March Madness: Dribbling through the tournament

In the month of March, arguably the biggest tournament at the collegiate level is the end of year basketball tournament. 64 different teams compete in four divisions all with 16 different teams in each division. To win the championship, the team has to win eight different games and play one right after another with only a daybreak in between. 

The first round of the tournament was anything but as expected. All four No. 1 seeds won convincingly in their first games and knocked off all the 16 seeds. Although the four best ranking teams won, there was no shortage of upsets in the first round. Three top five ranked teams lost with Auburn losing to Yale 78-76, Wisconsin losing to James Maddison 72-61 and Kentucky losing to Oakland 80-76, according to the official NCAA March Madness website. 

“Oakland was the last team I thought would upset a team. I thought Kentucky was for sure a lock to win,.” college basketball fan and senior Brody Havens said.

Jack Gohlke from Oakland helped shock all viewers leading his team to a win over the No. 3 ranked Kentucky. He accumulated 36 points in 32 minutes of play. He went 10-20 from beyond the three-point line. 

“I was quite upset that Rob Dillingham is a fraud. It messed up five of my March Madness brackets. It was nice to see some upsets in the first round and would’ve liked them to go further,” basketball fan Jeffery Addo said.

In the second round there were no big upsets. Only two teams lost to a team ranked lower than them. No. 4 ranked Kansas lost to No. 5 ranked Gonzaga 89-68 and No. 3 ranked Baylor lost to No. 6 ranked Clemson 72-64. 

With North Carolina State (NC State) being the only team seeded higher than six left in the tournament, they instantly became the fan favorite. The Wolfpack is led by standout big man DJ Burns JR. He is a five-year player who dominated averaging almost 18 points per game according to the NCAA website. His dominant play helped NC State make a run and upset three top six ranked teams in Texas Tech being a six seed, Duke being a four seed and Marquete being a two seed.

“I thought NC State was going to lose in the first round, but I am not mad about them making a run, they are a fun team,” Havens said.

The tournament finals between UConn and Purdue were nothing short of an amazing game. Purdue center 7 foot 4 inches Zach Edey put on an impressive performance despite the loss putting up 37 points in the final. On UConns side, they had four players put up more than 10 points with Guard Tristan Newton having 20. 

“I had Connecticut (UConn) winning, and they did so I’m very happy about that,” Addo said.

With this win UConn etches themselves in an exclusive list of repeat March Madness winners alongside Oklahoma State, Kentucky, San Francisco, Cincinnati, UCLA, Duke and Florida.