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The Rocket Review

March Madness Recap


 Men’s March Madness is one of the most popular sporting events of the year, it features a giant tournament where 64 college basketball teams compete against each other for the national championship title. The first March Madness tournament took place in 1939, featuring only eight teams. During the 1939 season, in the tournament’s final game, Oregon played Ohio State and went on to become the first March Madness winner. 

    Today, the 64 teams are divided into 16 groups, each representing a region of the country.  In each region, the top-ranked teams, seeded at number one will face off against the 16th-seeded teams, who are typically considered the underdogs. In the 85 years of March Madness, there have only been two times in which a 16th-seed team beat a number-one seed, resulting in a record of 154-2. This occurred in the first round of last year’s tournament when Fairleigh Dickinson University beat Purdue. 

     Fans anticipate the tournament each year, as they have the opportunity to create their own brackets and frequently engage in betting on the games. Many people try to create the perfect bracket, something that has yet to be achieved due to the fact that there is never a guaranteed win, no matter how good a team may be. 

     March Madness is a very different atmosphere compared to the regular basketball season games. The main reason is the fierce competition between the teams and the fans, who are trying to win the bets they have placed. Sometimes brackets can be ruined because of the Cinderella Stories, meaning the lower-ranked teams make it farther than expected. During the 2018 March Madness tournament, Loyola University Chicago, ranked 11th seed, took on Michigan, who were ranked as the third seed.Loyola defied all odds by making it to the final four, ultimately losing to Michigan. This memorable showdown made this one of the best Cinderella Stories in the tournament’s history.  

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     There were multiple upsets in this year’s March Madness, including Oakland (14) beating Kentucky (3) and Yale (13) beating Auburn (4) in the first round. During the elite eight games, which were played on March 30th and 31st, North Carolina State, the lowest seeded team in this year’s tournament, became another Cinderella Story by beating one of the best basketball programs in the country, Duke. They also beat Marquette who was ranked second seed.  

     The championship game, held on April 8, saw UConn facing off against Purdue. The leading scorer for UConn was Tristian Newton with 20 points. Zach Edey, was the leading scorer for Purdue with 37 points. Despite Zach Edey’s 37-point performance, Purdue ultimately lost to UConn with a final score of 75-60. This is UConn’s sixth national championship.        


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