by Nelson Cummisky
March madness this year was truly mad. There was absolutely no one with a perfectly submitted bracket because no one could have possibly conceived the mayhem that was occurring. Here are some highlights:
When the 16-seed UMBC Retrievers took on the #1 ranked Virginia in the first round, head were turned. This was a historic event since this was the first time in the history of the tournament that a 16-seed beat a 1-seed. Unfortunately, their Cinderella run ended the next round with a defeat against Kansas St. The real underdog story of the tournament though, is Loyola Chicago.
Loyola Chicago has only played in games where they were the underdog, and they won all of them so far. Almost no one, not even Sister Jean, their biggest fan, thought that they would have won all the games that they did. If Loyola does finish out their Cinderella story and win the big game, it would not be the first. The last time the won the national championship was in 1963. One might say they have waited long enough to get their title back.
Loyola’s opponent, Michigan, while being seeded higher, made it to the final four which is no easy feat. They had to muscle their way to each win, almost being knocked out in the second round by Houston. A last-minute buzzer beater saved Michigan in that game and the rest have been close. In their last game against Florida State, the last few seconds were again the deciding ones.
On the other side of the bracket, there are two powerhouse, 1-seed basketball programs who have made it into the final four by no surprise. Kansas and Villanova.
While Kansas has had a rich history of basketball dominance, the recent years have not been so lucky for the Jayhawks. With their last championship, having been a decade ago, the Jayhawks are hungry for a tournament win.
Villanova on the other hand, is trying to prove dominance in the present over all other teams. Winning this year would mean they won twice of the last three years. The wildcats were even the favorite among the nation to win the tournament this year.
With all the teams left wanting to prove something to the world, only one became successful and victorious in the end.