March Madness recap

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March Madness is the biggest event of the year for college basketball, as this tournament determines the season’s national champion. If you are wondering why the college basketball tournament is called March Madness, it is because every year, there is always an underdog story where a lower seeded team ends a higher seeded team’s season, which can cause a madness of emotions and eliminate many fans’ hopes of a perfect bracket. To this day, no one has ever had a perfect bracket throughout the whole tournament. The closest someone has been to a perfect bracket was a guy named Greg Neigl in 2019 who got through his first 49 games with no losses in his bracket, until the Sweet Sixteen when Tennessee was defeated by Purdue (Sutelan & Sutelan, 2022.)

The March Madness bracket is set up where if your team loses, they are knocked out of the bracket. The bracket consists of four regions: the South, East, West, and Midwest regions. In each region, teams are seeded 1-16. Teams that win their conference tournament are automatically placed in March Madness. On selection day, teams that won their conference tournament find out where they are seeded and who they will be playing.

This year’s tournament will have Gonzaga, Arizona, Kansas, and Baylor as the number one seeds in the tournament. Historically, in March Madness, the No. 1 seeds dominate the No. 16 seed in the first round. Until 2018, when No. 16 UMBC became the first team ever to defeat a No. 1 seed in the first round as they took down No.1 Virginia. March Madness has a bracket of 64 teams, although there are four spots in the tournament played between eight teams. This year, Texas Southern won against Texas A&M-CC to get the 16th seed in the Midwest region. Next, Wright State beat Bryant for the 16th seed in the South Region. Then, Indiana defeated Wyoming for the 12th seed in the East region. Lastly, Notre Dame won against Rugters for the 11th seed in the West region.

The Round 1 results of March Madness really shook up a lot of brackets. There were some small upsets at first, but there were even bigger upsets that fans didn’t see coming:
No. 11 seed Michigan defeated No. 6 seed Colorado State.
No. 9 seed Memphis beat No. 8 seed Boise State.
No. 12 seed Richmond beat No. 5 seed Iowa.
No. 12 seed New Mexico State defeated No. 5 seed Connecticut.
No. 9 seed Creighton beat No. 8 seed San Diego State.
No. 15 seed Saint Peter’s beat No. 2 seed Kentucky.
No. 10 seed Miami beat No. 7 seed USC.
No. 11 seed Notre Dame beat No. 6 seed Alabama.
No. 11 seed Iowa State defeated No. 6 seed LSU.

When Round 2 came around, there were some surprises that caused some more brackets to be broken. Here are the results of March Madness Round 2:
No. 8 seed North Carolina beat No. 1 seed Baylor
No. 11 seed Michigan defeated No. 3 seed Tennessee
No. 15 seed Saint Peter’s beat No. 7 seed Murray State
No. 10 seed Miami defeated No. 2 seed Auburn
No. 5 seed Houston beat No. 4 seed Illinois
No. 11 seed Iowa State beat No. 3 seed Wisconsin

After Round 2 of the tournament, the remaining teams are in the Sweet Sixteen. The final sixteen teams in the tournament are all competing to win the championship. The teams that made it to the Sweet Sixteen this year are: No. 1 seed Gonzaga, No. 4 seed Arkansas, No. 1 seed Arizona, No. 5 seed Houston, No. 2 seed Duke, No. 3 seed Texas Tech, No. 2 seed Villanova, No. 11 seed Villanova, No. 1 seed Kansas, No. 4 seed Providence, No. 4 seed UCLA, No. 8 seed North Carolina, No. 3 seed Purdue, No. 15 seed Saint Peter’s, No. 10 seed Miami, No. 11 seed Iowa State. Here are some of the matchups and winners of the Sweet Sixteen:
No. 4 seed Arkansas defeated No. 1 seed Gonzaga
No. 2 seed Duke beat No. 3 seed Texas Tech
No. 2 seed Villanova beat No. 11 seed Michigan
No. 5 seed Houston defeated No. 1 seed Arizona
No. 1 seed Kansas beat No. 4 seed Providence
No. 15 seed Saint Peter’s defeated No. 3 seed Purdue
No. 8 seed North Carolina beat No. 4 seed UCLA
No. 10 seed Miami beat No. 11 Iowa State

In this year’s tournament, Saint Peter’s has earned the name of “March Madness Cinderella.” If a team in March Madness is named a Cinderella team, that means they have greatly exceeded their bracket expectations or have gone further in the tournament than most thought they would. A main reason why Saint Peter’s is this year’s Cinderella team is because they took down a basketball powerhouse, No. 2 seed Kentucky, and then went on to win against No. 7 seed Murray State, and beat the No. 3 seed in the Sweet Sixteen to advance to the Elite Eight.

The teams that won their matchups in the Sweet Sixteen have now advanced to the Elite Eight where the best eight teams play to get a spot in the Final Four, which is located this year in New Orleans
No. 2 seed Villanova beat No. 5 seed Houston
No. 2 seed Duke beat No. 4 seed Arkansas
No. 1 seed Kansas beat No. 10 Miami
No. 8 North Carolina beat No. 15 Saint Peter’s

Heading into the Final Four was No. 1 Kansas, No. 2 seed Duke, No. 2 seed Villanova, and No. 8 North Carolina. This would be the first time in history that Duke would meet their rival, North Carolina, in the tournament. The famous Coach K would look to get back at North Carolina as at Coach K’s last home game, they lost to North Carolina.

The first matchup in the Final Four was Kansas vs Villanova. Kansas won the game 81-65, as they played pristine offense and effectively held Villanova on defense. Kansas’ win over Villanova put them in the championship game, where they faced the winner of the Duke vs North Carolina game.
Meanwhile, the second game of the Final Four was Duke vs North Carolina. It was a close game that came down to the final minutes. Coach K’s coaching career came to an end as North Carolina upset Duke 81-77, making the championship stage Kansas vs North Carolina.

The National Championship was an exciting game as both teams are historic basketball teams with great coaches and players. North Carolina went into the game with six National Championship titles, and eager for their seventh. Whereas Kansas had three National Championships, trying to secure their fourth title. The game started off very competitive for both teams until North Carolina pulled away and got a record-breaking 16 point lead near the end of the first half, being up 38-22. Then, North Carolina scored a buzzer beater to go into halftime, making the score 40-25. Kansas came out of halftime with something to prove as they went on a 16-5 run to bring the North Carolina lead down to 4, with the score being 45-41. Kansas tied the game midway through the second half with a score of 50-50. Kansas then took its first lead of the second half with a nice 3-pointer. North Carolina and Kansas went back and forth for the last ten minutes of the second half, but Kansas beat North Carolina and earned their fourth National Championship. Kansas’ 16 point comeback was the biggest comeback in championship history of March Madness!