Saturday proved to be a day of upsets. Aside from the Northern Iowa - Kansas upset, in the South region, second-seeded Villanova, already teetering after needing overtime to win its opening round game, was knocked out with a 75-68 loss to 10th-seed St. Mary's College.
In the East Region, third-seeded New Mexico was crushed, not just beaten, by 11th ranked Washington, 82-64. While the Big East came into the tournament with the highest number of seeds, the Pac-10 was lightly regarded, yet its record so far is 3-0.
The Kansas Jayhawks, seeded one overall in the tournament, was knocked back on its heels by the Northern Iowa Panthers. In fact, with 12 minutes 31 seconds left in regulation, Kansas Coach Bill Self called a timeout to regroup. At that time, Jayhawks trailed 47-35.
Kansas made a game of it. Using a pressure defense, the Northern Iowa lead diminished. Every time, though, the Panthers pushed back. Jayhawk Sherron Collins made two free throws with 4:25 left, and Northern Iowa led by only 3 points. Twenty seconds later, Johnny Moran hit a 3-pointer from more than 20 feet, and Northern Iowa was up 59-53.
With only about a minute left, Collins scored on a drive to cut the Kansas deficit to a single point. Then, with 34 seconds left ane extreme confidence (or foolishness) Northern Iowa's Ali Farokhmanesh dropped in a 3-pointer with 34 seconds left, and the lead was 4. Kansas’s Tyrel Reed was tben called for a charge, and the game was pretty much sealed.
Northern Iowa now heads to the Sweet Sixteen. Meanwhile, Kansas heads home, and many NCAA 2010 Tournament brackets are in shambles.
Written by Michael Santo