What makes March Madness so great?
It’s the days filled with games, the talent on the floor and the memorable moments. Most of all, it’s the upsets — the unpredictability that leaves fans thinking anything is possible.
In the first round of the Reporter/Times Herald/Montgomery Media Best of 2010s Bracket, there were plenty of upsets.
Of the eight opening-round matchups, fans voted to send four underdogs to the second round.
A pair of La Salle teams shocked two Abington teams in the first round. The No. 13 Explorers (2013-14) knocked off No. 4 Abington (2013-14) with 61.6% of the votes, while No. 11 La Salle (2018-19) advanced past No. 6 Abington (2018-19), earning 57.8%.
No. 10 Pennridge (2018-19) added to its impressive resume of wins. The Rams picked up state playoff wins over Abington, Methacton and La Salle to reach the 2019 state championship game. In this tournament they jumped out to a big lead over No. 7 Plymouth Whitemarsh (2015-16) and maintained a comfortable advantage until the end, earning 70.2% of votes, against the District 1 champions.
No. 9 Plymouth Whitemarsh (2017-18) surprised by knocking off No. 8 Germantown Academy (2012-13) with 63.3% of the votes. The 28-2 Colonials advance to face the top-seeded PW (2009-10) team that narrowly escaped No. 16 Lower Moreland (2018-19) with 58.5% of the votes.
No. 2 Archbishop Wood (2016-17) and No. 3 Archbishop Carroll (2014-15) made quick work of No. 15 Archbishop Carroll (2015-16) and No. 14 Germantown Academy (2015-16), respectively. Wood’s state title team grabbed 76.1% of votes while Carroll’s state finalist accounted for 72.8%.
No. 5 Abington (2017-18) was the only Ghosts squad to reach the second round. Led by senior Robbie Heath and juniors Eric Dixon and Lucas Monroe, Abington knocked out No. 12 Archbishop Wood (2018-19) with 60.9% of votes.
Abington, Archbishop Carroll, Archbishop Wood, Germantown Academy, La Salle and Plymouth Whitemarsh all had multiple teams in the field-of-16. Abington lost two of its three entries while Germantown Academy lost both of its qualifiers. Carroll and Wood each advanced one team and lost one team while both of La Salle’s teams moved on. PW sent two teams to the elite eight and one team home.
The tournament continues this week. Choose the winners on Twitter @ReporterSports.
(1) Plymouth Whitemarsh 09-10 def. (16) Lower Moreland 18-19
(9) Plymouth Whitemarsh 17-18 def. (8) Germantown Academy 12-13
(5) Abington 17-18 def. (12) Archbishop Wood 18-19
(13) La Salle 13-14 def. (4) Abington 13-14
(3) Archbishop Carroll 14-15 def. (14) Germantown Academy 15-16
(11) La Salle 18-19 def. (6) Abington 18-19
(10) Pennridge 18-19 def. (7) Plymouth Whitemarsh 15-16
(2) Archbishop Wood 16-17 def. (15) Archbishop Carroll 15-16
(1) Plymouth Whitemarsh 09-10 vs. (9) Plymouth Whitemarsh 17-18
(5) Abington 17-18 vs. (13) La Salle 13-14
(3) Archbishop Carroll 14-15 vs. (11) La Salle 18-19
(2) Archbishop Wood 16-17 vs. (10) Pennridge 18-19
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