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Power Take: After first-round upsets, there are no Cinderellas left

There’s a perception that Cinderella is having a grand time at the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament.

Sure Middle Tennessee State, Yale and Stephen F. Austin busted their share of brackets during their time in the tournament. Cinderella’s dream of reaching the Final Four ended Sunday with Northern Iowa turning a program-defining win into an epic panic-induced double overtime loss to Texas A&M that will forever be part of NCAA lore. NIU blew a 12-point lead in 35 seconds.

Of the 16 teams left vying for the national championship, only Gonzaga could be considered a party crasher. That’s because the Zags aren’t part of a power conference. But, they’ve participated in each NCAA Tournament since 1999 and regularly play games on ESPN so they’re not exactly Cinderella.

No. 10 Syracuse and No. 11 Gonzaga may be double-digit seeds making a deep tournament run, but don’t let the NCAA spin it as such.

When a No. 9 seed like Wichita State (2013) or No. 11 like George Mason (2006) makes a run to the Final Four, that’s a true Cinderella story for the fans – one that makes them happy and the NCAA powers that be uncomfortable.