Where is Cinderella?

Incredibly, out of 32 initial NCAA championship games, there were only two real upsets (I don't count 9 beating 8 as a real upset).  Maybe my memory is faulty, but that seems like a really low number by historical standards.   Conventional wisdom would hold that we should probably see more rather than less upsets, as early flight to the NBA of the top players has tended to level the playing field out.


  1. Craig:

    Upsets occur pretty randomly, though, so I don't think we can ascribe the lack of upsets to any specific reason. It just takes the right mix of luck, circumstance, and overconfidence on the part of the favorite. A bigger problem, I think, is the continuing decrease in mid-majors receiving bids, which instead go to marginal major conference teams.

  2. mjh:

    Woulda/Coulda/Shoulda been three.

  3. Mike:

    Re: "the continuing decrease in mid-majors receiving bids"

    The decrease in mid-majors receiving bids, combined possibly with a modest increase respect for mid-majors so they are better seeded when they get in, reduces the number of Cinderellas. Haven't looked carefully at the data, but this is my new favorite theory on the topic.

    Something like 5 of 16 teams still in are mid-majors, but all were seeded 7 or better so can't really claim Cinderella status.

    I think a lot of the old ladies at the big dance last year were upset at being upstaged by Cinderella GMU, and so fewer at-large invites were given out to mid-majors and a little extra respect was sent to those that got in.

  4. fletch:



    Don't I know it!

    I 'woulda been a contendah' in the "coyote" pool if the RedHawks had won...