March Madness 2018: The Year to End All Brackets



Even the most skilled bracket makers have some minor flaws in their bracket at this stage.

March is primarily known for two things in the United States; the arrival of springtime, and the height of the college basketball season. This year’s March Madness campaign has been one of the most exciting yet. Numerous upsets have already occurred, leaving some teams heartbroken and others joyous in their triumph. While the crazy, expert-defying game results are a usual part of March Madness, this year has been especially unpredictable. As we head into the Sweet Sixteen, here is a look at some of the action that has already occurred in this year’s NCAA College Basketball Tournament.

“So far the tournament has been super interesting with a number of upsets. I am glad that both Syracuse and FSU won on Sunday, but the tournament is crazy, especially with Virginia out. I have no clue who is going to win anymore,” senior Jordan Armour-Foster said.

One cannot mention March Madness without looking at some of the great upsets that wreak havoc on all, but a few brackets. This season, history was made as a sixteen seed defeated a one seed for the first time in tournament history. Not only was the University of Virginia ranked number one in their region, they were also ranked first in the entire tournament. Additionally, sixteen seed team, University of Maryland did not just beat the Virginia Cavaliers, they trounced them, pulling away after the half to win with a final score of 74-54. Sadly for the Retrievers, their particular Cinderella story ended with their defeat to Kansas State in the second round. Nevertheless, there are still some wildcards in the sweet sixteen with 11 seed teams Syracuse and Loyola Chicago still in the running. Loyola Chicago faces seventh seeded Nevada in their next match-up, with both teams having a relatively low rank either one of them could be the lowest seeded team to enter the Elite Eight. Syracuse, on the other hand, has a tough assignment as they face the second seeded, established basketball powerhouse Duke. The numbers were against Syracuse in making it even this far as they had to defeat a six seed and a three seed to make it. It is always fun to root for the underdog, and this year has presented plenty with six teams ranked higher than a five seed still in the running for a national championship.

While the lower ranked teams may extract sympathy from fans whose team either did not make it to the tournament or have already been eliminated, the experts still are choosing one of the remaining top-seeded teams as their choice to go all the way. While the South and West regions have already had both their number one and two teams eliminated, the Midwest and East regions both still have their one and two seeded teams as we head into the Sweet Sixteen. Number one seeds Villanova and Kansas are both facing off against five seeds as they are set up against West Virginia and Clemson respectively. Both are expected to advance, but all the teams are very talented at this point and there have been bigger upsets. Meanwhile, Purdue and Texas Tech may have the most difficult match up as they are seeded two and three respectively in the East region, looking on paper to be the most even match-up in the Sweet Sixteen. As already mentioned, the second-seeded Duke Blue Devils will be facing off against number eleven seeded Syracuse, but the Orange men have already won two games by a margin of five or less points against higher ranked teams—showing they know how to come up big when it counts.

“I believe that Villanova and Gonzaga will face off in the NCAA Basketball Championship because Villanova has always been an elite team, in my opinion, alongside Gonzaga, who has been equally as solid of a team throughout the tournament thus far,” senior Kassandra Luis said.

With a lot of high ranked teams gone, Duke and Villanova are the two teams most expected to fight for the title on Apr. 2 in San Antonio, Texas. The highest remaining seeded team in each region is as follows: Kansas in the Midwest, Kentucky in the South, Michigan in the West and Villanova in the East. There is still a lot of exciting basketball left to be watched, so be sure to continue following tournament action with the Sweet Sixteen games taking place Mar. 22-23.

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