March Madness living up to its name

Nolan Green

People are throwing away their brackets realizing they have thrown away their money. Upsets have become surprisingly unsurprising.

Finally there has been madness among the days of March.

Typically the tournament is full of surprises but is dominated by the top seeds such as the University of Kansas, Duke University, University of North Carolina, University of Kentucky and the University of California, Los Angeles. This year, March Madness began with a little shock as North Carolina and UCLA did not make the NCAA tournament.

Every once in a while in March Madness, a “Cinderella Story” will appear when a lower-seeded team makes it to the Sweet Sixteen, or even Final Four, but very few have ever made a championship.

This year’s first round was no different. There were a few major upsets. Viewers were surprised to see No. 3 Georgetown University get crushed by No. 14 Ohio University 97-83.

Longhorn fans had their brackets crushed when No. 8 the University of Texas lost in overtime in the first round to No. 9 Wake Forest University 81-80.

There were also a few minor upsets that you’d expect with the tournament, but when the second round started, all brackets broke loose.

It all started when No. 10 St. Mary’s College defeated No. 2 Villanova University. The nation was shocked to see a 10th seed beat a number two seed, which is very rare in the tournament.

That game, however, was pushed out of the highlight reel by an even bigger upset. When No. 9 University of Northern Iowa came out against No. 1 Kansas, UNI took the lead and never looked back. Kansas fought back but came up short 67-69.

While that was the highlight of the second round, there were many other great upsets, with four games being decided by four points or less. Two upsets were blowouts: No. 11 Washington University beat No. 3 New Mexico State University 82-64, and No. 12 Cornell University rolled over No. 4 Wisconsin University 87-69.

Amidst all the upsets and unrest, three No. 1 seeds remain with Syracuse University being the favorite. Only one of last year’s Final Four teams remains: No. 5 Michigan State University, which just squeaked by No. 4 the University of Maryland with a last-second shot.

With the Sweet Sixteen to start soon, there is only one thing that can be expected—nothing. Duke and Kentucky are strong teams that will face underdogs Purdue University and Cornell respectively, looking to stir things up.

All these upsets in the tournament bring the question of the NCAA’s possible expansion of March Madness from 64 teams to 96. With the size increase, there would be less room for upsets, and UNI most likely would not have had the chance to upset Kansas like they did. The field of 64 allows for an intimacy to create upsets that a field of 96 would not.Overall, college basketball offers excitement that is lost in most other sports. The speed and intensity of the game is only matched by the cooperation seen within the teams and between other teams.

Nowhere else is there such possibility for upset and chaos, and the best part is that there are still four more rounds of action to go. If the top teams can’t hold on, this year will be an underdog’s fight for the championship.