» By TRENT SINGER – tsinger@my.apsu.edu

The first weekend of the 2012 NCAA tournament lived up to the madness as a plethora of top-ranked teams exited the tournament early.

Perhaps the most surprising upset took place in Greensboro, North Carolina, on Friday, March 16, as No. 15 seed Lehigh defeated Duke, 75-70. C.J. McCollum contributed 30 points to Lehigh’s historic win.

Earlier in the day, No. 2 seed Missouri fell to No. 15 seed Norfolk State, 86-84, sending the Spartans to their first Round of 32 matchup in school history.

Despite the 10 lower-seeded teams that came out victorious in the first round matchups, only three of those teams, Xavier, Ohio and N.C. State, managed to move into the Sweet 16.

The Sweet 16 will take place Thursday, March 22, and Friday, March 23, and will feature several intriguing matchups.

In the South region’s premiere matchup, top-ranked Kentucky will face No. 4 seed Indiana, as the Wildcats hope to avenge their regular-season loss to the Hoosiers in Atlanta.

Also in the South region, No. 3 seed Baylor will take on No. 10 seed Xavier.

No. 1 seed Michigan State will face No. 4 seed Louisville in the West region’s premiere matchup, hosted in Phoenix.

In the West region’s other matchup, No. 7 seed Florida will play No. 3 seed Marquette.

The Gators outscored Virginia and Norfolk State by a combined 155-95 in the tournament’s first two rounds.

In the East region, No. 1 seed Syracuse will play No. 4 seed Wisconsin in Boston.

Also in the East region, No. 6 seed Cincinnati will play Jared Sullinger and the No. 2 seed Ohio State Buckeyes.

In the Midwest region, No. 1 seed North Carolina will play No. 13 seed Ohio in St. Louis, as the Tar Heels hope to make their third Final Four appearance in five years.

No. 11 seed N.C. State will also take on No. 2 seed Kansas in the Midwest semi-finals.

If the first week of the NCAA tournament has taught us anything, then we should be in for a treat as the Sweet 16 is sure to be filled with many surprises. TAS