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Norfolk State star Kyle O’Quinn was a benchwarmer in high school

Norfolk State center Kyle O’Quinn has been the breakout star of the NCAA Tournament in the first week. The senior from Jamaica, New York posted 26 points and 14 rebounds in an upset win over Missouri Friday, his 20th double-double of the season. He did an interview with CBS that played during halftime of one of the games Saturday and was asked how he was so overlooked by colleges coming out of high school.

“When you only play one year of high school basketball, people think maybe he never proved himself,” O’Quinn said, responding to a question from Charles Barkley. “I was a benchwarmer my junior year. Schools have their recruiting plans laid out years before. I probably never came across the head coach’s desk, and Norfolk State was the first one to jump.”

And now the Spartans are benefiting from giving O’Quinn a look. He’s averaged over 16 points and 10.5 rebounds per game each of the two seasons while shooting over 55%. After what he’s done in his college career, maybe NBA teams won’t make the same mistake college ones did.

Norfolk State upset left only two perfect brackets on ESPN

A day and a half passed before Norfolk State provided the first March Madness moment of the NCAA Tournament. The former Division II school became just the 5th No. 15 seed to upset a No. 2 seed in the NCAA Tournament since expansion in 1985. They also wrecked nearly every bracket with the win, leaving just two perfect brackets out of the 6.45 million entered in ESPN’s Tournament Challenge.

Yup, out of all 68 teams in the draw, fewer people picked Norfolk State to win the whole thing than any other school (838). I’m honestly wondering who the 838 clowns were that did pick them to win it all. To give you an idea of how improbable the upset was, ESPN says there were 1,607 perfect brackets remaining before the game ended. 1,605 of the lucky geniuses were wiped out by Norfolk State.

A majority of the experts had Missouri in the Final Four, so their brackets are hurting, too.

A few other cool notes about Norfolk State are that they were a Division II school until the 1997-98 season, and they’ve only had three winning seasons since then. They also beat the No. 3 seed in their region, Marquette, back in November, though they lost to D-II’s Elizabeth City State that same month.

Just to make you feel better in case your brackets were pounded by Norfolk State, their star player, Kyle O’Quinn (pictured), says their upset even hurt his brackets.

“We messed up some brackets! We messed up some brackets!” he bellowed. “We even messed up my bracket.”