Five SEC teams got upset in NCAA Tournament 1st round, and folks are laughing at Greg Sankey | Zagsblog
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Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
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Sunday / May 26.
  • Five SEC teams got upset in NCAA Tournament 1st round, and folks are laughing at Greg Sankey

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    By ADAM ZAGORIA

    The SEC made history in the first round of the NCAA Tournament — and not in a good way.

    Five SEC teams lost their openers as higher seeds, marking just the second time that one conference has seen that many teams get upset that early since seeding began in 1979.

    Greg Sankey’s conference is 1-5 entering the weekend, yet the SEC Commissioner just said the NCAA Tournament should consider getting rid of automatic bids for smaller conferences.

    “We are giving away highly competitive opportunities for automatic qualifiers (from smaller leagues), and I think that pressure is going to rise as we have more competitive basketball leagues at the top end because of (conference) expansion,” Sankey told The Athletic.

    The biggest upset featured No. 3 Kentucky going down to Jack Gohlke and No. 14 Oakland, 80-76, on Thursday, focusing attention on John Calipari’s uncertain future and his $33 million buyout.

    On Friday, No. 4 Auburn, the SEC Tournament champion, was stunned by No. 13 Yale, 78-76. Yale, which nearly lost to a 13-18 Brown team in the Ivy League championship game, won just its second NCAA Tournament game after upsetting No. 5 Baylor in 2016.

    Also on Friday, No. 7 Florida lost a high-scoring 102-100 affair to No. 10 Colorado on a buzzer-beater by K.J. Simpson.

    Entering the weekend, only three of eight original SEC teams remain: No. 2 Tennessee, No. 4 Alabama and No. 9 Texas A&M.

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    Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle. A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013. He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.

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