Students rewind on March Madness tournament

Fans enjoy filling out brackets such as this one from the 2006 Mens March Madness Tournament.

Image used with permission from Google Commons

Fans enjoy filling out brackets such as this one from the 2006 Mens March Madness Tournament.

With the March Madness tournament ending only two weeks ago, students are still talking about it. The NCAA tournament displays the collegiate level of sports to the entire nation as all eyes are on each game. With such a large viewership, it provides a lot of pressure on these college athletes, which caused the occasional upstep, commonly called a Cinderella story. These unexpected upsets cause a vast range of feelings for students. 

In the first week of the NCAA tournament, the best 64 teams in the country are faced against one another. Each team is given a seed based on their performance throughout the regular season. Additionally, before the tournament begins some teams have to play a contending game to enter the tournament, as this year Notre Dame and Rutgers faced off with Notre Dame coming out on top. This then led to the round of 64 where the seeds were matched against each other with the higher-ranked teams playing the lower-ranked teams. 

In the round of 64 is where the largest upsets typically occur as this year St. Peter’s College, the 15 seed in the East division, beat the number two seed Kentucky, who people thought could win the whole tournament. Junior Ethan Kuan said, “I could never have told you that Saint Peter’s College would have performed the way they did that night. It was incredible to watch that game and witness one of the largest upsets of the tournament. I was very excited to see what they would do later on and if they would keep up that level of play.”

Next came the round of 32 as half the teams have been eliminated from the tournament. In the round of 32, Saint Peter’s College would yet pull off another upset against Murray State. Although this was a large upset, the most unexpected result was when eighth seed North Carolina defeated the number one seed, Baylor. This occurrence crumbled a large number of March Madness brackets as Baylor was one of the four favorites to win the tournament.  Junior Tyler Cosgrove said, “This was a huge shock to me as I had Baylor going all the way this year. This caused a lot of chaos in the college basketball community as many brackets that night were busted.”

What followed was the Sweet 16, and a few upsets occurred with Arkansas beating Gonzaga, another favorite of the tournament, and Saint Peter’s continuing their run as they beat the number three seed, Purdue. In the Elite Eight, all of the higher-ranked teams beat out their competition. This was the most expected outcome as the teams that won were highly skilled. 

The Final Four had arrived as the eightseed North Carolina faced the two-seed Duke in a highly anticipated game. This game was so large due to the fact that it was the Duke head coach’s last game for the college  as he had spent 42 seasons there. This rivalry was truly a game to watch as both teams played an amazing game. To people’s surprise, the lower-ranked North Carolina was victorious.  Junior Devlin McCarthy said, “This game was so fun to watch as I was able to witness a true rivalry come to an end. I was disappointed to see coach K lose his last game to his greatest rival but both teams put on an amazing performance.”

Last came the national championship as North Carolina and Kansas battled for the title. The game was well played on both sides with North Carolina taking a tremendous lead. After half Kansas pulled the largest comeback in tournament history to win the national championship.