It is the Cavaliers’ good fortune — and, really, no team needed some good fortune more than Virginia after its unceremonious early departure from last year’s N.C.A.A. tournament — that upsets abounded in their quarter of the bracket. Either No. 12 Oregon or No. 13 University of California, Irvine, awaits in the South Region semifinals. The Ducks have won their last nine, the Anteaters have won their last 17 — so, umm, never mind about that least daunting matchup thing.
“I told our guys don’t look at numbers,” Oregon Coach Dana Altman said. “That’s one thing about seeds: People look at numbers, and, man, you can’t do that. They’ve won, what, 31 games. Haven’t lost forever. I don’t care.”
Oregon and U.C. Irvine each won in San Jose, Calif., where another low-seeded team, Liberty, No. 12 in the East, toppled No. 5 Mississippi State. Liberty trailed by 10 points with about seven minutes left when Coach Ritchie McKay called a timeout.
“I said if we come back, we’ll go to In-N-Out Burger,” McKay said when asked what he said in the huddle that possibly could have ignited the Flames’ 27-13 closing run.
More burgers could be in the offing if the Flames, who have won 11 of their last 12 games, can defeat their neighbor in the Old Dominion state, No. 4 Virginia Tech, whose campus is situated just 90 miles from Liberty’s.
Until this college basketball season, perhaps the lone link between Houston and Buffalo was their role in the largest comeback in N.F.L. history, when the Bills overcame a 32-point deficit to oust the Oilers from the playoffs in 1993. The cities’ namesake colleges have won the most games, 32, and, with three losses each, are tied with Gonzaga and Virginia for the fewest defeats.