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This year was really madness in March

This year was really madness in March
April 12
12:00 2018

Even the most casual of sports fans gets geared up for the NCAA Men’s Division I Basketball Tournament because of the intrigue and unpredictability.  This year was unlike any other in history as we all bore witness to the Villanova Wildcats’ win their second national title in the past three years.

The Wildcats winning the national championship was not even in my top three of best things that took place throughout the Tournament.  First and foremost we saw the first ever Number One seed fall to a 16 seed when the University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC) defeated the University of Virgina (UVA).

Previously, Number One seeds were 135-0 against 16 seeds coming into the game.  Even though we all knew that at some point a 16 seed would defeat a Number One, no one thought UVA would be the team, especially since they were the overall Number One seed going into the Tournament.

UMBC was then ousted from the Tournament by Number Nine seed Kansas State in their next game.  Even though their run did not last long, their names will always be mentioned as the first 16 seed to ever defeat a Number One. 

The biggest and probably best story of this year’s Tournament might be the run that Loyola Chicago put together.  As the 11 seed in the South region of the Tournament, the Ramblers first defeated No. Six seeded Miami (Florida) in the first round.  They then went on to win games against Tennessee, Nevada and Kansas State to make it to the Final Four.

In the Final Four game against eventual national runner-up Michigan, the Ramblers were up double figures but fell to the Wolverines.  Only one other Number 11 seed had ever made it to the Final Four and it would have been great to see what they could have done against the Wildcats in the championship game.  I think they would have lost but it would have been great to see the ultimate underdog have a chance to bring home the championship.

Many people’s brackets were busted after the first weekend of the Tournament.  With teams like Syracuse, who barely got into the Tournament, beating the likes of Number Three seed Michigan State in the Midwest region, the Tournament was one of the toughest to predict in recent memory.

The madness did not stop there, pun intended.  Another reason my bracket was busted was the lackluster performance from West region Number One seed Xavier.  I truly thought they would make it at least to the Elite Eight round of the Tournament but was beaten by Florida State in the round 32.

Even my Tar Heels were thumped in the round 32 by Texas A&M and were blown out by 21 points.  I thought the committee did us a favor by putting us in the West region with the weakest of the Number One seeds in Xavier.  To me I thought the toughest matchup for Carolina would be Michigan and if they were able to defeat the Wolverines, they would have a chance to go back to the Final Four.

It was a great Tournament overall.  The Duke vs. Kansas matchup in the Elite Eight was probably the best game of the entire Tournament.  Another great game was Kansas vs. Clemson in the Sweet 16 round. 

Eventual champion Villanova was really in a class by themselves all Tournament long.  They were not really tested all Tournament long.  Michigan gave them all they had in the championship game but the Wildcats’ class showed through with help from Tournament Most Outstanding Player Donte DiVencenzo.

I guess this is why so many people tune into the NCAA Tournament.  The unpredictable nature of a one and done Tournament can yield so many different outcomes.  I hope next year can provide this many dramatic moments.

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Timothy Ramsey

Timothy Ramsey

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