Today: Jun 16, 2024

NCAA March Madness Column

Jaylen Carr Sports Editor

With March ending, no perfect bracket remains for the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament, better known as ‘March Madness,’ according to an ESPN report. The one bracket I filled out was far from perfect, especially after the first weekend of games.  

The tournament’s first weekend saw second-rank Arizona lose against fifteenth-rank Princeton 59-55. Arizona was one of the favorites to win the tournament, shocking viewers when they lost.  

Then saw the top seed in the East region of the bracket, Purdue, fall to Fairleigh Dickerson University 63-58. Purdue losing to a much lower seed and less well-known school is the true definition of what March Madness can bring.  

Every year, March Madness is full of surprises and shocking moments, and the first weekend of play lived up to the hype.  

In my bracket, I picked top-ranked Houston University, the number-one team in the country for most of the season, to win the tournament. They finished with a regular season record of 31-3 and had four players averaging double figures in scoring.  

But even the top seed in the country and the Midwest region of the bracket fell victim to being upsetting to a less superior team in the University of Miami.  

According to NBC Connecticut’s Max Molski, “Alabama leads the pack with +275 odds, according to our partner, PointsBet. The Crimson Tide rolled past No. 16 Texas A&M-CC and No. 8 Maryland in its first two tournament games after earning the top spot in the entire bracket., Molski said. 

Alabama was favored to win the tournament, but in the end, they lost their Sweet 16 they fell to San Diego State 71-64. Alabama’s early exit marks the first time in March Madness history that no No. 1 seed will make the Elite Eight.  

When filling out my bracket, I did not know who would win the tournament because there was a lot of uncertainty heading into the big dance.  

That is the one thing that makes March Madness intriguing to watch every year; You do not know who will win even, and many upsets are bound to happen.  

According to Denison Forum: “March Madness—and, more specifically, the brackets, competitions, and good-natured fun that frequently accompany it—creates a sense of community for those who take part. It gives people a common interest to unite around and experience together. Even people who do not care all that much about the sport can be included alongside those who live and breathe basketball.” 

, “The West is far and away the most wide-open region in oddsmakers’ eyes. UCLA and UConn share the same title odds, and they, along with Gonzaga, are effectively seen as co-favorites to make it out of the region,” Molski said. 

UConn has been on a Cinderella ride so far as the No. 4 seed in the West region of the bracket and looks to win a National Championship for the first time since 2014.  

That year, the UConn Huskies won the National Championship in both the men’s and women’s tournaments, their second time accomplishing that feat.  

I admit, I did not think the Huskies would have made it this far in the tournament. They have reached the Elite Eight and can reach the Final Four on April 1.  

I predicted UConn getting out by UCLA in the Sweet 16, but that prediction was far from happening. 

UCLA gave up a double-digit lead in the second half when they failed to close out Gonzaga University. 

UConn can go to the National Championship game and win because of their underdog mentality. None of the “expert” bracketologists predict UConn to make it this far, let alone win the tournament.  

After winning three straight games in the tournament by double-digits, the Huskies has the chance to bring their fifth National Championship. 

They blew out favored Gonzaga by 28 and advanced to the Final Four. I predict the Huskies winning the National Championship against San Diego State University on April 3.  

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