You know it's a truly mad year in March when even the women's NCAA tournament gets turned upside down.
That's because the women's tournament, by and large, never gets turned upside down. Nothing in life, save perhaps the location of sunrise, is more predictable. Chalk is its artistic medium of choice. Following form is its standard operating procedure.
This year's tournament began, remember with perennial power UConn beating its first-round opponent by 68 points. The joke going around after that was that the women would be better served simply starting in the Sweet Sixteen, since the first weekend was so much a formality.
Or just go straight to the Final Four and be done with it. Not like it wasn't a foregone conclusion, anyway.
Well ... not so fast.
Not with two No. 1 seeds going down in the Sweet Sixteen. Not with No. 1 Stanford losing to 4-seed Georgia, and the prohibitive tournament favorite -- defending champ Baylor, with 6-8 mega-star Brittney Griner -- losing to 4-seed Louisville.
The latter was particularly a stunner, because no one figured Baylor was going to lose. The whole tournament, frankly, seemed a formality given the Bears' dominance. They'd won 32 straight games and 74 of 75 during Griner's time there.
But, surprise, surprise. Louisville's solution to the Griner problem was to double-, triple- and at times quadruple-team her with hockey-style clutch-and-grab defense, and an officiating crew with a let-'em-play mentality helped it work.
And so the women have their bracket-busting upsets, too, this year. Which in an odd way is progress, because it suggests the women's game, like the men's, is starting to spread the talent around.