March Madness has been a great tournament so far for both the men and women’s tournament. Throughout the tournament there have been a fair share of upsets and thrilling games. At this point only the National Championship game is left for the women, while the men are at the Final Four stage of the tournament.
For the men, the first upset of the tournament came when the Kentucky Wildcats lost to the St. Peter’s Peacocks by a score of 85-79 in overtime. Most people, including myself were shocked to see the Wildcats bail out of the tournament so early. Credit goes to the Peacocks, as they stayed composed throughout the game and played well in overtime to complete the upset.
The Peacocks proved that their win against the Wildcats was not a fluke as they followed up the upset with a 70-60 win over the Murray State Racers. In the Sweet 16 they performed another upset against the Purdue Boilermakers, winning by a narrow margin of 67-64. Their dream run ended when they came up against the North Carolina Tar Heels, losing 49-69. The Peacocks made NCAA history, becoming the first 15 seeded team to make the Elite Eight.
Another upset, though not as big, came when the Arkansas Razorbacks beat the Gonzaga Bulldogs in the Sweet 16. The score ended up being 74-68, and in my opinion, was one of the better games of the tournament so far. Gonzaga was not the first number one seed to fall but the Baylor Bears losing to North Carolina was not as surprising. Auburn and Arizona were other high seeds to be upset early.
The Final Four are set for the men and the remaining teams are North Carolina, Duke, Villanova and Kansas. Out of the remaining, Duke and Kansas are favored to win.
The women’s tournament has had fewer upsets and surprises, in terms of seeded teams. However, a lot of the games have been very close and coming down to the final seconds.
The Creighton Bluejays were the lowest seeded team to make a deep run in the tournament. The tenth seeded Bluejays overcame Colorado, second seeded Iowa and Iowa State to make the Elite Eight. The game against Iowa specifically was a nail biter and came down to the final seconds as they edged out a 64-62 win. They were the lowest seeded team to reach this point of the tournament but the run ended when South Carolina defeated them 80-50.
Another great game in the women’s tournament was in the Sweet 16 when North Carolina State and Notre Dame played. North Carolina State had an incredible come back in the game, as they were able to rally in the fourth quarter to defeat Notre Dame 66-63.
The UConn Huskies are a team that have been in a lot of tight games so far. Three out of their five games have been decided by five points or less.
Their opponent in the National Championship will be the South Carolina Gamecocks. The Gamecocks have for the most part dominated all of their games, with only one win being less than a double digit victory. The Gamecocks will be favored against the Huskies, but with how the Huskies games have been going, one could expect the Championship game to be a tight affair.
Sources: NCAA, ESPN