Today: Apr 21, 2024

March Madness – opinion column

Morgan DouglasSports Editor

The Sweet 16 for both the NCAA men’s and women’s college basketball tournaments have been set. 

Texas Christian University forward Eddie Lampkin Jr. did his best to wreck number one seeded Arizona Wildcat’s season and with it brackets across the nation, while making a name for himself in the process by setting his new career high in scoring in the biggest game of his life. 

That is what makes this March tournament so fascinating to me and many others. 

It is sports in a nutshell. It is beautiful, dramatic and unpredictable. 

The St. Peter’s Peacocks, 15-seed are in the Sweet 16 for Pete’s sake. Only people who attend the school had that in their bracket, and I bet they half-snickered and half-groaned making the pick, but here they are after knocking off the Kentucky Wildcats in the first round and the Murray State Racers in the second. 

Nobody in my bracket pool had the Iowa State Cyclones reaching the Sweet 16. Nobody except for me, that is. 

It is not that I know any more about the Cyclones than the next person in the group, but I know how March goes, and I know that every year it seems like an 11 seed, like Iowa State, often finds their way, into the Sweet 16.  

I still can’t name a single player on the team, and I probably won’t by the time it’s all said and done, but I do remember not trusting the Wisconsin Badgers, and that mistrust paid off in the second round when Iowa State beat them. 

I love the randomness of it all. 

My buddy Jackie was the only one of us to have the Miami Hurricanes in her Sweet 16 and she does not follow college hoops in the slightest. 

She is currently first place in our pool, but look out Jackie, because my Gonzaga Bulldogs and I are coming for you and your Arizona Wildcats. 

I am curious how many in your bracket pool had UConn making a run, because I know most people in mine had them making it to the Sweet 16. 

Unfortunately, the fifth-seeded Huskies were defeated in the first round by the 12th-seeded New Mexico State Aggies. Only then did I learn the nickname of Aggies has to do with agriculture, still not sure what Hokies are because Virginia Tech lost, but there’s always next March. 

Death, taxes, and Eric Musselman winning basketball games in March. 

Even if UConn had advanced, they would have had to deal with Musselman and the Arkansas Razorbacks, followed by Gonzaga, the number one overall seed in the tournament. 

The Huskies are still in it on the women’s side as of this writing and will have played against the University of Central Florida on Monday, Mar. 21. 

What a story it would be if head coach Mike Krzyzewski and the Duke Blue Devils could win it all in coach K’s final season. Given how hated Duke has been across decades, I doubt many people outside of Cameron, NC want to see them cutting down the nets at the end of it all. 

Duke will have to survive the Texas Tech Red Raiders this Thursday in order to advance. 

Three of the four number one seeds made it through the first weekend unscathed, but the Baylor Bears did succumb to the eighth-seeded University of North Carolina Tar Heels this past Saturday, ending their hopes of repeating as champions from last year. 

It is only a matter of time before the next giant falls. Keep watching to find out. 

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