The initial rush of excitement that the NCAA Tournament brings us often disguises the fact that the games themselves sometimes disappoint. The upsets we crave, the upsets that excite us about all this in the first place — the first weekend is always more of an "event" than the national championship game — don't come as often as we dream they do. There really weren't any major ones last year; we haven't had an epic one since Northwestern State over Iowa two years ago. But last night ... we almost had the greatest one of all.
A No. 15 seed beating a No. 2 seed is one thing, but when that No. 2 seed is Duke, we'd be talking history. We watched the whole game and, to be clear, there weren't many moments when we thought that Duke wasn't the better team. But that's how these things go down; the right trey falls at the right time, the right turnover happens, and it all comes tumbling down. It was all set up for Belmont last night ... and then Gerald Henderson took over on one play, and he looked like he was the one grownup who understood the stakes. It was enough to make Mr. Amy Grant cry.
(By the way, Vince is looking a little rough.)
So the first day of the tournament went down without any major upsets; if the biggest surprise is a win by a team with the best freshman in the country, nothing's too shocking. A Belmont win would have stood as the signature moment of this year's tournament, and several years to come. Now watch Duke, having looked death in the eye, go and win the whole thing now.