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March Madness By Adi Srinivasan

Adi Srinivasan

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March Madness: A Recap of the NCAA Tournament So Far

By Adi Srinivasan

With 21 seconds left on the clock, the 3 seed Tennessee Volunteers took a 1 point lead over the 11 seed Loyola Chicago Ramblers with a free throw. The Ramblers were considered lucky to be in the game, as they were coming off a buzzer-beating upset against 6 seed Miami. Loyola Chicago was not ready to end their streak at 1 however, as guard Clayton Custer dribbled the ball down the court following the free throw, and, with the clock winding down, nailed a midrange jumper, saved by a lucky bounce on the rim.

This was Loyola’s second upset of the tournament, and they are certainly not alone in their staggering victories. As implied in the name March Madness, the tournament so far has been action-packed and shocking, as many teams have pulled off upsets. Most notably is 16 seed UMBC’s 20 point victory over 1 seed Virginia, as the number one ranked team in the nation sputtered on offense, becoming the first 1 seed to ever lose to a 16 seed in the history of the NCAA men’s basketball tournament. Also in the round of 64, 13 seed Marshall pulled off a victory over 4 seed Wichita State, which was an upset I predicted in my bracket and a game that was a heartbreaking defeat for a certain PI+ math teacher. Another 13 seed that pulled off a victory was Buffalo, as they beat the Arizona Wildcats, who were lead by top NBA prospect DeAndre Ayton. The Round of 32 saw its upsets as well, as 7 seed Nevada came back from down 22 to beat 2 seed Cincinnati. 9 seed Florida State beat 1 seed Xavier, and 11 seed Syracuse beat Tom Izzo and the 3 seed Michigan State Spartans. One of the most exciting final sequences came in the tournament so far came in 3 seed Michigan’s victory over 6 seed Houston, as Jordan Poole rose up to hit a buzzer-beating 3 pointer to win the game.

This March Madness has been brutal to fan brackets, as all of ESPN’s 17.3 million bracket entries have been broken by at least one unexpected victory. Popular Final Four picks have already been eliminated, like Virginia, Xavier, Arizona, and Michigan State. Teams like Nevada and UMBC pulled off thrilling upsets, and Michigan and Loyola were able to escape by buzzer beaters. The first two rounds have not disappointed, and you can expect to see even more entertaining games from the Sweet 16 to the National Championship game.

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March Madness By Adi Srinivasan