The first round of the 2022 NCAA Tournament is now behind us and as expected, we witnessed plenty of upsets transpire over the course of two days.
Three 11-seeds made it through as well as a pair of 12-seeds to check off the annual “12 over 5” upset. And for just the 10th time since the tournament expanded to 64 in 1985, we saw a 15-seed take down a two-seed as Saint Peter’s toppled Kentucky in overtime.
The madness continues on Saturday and Sunday with round two getting underway, so we’ve pinpointed four games where another upset could potentially occur.
No. 11 Notre Dame vs. No. 3 Texas Tech, West Region
You can call it the luck of the Irish but Notre Dame is rolling right. The Fighting Irish survived an overtime thriller against Rutgers in the ‘First Four’ on Wednesday and proceeded to dominate No. 6 Alabama on Friday to advance even further. They’ll be matched up against a Texas Tech team that possesses the top defense in adjusted efficiency in the nation but anything can happen when a team has a hot hand like Notre Dame.
No. 5 Houston vs. No. 4 Illinois, South Region
Houston is trying to get to its second straight Final Four and checked off the first box on Friday by outpacing UAB in an 82-68 victory. It’ll be matched up against an Illinois team that flirted with danger against Chattanooga in its first round matchup on Friday, presenting an opportunities to pull off the upset come Sunday.
No. 7 Ohio State vs. No. 2 Villanova, South Region
Ohio State grinded down Loyola-Chicago for a 54-41 victory on Friday and set up a Sunday showdown with the Big East Tournament champions for round two. The Buckeyes are getting healthier and notably had both Kyle Young and Zed Key back out on the floor in the first round. A healthy Ohio State could be dangerous, so the Wildcats need to be on extra alert here.
No. 12 Richmond vs. No. 4 Providence, Midwest Region
A week ago, Richmond wasn’t expected to even be in the field of 68. Now here they are in round two of the big dance. The Spiders dismantled the highly efficient offense of Iowa on Thursday and punched their ticket to the second round with a 67-63 win. They’re drawing a Providence team that had struggles against South Dakota State on Thursday so the potential is there for the A-10 Tournament champs to continue their run.