March Madness didn’t disappoint
Every March, millions of people, fans of the sport or not, make their predictions on the NCAA men’s basketball tournament. People fill out brackets in hopes of winning money. March Madness is the highlight of college athletics, and this year it was madness.
Throughout this whole season, one thing was clear: the championship was anyone’s game to win. In last years there have been clear favorites, but in 2018 no one was sure. The overall number one seed Virginia lost their best player due to injury and the team suffered because of it. The Virginia Cavaliers became the first number one seed to lose to a sixteen seed…ever.
After the first round many brackets were already busted, and the second round promised more upsets. After Xavier, Cincinnati, and North Carolina all lost in the second round only half of the top eight teams were left, and there was still a lot of basketball to be played. Both the South and West regions were obliterated, with only one top three team surviving the second round between the two regions.
The Midwest was by far the most challenging region, and its games did not disappoint. The game in the elite eight between Duke and Kansas was the only one and two seed game the whole tournament, and it had to go into overtime before Kansas was able to beat out Duke and make it to the final four. In the East, Villanova easily beat all of their opponents to secure their spot. The final four was rounded out by Michigan and the Cinderella story of the tournament, eleven seed Loyola.
Loyola-Chicago came into the tournament ranked an eleven seed, an undesirable seed with a tough first round matchup against Miami. Loyola won in true March Madness fashion, with a buzzer beater. Loyola than continued on to beat Tennessee with another close last second win. After their win, Loyola went on to beat Nevada and Kansas St to make it the final four. Loyola’s biggest celebrity of the tournament was not a player, but Sister Jean. She is the 98 year old chapelain for the team and is a religious sister. She attended all of the games, and became an overnight celebrity.
When the final weekend of the tournament started, many people were unsure who they thought would win, but Loyola was a fan favorite. Michigan struggled against Loyola early on, but they ended up win by a dozen points, securing their second appearance in the past ten years. The Kansas and Villanova game had a lot of talk surrounding it since it would be ones seeds facing off for the final spot in the national championship. Villanova was able to oust Kansas and made it to the final round for the third time since 2009.
The national championship game was set to be an interesting matchup. Michigan was even with Villanova for the first ten minutes of the game but soon fell behind when Villanova went on a 16-1 scoring run. Villanova beat Michigan 79-62 and won its second national championship in three years.
Despite being watched by millions of people, the men’s basketball final four wasn’t nearly as interesting as the women’s. Notre Dame and undefeated uConn played for a spot in the championship game and went into overtime. Notre Dame won the game on a buzzer beater shot in overtime by Arike Ogunbowale. MS State beat Louisville for the second spot in the championship game.
Notre Dame won the national championship game in a similar fashion to their winner against Uconn. Ogunbowale hit another buzzer beater at the end of the game. The final score was 61-58.
This year March was filled with madness, many basketball fans would t have it anyway. For people who’s brackets were busted, they now have to wait a year to try and redeem themselves.