Cinderellas come by once in awhile. They defy all odds and beat that invincible team who was the undoubted favorite. These teams come out of nowhere; they surprise you with their passion and faith, and it ruins your brackets.
The 2010 NCAA tournament contained many Cinderellas, and a whole lot of upsets. The Villanova Wildcats were expected to make the Final Four, just as they did last year. Coming into the tournament with a string of losses, the future looked bleak. A team named St. Mary’s from California came to play, while Villanova left their game at home. Led by the 6’ 11” Omar Samhan, St. Mary’s came out and finished strong. They defeated the stunned Wildcats, with team captain Scottie Reynolds scoring only eight points.
Another upset, and possibly the biggest one, was Northern Iowa versus Kansas (the tournament’s number 1 overall seed). Kansas fell behind this fast-paced offense early in the game, but went on a run late in the second half. Ali Farokhmanesh, one of the undisputed leaders of Northern Iowa, had the ball near the three-point line. The reasonable play would be to hold the ball and try to run the clock out, but Farokhmanesh let it fly and swished a three to put Northern Iowa up for the rest of the game. This play demoralized Kansas, and left them shocked that a team from Northern Iowa could knock them out of title contention.
On the first day of the tournament, seeded Georgetown would be knocked out by 14th-seeded Ohio, who came limping into the tournament with a losing record in Mid-American Conference play. Georgetown had a strong, tough team, but Ohio shined that day and came up big. Ohio was leading the whole game, and picked the perfect time to have a good game.
This 2010 tournament was a buzzer-beating phenomenon with surprises around every corner. With the Final Four coming up, expect more upsets.