March Madness was full of shocks and surprises



Like any other March Madness, there were upsets and shocks

On April 4, the Kansas Jayhawks defeated the North Carolina Tar Heels by a score of 72-69 to win the men’s basketball national championship. Although Kansas was the sixth-straight 1-seed to win March Madness, this year’s rendition of the tournament was far from boring. In fact, the 2022 version of March Madness will go down as one of the most memorable and impactful ones in the history of college basketball.

Coming into the tournament, most college basketball fans had no idea who the Saint Peter’s Peacocks were. No one knew about head coach Shaheen Holloway or about their players such as Doug Edert and Daryl Banks III. Fans only thought of Saint Peter’s as the 15-seed that Kentucky would beat by 20 in the first round.

In the aforementioned matchup against Kentucky, Saint Peter’s was able to pull out a narrow 85-79 victory in overtime, becoming one of the few 15-seeds to defeat a 2-seed. To follow up this performance, the Peacocks defeated 7-seed Murray State, a team that had only lost two games the entire season. With the win, Saint Peter’s became the third 15-seed to ever make it past the first weekend of the tournament and into the Sweet 16.

Many people thought this magical run would be finished after a matchup 

against Purdue in the Sweet 16. Instead, Saint Peter’s defied the odds and beat the Boilermakers, becoming the first 15-seed to ever make it to the Elite Eight. Unfortunately for the Peacocks, their run came to an end with a loss to North Carolina in the Elite Eight, but they left a truly remarkable impact on college basketball and have given hope to all of the small school teams that they can make serious noise in March Madness.

In another region of the bracket, all eyes were on Duke head coach Mike 

Krzyzewski, also known as Coach K, as he had announced that the 2021-22 season would be his last. Despite having an incredibly young team, Coach K was able to lead his squad to the Final Four. The Blue Devils were able to close out tight games against both Michigan State (Round of 32) and Texas Tech (Sweet 16), and they sealed their spot in the Final Four with a convincing win over Arkansas in the Elite Eight.

Duke’s matchup in the Final Four was one of the most enticing matchups in 

the history of March Madness. For the first time ever, Duke and North Carolina would play each other in the NCAA tournament, a game that would add even more fuel to one of the most intense rivalries in all of sports. Not to mention, North Carolina spoiled Krzyzewski’s last game at Duke’s home court, Cameron Indoor Stadium, just a few weeks prior. Instead of getting revenge, Krzyzewski’s career came to a bitter end against his archrival, and he left his last game in his 41-year career by watching North Carolina celebrate a trip to the national championship game.

Like any other year of March Madness, there were plenty of upsets and 

amazing games. In the first round, Richmond (12) knocked out the Big Ten champion Iowa (5), while Murray State (7) won a game that was an offensive explosion against San Francisco (10), 92-87. Later in the weekend, in the second round, Arizona (1) won an exciting, controversial overtime thriller against TCU (9), Miami (10) shocked the world by blowing out Auburn (2), and Baylor (1) nearly pulled off a 25-point comeback that was fended off by North Carolina (8) in overtime, with a score of 93-86. While the second weekend wasn’t as exciting, there were still interesting results like Arkansas (4) eliminating the overwhelming favorite, Gonzaga (1), and eventual champion Kansas (1) surviving a scare against Providence (4).

March Madness has always been crazy, and this year was no exception. After 

the annual showing of One Shining Moment wrapped up this year’s tournament, fans finally got a chance to catch their breath and reflect on all of the craziness of the past few weeks. And once Selection Sunday comes around next March, this whole cycle will repeat again, and people will be wondering which team could replicate Saint Peter’s magical run and which team will be cutting down the nets at the national championship.