Ali Farokhmanesh: America’s most popular name

Ali after shooting and winningWith news articles like “Iranian-American Ali Farokhmanesh lights up NCAA Tournament” popping up all over the internet and twitter feeds going crazy, it was hard not to take notice yesterday.

Here’s a playback

The mightiest has fallen in the NCAA men’s basketball tournament. Overall No. 1 seed Kansas was eliminated Saturday by No. 9 seed Northern Iowa in a 67-65 thriller.

Ali Farokhmanesh hit a key 3-point shot and two foul shots in the final seconds as Northern Iowa, representing the Missouri Valley Conference, sealed the deal against the Jayhawks.

Farokmanesh also hit the 3-point buzzer-beating basket that allowed Northern Iowa to win its first-round game over UNLV.

The win over Kansas was the biggest of three more upsets Saturday in a tournament that has already seen many of them.

Earlier, the Saint Mary’s Gaels, a No. 10 seed, wiped out Big East power Villanova, 75-68. And No. 11 seed Washington dropped No. 3 seed New Mexico, 82-64.

The other No. 1 seed in action Saturday, Kentucky, waltzed past No. 9 seed Wake Forest, 90-60. And No. 2 seed Kansas State outlasted Brigham Young, 84-72.

But surprises are the story of the tournament so far. In fact, another potential upset fizzled in the final seconds Saturday as No. 13 seed Murray State lost to No. 5 seed Butler, 54-52.

Butler reached the Sweet Sixteen for the third time in eight years — and the Bulldogs would love to continue on to the Final Four in their hometown of Indianapolis.

In other action Saturday, No. 6 seed Tennessee ended Ohio University’s Cinderella dreams and No. 3 seed Baylor overcame No. 11 seed Old Dominion, 76-68.

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