TULSA, OK – MARCH 17: Semi Ojeleye #33 of the Southern Methodist Mustangs reacts after being defeated by the USC Trojans during the first round of the 2017 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament at BOK Center on March 17, 2017 in Tulsa, Oklahoma. (Photo by J Pat Carter/Getty Images)

Every year, there is at least one team that, once the the NCAA Tournament brackets are announced, is immediately hyped as a potential “dark horse” Final Four candidate.  Sometimes the team is discussed so frequently by the media and others, that the dark horse tag subconsciously fades and the team develops, in some people’s minds, an undeserved overhyped stigma caused by the constant dark horse buzz.

This year, one could say that SMU fit the aforementioned profile. The Mustangs, who went 30-4 in the regular season and won 26 of their final 27 game, were, in some people’s minds, underseeded as a 6-seed in the East region.  Nevertheless, even with Duke and Villanova in their bracket, many jumped on the Mustangs bandwagon. Some picked the SMU to make the Final Four, others thought they would, at the least, beat Duke in the Sweet 16.

Turns out, it wasn’t meant to be for SMU, as they fell to USC 66-65 Friday afternoon in a first round heartbreaker, busting many brackets in the process. Some of the carnage is detailed below.

Even before the brackets were announced SMU was on “Final Four darkhotse” radar:


After the Brackets were announced, TNT’s Kenny Smith picked the Mustangs going to Phoenix…

SBNation’s Nick Fasulo also picked the Mustangs to go the Final Four, and wrote before the tournament that it was “incredibly liberating to advance a No. 6 to the Final Four with a real level of confidence and logic.”

Fasulo’s colleague Ricky O’Donnell had beating Duke to reach the Elite 8:

Here were some other members of the SMU bandwagon…


SMU’s loss today some college basketball fans reeling over their brackets…

Tough to lose one of your Final Four picks in the first round.  That begs the question…

Nice try, but that probably will not be allowed.

About Fred Segal

Fred Segal, 35, grew up in the Miami, Florida area and currently lives in Coral Springs, Florida, with his wife and two children. He is currently an attorney practicing in West Palm Beach, Florida, at the law firm Broad and Cassel. Fred is a graduate of the University of Florida and is a rabid, borderline unhealthy, supporter of the Florida Gators.