N2K’s All-Time College Basketball Bracket Challenge: The First Four

The day has finally come and our All-Time Bracket Challenge is officially underway. Today we have the results from the “First Four” play-in games which were Butler 2010 vs Wichita State 2015 for the 16 seed in the East, UConn 2014 vs Michigan State 2016 for the 11 seed in the East, California 1994 vs Georgetown 1995 for the 16 seed in the West and Marquette 2003 vs Memphis 2008 for the 11 seed in the South.

Butler 2010 vs Wichita State 2015

The Butler Bulldogs were the story of the 2010 Tournament or should I say, the Cinderella Story. Led by up-and-coming coach Brad Stevens and standout forward Gordon Hayward the Bulldogs are looking to solidify their place in our tournament by knocking off Wichita State. The Shockers are led by the guard combo of Fred VanVleet and Ron Baker. The first of our tournament games was an entertaining one… for Butler fans. Hayward led the way for the Bulldogs with 31 points and 8 rebounds while the starting five of Wichita State only combined for 50 points. Butler is heading to the Round of 64 to take on Frank Kaminsky, Sam Dekker and the 2015 Wisconsin Badgers.

first-four-butler-wichita

UConn 2014 vs Michigan State 2016

From one Cinderella Run to another, except the 2014 UConn Huskies’ run came to fruition behind the outstanding tournament play of Huskies veteran Shabazz Napier. As for the Spartans, MANY people chose them to win the 2016 March Madness Tournament but coach Tom Izzo and standout senior Denzel Valentine fell to 15 seed Middle Tennessee State. As for our tournament, Shabazz and company are looking to show that their success wasn’t a fluke while the Spartans are hoping to bounce back after an embarrassing first round exit. Valentine and Bryn Forbes combined for 43 points but their efforts weren’t enough to overcome UConn. Shabazz picked up right where he left off in a Huskies uniform with 28 points, 8 assists and 6 rebounds with shooting guard Ryan Boatright helping with 13 points as well. Next, UConn will take on Buddy Hield and his 2016 Oklahoma team in the Round of 64.

first-four-uconn-msu

California 1994 vs Georgetown 1995

Headlined by two future NBA star guards, Jason Kidd from Cal and Allen Iverson from Georgetown. For this Golden Bears roster, Kidd was more of a second option behind forward Lamond Murray but Kidd is a great second option to have. Allen Iverson didn’t show up for this big-time play-in game only getting 12 points. The Hoyas were led offensively by Othella Harrington who was responsible for 21 points. As for the Golden Bears of Cal, Kidd flirted with a triple-double cashing in 16 points with 11 assists and 8 rebounds but the main threat was Lamond Murray who had 23 points and 9 rebounds. The Golden Bears took this one from Georgetown and will next take on the one seed in the West, the 2001 Duke Blue Devils.

first-four-cal-georgetown

Marquette 2003 vs Memphis 2008

The Memphis Tigers, led by guard Derrick Rose and future Kentucky Wildcat coach John Calipari made it to the finals only to lose to Mario Chalmers and a very talented Kansas Jayhawks team. As for the Marquette Golden Eagles, led by Dwyane Wade lost to a Kansas Jayhawk team as well, except in the semifinals and not the finals. The matchup of Derrick Rose vs Dwyane Wade proved to be a good one and a matchup that was won by Derrick Rose, but as for the Memphis vs Marquette matchup, Rose wasn’t as lucky. The Golden Eagles came out on top after trailing for the vast majority of the game thanks to a missed game-winning shot by forward Steve Novak that was tipped in at the buzzer by center Robert Jackson who finished with 16 points, 8 rebounds and the most important two points of the game. Marquette will take on Carmelo Anthony and 2003 Syracuse in the Round of 64 looking for the upset against the former National Champions.

first-four-marquette-memphis

What did you think of today’s games? Now the First Four kicked off our tournament but the actual action will be unmeasurable when the Round of 64 gets released tomorrow. The rest of our result releasing schedule is as follows…

3:00PM MARCH 6, 2017- ROUND OF 64
3:00PM MARCH 7, 2017- ROUND OF 32
3:00PM MARCH 8, 2017- SWEET SIXTEEN
3:00PM MARCH 9, 2017- ELITE EIGHT
3:00PM MARCH 10, 2017- FINAL FOUR
3:00PM MARCH 11, 2017- CHAMPIONSHIP

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Cover Photo via UpStore

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