By Danny Cox
No one could have possibly been able to predict what has gone on in this year’s 2016 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament. Some may expect the four number one seeds to make it through to the Sweet 16, and low and behold, that’s where they are. On the other hand, there are a number of teams not there that were expected to be, and some teams are hanging around that never should have made it this far.
CBS Sports college basketball analyst Jim Spanarkel knows that the tournament is always unpredictable, but this year has been unlike any other before. He’s seen a lot of games, but not so many great ones in such a short period of time. Spanarkel, who will be calling the games in Anaheim with Verne Lundquist and Allie LaForce, took some time to speak on the rest of the tournament and what has happened so far.
Which upset from the first two rounds has shocked you the most?
Jim Spanarkel: “Michigan State… that loss to Middle Tennessee State. That’s the biggest shocker to me because Tom Izzo usually has his team ready for the middle to end of February and then into March Madness. It was just a really shocking loss as an overly experienced team fell by the wayside.”
Can a double-digit seed (Gonzaga or Syracuse) make it to the Final Four?
JS: “No. Well… Syracuse is zone… no. One is going to lose in the Sweet 16 as they have to face each other. Virginia is still my favorite out of the four teams in that region. What do I know, though, with the way this tournament is going?”
Is there a number one seed you feel won’t make it to the Final Four?
JS: “Kansas has Maryland. North Carolina has Indiana. One probably won’t get there, I can tell you that. That’s a really good question. Indiana might have a chance against North Carolina if they play well enough.
This tournament is interesting. Everyone is talking about the parity in it, but the four number one seeds are still alive. My guess is all four won’t be there at the end. Odds are one will go down, but I really don’t know which one.”
Which first or second round game do you feel was the most exciting?
JS: “I think the Texas A&M game from the comeback standpoint. I watched the ending live and it was just amazing. Northern Iowa also had that 60-foot heave at the buzzer to win. In Brooklyn, Verne Lundquist and I were calling the game when Notre Dame won with a buzzer tip over Stephen F. Austin. The Friday before that, Iowa beat Temple on a last minute shot.
Of all the games, that Texas A&M comeback is great for last-minute excitement. Of the games I’ve called though, it’s equally balanced with the Notre Dame game.”
Danny Cox knows a little something about the NFL, whether it means letting you know what penalty will come from the flag just thrown on the field or quickly spouting off who the Chicago Bears drafted in the first round of the 1987 draft (Jim Harbaugh). He plans on bringing you the best news, previews, recaps, and anything else that may come along with the exciting world of the National Football League. Danny is a freelance writer covering all things NFL. His work can be found on Examiner.com.