March is MADNESS


Joshua Lin, Writer

March Madness brought the year-round dose of madness and then some. The annual college basketball tournament delivered upsets, buzzer-beaters, comebacks, historic milestones, and not so surprising – busted brackets. The men’s side has been full of surprises while the women’s have been much of the same – UConn.

Going into the first weekend, fans had favorites such as Virginia, Villanova, Kansas, and Michigan State moving on to Sweet Sixteen. According to ESPN, Virginia was picked by 18.5%, the most of any team, to win the tournament. A few hours into March Madness, over 96% of brackets were busted. According to, UMBC became the first 16 seed to beat a 1 seed in tournament history in 136 games! Not only did they win, they thrashed the early favorite 74-54 in an early exit for the Cavaliers that left many fans scratching their heads.

In a survey that asked fans the best way to decide the games, 50% determined that basketball knowledge is the way to go. But if the first weekend was any indication, going by your favorite mascot would be better. Only two 1 seeds survived the first weekend. For the first time, each of the 1-4 seeds lost in a region.

11 seed Loyola-Chicago crushed the hearts of Miami and Tennessee on last-second buzzer beaters. Many people doubted them and pointed to luck, but they then preceded to beat Nevada on a last-second shot. Third times the charm? No. They then became the fourth 11 seed to make the Final Four in a 16 point win over Kansas State.

Loyola-Chicago has been on the right side of all the madness. Villanova and Kansas have lived up to their expectations. Michigan has been able to avoid drama save for a last-second three that propelled them to a win against Houston. Now that the Final Four teams of two favorites, a dark horse, and a ‘Cinderella’ have been decided, Coach Luther Tiggs, Bob Jones Boys Basketball coach, exclaimed that “seeing Loyola-Chicago make their run to the final-four” has been most exciting.

Coach Andre Reynolds, Bob Jones Girls Basketball coach, said Loyola-Chicago’s “will to overcome obstacles and believe in themselves [and] good team basketball is what I think is contributing to their success.”

Speaking of success, the women’s side of March Madness features all four 1 seeds in the Final Four. Coach Reynolds said that “women’s sports never get the publicity that men’s sports get.”

This has been the result of the consistent success of top-tier teams like UConn. According to the NYTimes, The Huskies advanced to the Final Four for the 11th year in a row after knocking off defending champion South Carolina. The women’s bracket generally has fewer surprises and more of the expected. Coach Tiggs says, “The women game is purer than the men’s game. The execution is much better in their game.”

64 teams in March Madness is a nightmare to predict unless you are pure genius. Now that four teams are left standing, can you predict the team that will cut down the nets? Will it be blue bloods Villanova and Kansas; dark horse, Michigan; or the Cinderella story, Loyola-Chicago? Will UConn continue the dynasty, or will a new team come out on top?

Another March of basketball is in the books, and boy, has it made history. Historic upsets, heart-stopping finishes, a Cinderella story, consistent success, and busted brackets have highlighted this year’s epic edition of March Madness – but March Madness isn’t over yet. The first four rounds have given fans a lot to be excited about – as well as getting worked up over busted brackets. Fans will be in for a fantastic finish in one of sports’ greatest tournaments. There’s more madness to come in the final week of March Madness. Buckle up for a wild ride.