, something the NCAA would not do. And we have everyone’s favorite thing: a 12-13 matchup upcoming in Cleveland.

(6) Davidson 76, (11) Nevada 73

Some of us thought that Davidson was a bit over-seeded, and Nevada a bit under-seeded. So naturally, the Wildcats dragged their 16-14 record into the Enterprise Center, jumped out to a big lead, and held on late.

(3) Northern Iowa 76, (14) Santa Clara 69

The last time the Panthers took the court in the tournament, this no-good very bad horrible thing happened. There was some concern when Santa Clara, down 12 with a half-minute to play, hit consecutive shots from deep. The Broncos got no closer.

(10) Kent State 75, (7) Boise State 70

The last time the Golden Flashes took the court as a 10 seed in the tournament, this yes-good very great awesome thing happened: they made the Elite 8. They got off to a good start by surprising Boise. Some compare KSU star forward Danny Pippen to Scottie Pippen (no known relation), while others compare him to Antonio Gates. Either way, looks like he’ll have a long professional career in some sport. Meanwhile, the Broncos fall to 0-8 in the big dance.

(2) Saint Mary’s 75, (15) South Dakota St. 66

Jordan Ford embarrassed the entire starting five of the Jackrabbits for the first half, so by halftime the coaching staves and NCAA personnel agreed that the game would be more entertaining if he was forced to dribble and shoot with his elbows. He still scored 12 points after the “Ford Rule” was instituted, and the Gaels cruised.


(1) BYU 75, (16) Northeastern 66

Northeastern kept this game somewhat close in the first half, but it wasn’t close to enough. Let’s move along.

(8) Northern Colorado 70, (9) UNLV 66

UNLV was a popular pick for many, but the Big Sky veterans showed up and took a narrow win. Wasn’t much to say here.

(5) Rhode Island 78, (12) Georgia Southern 69

This was also fairly straightforward. Rhode Island ran out to a 20-point lead early in the first half and never looked back.

(13) Boston University 68, (4) Yale 66

Finally, some madness! Boston University toppled Yale in a battle of the dog breeds, surging ahead in the final minutes and coming out on top. Yale had a five-point lead at the half and looked set to finish off the Terriers, but a furious comeback in the last three minutes was enough to see BU through.

(11) Western Kentucky 73, (6) Duquesne 71

This was technically an upset, but many folks had picked Western Kentucky to show up in the postseason. The game was back-and-forth and came down to the final possession. Western Kentucky’s walk-on fifth-century Scottish warlord Danuva “The Hilltopper” McTominay scored the winning bucket with 3.4 seconds left. Amazing.

(3) Liberty 63, (14) St. Bonaventure 59

This was closer than one would expect, but Scottie James and the Flames (a good band name, I suppose) took care of business. Hopefully, everyone at Liberty is staying safe despite the school’s insane administration.

(10) Harvard 72, (7) Hofstra 71

A buzzer-beater in New York! Hofstra had home support at the Barclays Center and the better metrics, but the Ivy Leaguers avenged Yale and won it on a last-second tip-in from Christian Juzang.

(15) Murray State 73, (2) Richmond 68

And of course, we saved the best upset for last. Richmond had been on a great run, but inconsistent shooting came back to bite them. The Spiders were caught flat-footed by a hot Murray State team that shot 47 percent from three and looked completely comfortable. Meanwhile, Richmond went cold from three at the worst possible time. The Racers advance!