March Madness lives up to its name with upsets galore

From Issue 6

Luke Maye buries a game winning shot to send UNC to the Final Four.
De’Aaron Fox set a NCAA Tournament freshman scoring record against UCLA with 39 points while shutting down UCLA star Lonzo Ball.

The NCAA Tournament is coming to a close with the Final Four this upcoming weekend in Phoenix, Arizona. North Carolina, Gonzaga, Oregon, and South Carolina have survived the first two weekends and will compete for the national title. Before discussing the Final Four, let’s breakdown the Madness that has led up to this point.

The major buzz surrounding Selection Sunday (the day the field of 68 is released) was the fact the defending national champions Villanova was placed in the same regional as Duke. College basketball experts discussed this matchup as the most anticipated game of the tournament as both teams were favorites to win it all. Cue the madness. Villanova and Duke both failed to make it out of the round of 32 as the eight seed Wisconsin upset Villanova and seventh seeded South Carolina ended Duke’s season.

Every NCAA Tournament has at least one team that comes out of nowhere as the bracket buster. This year featured eleven seed Xavier who stumbled into the tournament having lost five of their last eight games. Come tournament time they picked up their play and shut down Maryland’s All-American guard Melo Trimble. They then went on to defeat Florida State and PAC-12 tournment champion Arizona.

Xavier’s Cinderella story came to an end at the hands of the number one overall seed Gonzaga. The Zags advanced to their first Final Four in school history.

The Wisconsin bandwagon was overflowing following their second round win over number one seed Villanova. Going into the second weekend, many believed Wisconsin would face Baylor to play for a spot in Final Four.

However, South Carolina, and Florida had other plans. Coming off their big win over Duke, South Carolina dominated Baylor.

Florida defeated Wisconsin in the wildest game of the tournament so far. Wisconsin hit a three in the final seconds of regulation to force overtime. Then Florida guard Chris Chiozza pulled off a buzzer beater floating three to win the game ending Wisconsin’s season. South Carolina would go on to defeat Florida which sent them to their first Final Four in school history.

The South Regional in Memphis, Tennessee was the blockbuster regional of the tournament. It featured tradition rich programs which were UCLA, Kentucky, North Carolina, and Butler.

Kentucky faced UCLA in the most anticipated matchup of the Sweet Sixteen. Kentucky freshman De’Aaron Fox took over the game from the start scoring Kentucky’s first eight points. He ended up scoring a freshman NCAA Tournament record of 39 points while holding UCLA star Lonzo Ball.

Kentucky then faced North Carolina for the spot in the Final Four. This game was an instant classic. Kentucky freshman Malik Monk hit a highly contested three in the closing seconds to tie it. North Carolina rushed the ball down the court and found Luke Maye for a midrange jumper. Maye knocked it down to end the game and send North Carolina back to the Final Four.

North Carolina is now the favorite to win it all which just means they will probably lose to Oregon. After all it is called March Madness.