Upsets and underdogs are some of America’s favorite sports tokens. It wouldn’t be a good season of any sport if someone didn’t lose a game they were supposed to win — what would be the fun of that?
If you haven’t kept up with the women’s basketball NCAA Tournament, the only news you might have heard about Louisville in the past week is how Kevin Ware’s leg snapped in two while playing against Duke, a game Louisville later won.
However, just a few hours later, the No. 5 seeded Louisville Cardinals pulled off one of the biggest women’s basketball upsets over the weekend.
No. 1 seed Baylor, a 34-2 team that was on a streak of 32 wins and won the NCAA championship in the 2012 season, got blindsided by Louisville 82-81.
Not even Baylor superstar Brittney Griner could keep her Lady Bears afloat the whole game. Griner didn’t even score until the second half, and fouled in the last 3 seconds to give Louisville the foul shots needed to take the game.
Closer to home, you might have heard about the first softball series sweep over a ranked opponent since 2000. The Razorbacks took down No. 22 Georgia over the weekend.
As it typically goes, unranked opponents are more than likely not high-priority games in the mind of the ranked team’s players — think ULM against Arkansas. Knowing that the ranked Bulldogs probably didn’t expect to be swept in a three-game series by Arkansas makes the wins that much sweeter.
The slightly surprising wins only set Arkansas with a record of 3-6 in the Southeastern Conference, and the Hogs sit at 25-13 overall.
The upset over Georgia also gave Devon Wallace national recognition. Not only did the SEC name Wallace the Player of the Week, but CollegeSportsMadness.com named her the National Player of the Week.
Of course, not all upsets make America happy. Take the men’s basketball NCAA tournament. If you made a bracket, chances are, it’s busted. And if you had any money on a certain team, I’m sorry.
Florida Gulf Coast was a true nearly-Cinderella story. This school was only established a little over 20 years ago, which is part of the reason the 15th-seeded basketball team shocked the nation by defeating No. 2 seed Georgetown by 10 points.
Not only that, but FGCU continued on into the Sweet 16. The No. 3 seed, Florida, ended FGCU’s chances at making it to the championship, but not before the nation rallied around the team.
Wichita State added another NCAA tournament upset to the list, taking out the first-seeded Gonzaga 76-70.
These are just a few of the numerous underdog stories and upsets that excited Arkansas and the nation in the past week. Chances are, by the end of the week, there will be even more to add to the list.
Tamzen Tumlison is a writer for the Arkansas Traveler. Her column appears every other Wednesday. Follow the sports section on Twitter @UATravSports.