Everybody loves a Cinderella. It's one of the things that makes the NCAA tournament such a cultural phenomenon -- the fact that every year, there will be a handful of games in which double-digit seeds knock off a power team. In fact, trying to forecast those "Giant Killers" has long been a popular feature of our March Madness coverage. The NCAA's 68-team, free-for-all, one-and-done model is in fact a very poor way to crown a champion. But it's fun, and we all love it.
We very nearly had the NBA's first version of a truly broken bracket. If the lower seeds had won the five Game 7s played over the past weekend, Miami would have been the only surviving higher seed. The sum total of the remaining seeds would have been 46. The record for the highest combined total of second-round seeds is 33, set in the wonky post-strike playoffs of 1999. In 2007, the total was 32. But in the end, just a few of the upstarts survived the weekend, and our remaining seeds total up to 25, which is right at the average for the 16-team playoff era.