NCAA madness thrives in March

Underdogs step into spotlight as the tournament brings out the best in teams

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On Mar. 11, the 2018 NCAA mens march madness brackets were released.

The #1 seeds this year are Villanova, Virginia, Kansas, and Xavier.

This year follows up a wild year of college basketball; where the top 25 constantly shifted from week to week and there hasn’t been a clear top group of teams this season.

“It makes college basketball that much more exciting because you never know who is going to win the tournament,” said senior Lucas Gottshall.

Gottshall runs a bracket that has reached up to 70 people participating.

“It’s fun to cheer on the teams that you pick. It enhances the experience and gets you involved during every game,” Gottshall said.

March Madness isn’t just for the people who focus on college basketball. Anyone who has a device can fill out a bracket and do well.

With the plethora of upsets in college basketball, no one can truly be an expert when it comes to filling out a bracket.

“It doesn’t matter if you know a lot about college basketball because anything can happen in the tournament. It’s about having fun with your friends and watching college basketball for two days straight,” said Senior Josh Alter.

March Madness is one of those events, like the Olympics or the Super Bowl, that gets fans around the country unilaterally excited for the sport.

Whether it’s the first game in the morning on the first day or the final shot in the championship game, the madness is for sure to get you hooked for every game.

The games take place in cities around the country, ranging from big metropolitan areas like Los Angeles, Dallas, and Boston to smaller cities like Wichita, Boise, and Omaha.

The tournament ends in San Antonio, Texas, where the Final Four and national championship will take place. The game will take place in the Alamodome, home of the University of Texas at San Antonio Road Runners.

While it seems obvious that the teams in the #1 and #2 seeds should be the ones going far in the tournament, in reality we have seen teams as low as #11 seeds making the final four and #8 seeds making the national championships.

The 2011 and the 2014 UConn teams were a #7 and #8 seed but were carried to national championships by senior point guards, Kemba Walker and Shabazz Napier respectively.

The unpredictability of March is clear in the opening rounds, where lower rounds seeds usually pull off upsets. Seeds as low as #15 have won their opening games against #2 seeds; one #15 seed has even gone as far as the sweet sixteen.

That team, Florida Gulf Coast, made national highlight tapes, in 2013, when they beat Georgetown and San Diego State to become the first #15 seed to make the sweet sixteen while showcasing rim rattling dunks along the way.

While we have seen plenty of #15 seed upsets, we have never seen a #16 seed upset in the tournament.

Ultimately, their usually isn’t a large discrepancy between #1 and #2 ,the real difference lies between the #15 and #16 seeds.

Every year their are some surprise teams that get into the tournament, and some that get snubbed.

This year, teams like Oklahoma, Syracuse, and Arizona State were considered surprises that made the tournament, but teams like Saint Marys, USC, and Middle Tennessee didn’t get a tournament bid because they didn’t win their conference tournaments.

The date of the National Championship this year is April 2nd and will be the end of a long road for the two teams that have somehow navigated the wild field.

When one shining moment plays at the end of the tournament, I’m sure that we will all look back and see what an exciting tournament this year was.

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