March Madness 2018 Update

Dan Geyer

This year’s NCAA Tournament has been nothing short of exciting. We’ve seen game winning shots, heartbreakers, sweet plays, and of course, what would an NCAA tournament be without  lower seeds upsetting higher seeds? Perhaps the biggest upset of the NCAA tournament occurred on March 16, when the #16 seed UMBC(University of Maryland-Baltimore County) Retrievers upset the #1 overall seed Virginia Cavaliers 74-54, becoming the first 16 seed to upset a number 1 seed. Another upset team is the 11 seed Loyola-Chicago Ramblers, who appear to have a good luck charm in their 98 year old chaplain Sister Jean, who leads the team in a prayer before each game.

Loyola-Chicago is one of sixteen teams remaining as the sweet sixteen tipped off Thursday and Friday. Thursday’s games on March 22nd  included Loyola-Chicago defeating Nevada 69-68, #9 seed Kansas State defeating Kentucky 61-58, 9th seeded Florida St. defeating #4 Gonzaga 75-60, and #3 Michigan running away with a 99-72 victory over #3 Texas A&M. Friday’s games in Omaha and Boston began with #1 Kansas defeating #5 Clemson in a close game, 80-76, while in L.A., #1 Villanova defeated #5 West Virginia 90-78 in the East region semifinal, and in the midwest regional #2 Duke defeated #11 Syracuse 69-65. Also in the East, #3 Texas Tech defeated #2 Purdue, 78-65.

Eight teams remained as the regional finals, or Elite 8, began on Saturday, March 24th. In the South regional final, the 11 seeded Ramblers of Loyola-Chicago continued to upset, taking down #9 seeded Kansas State 78-62. The West region was a different story as in a defensive affair where shooting percentages were low: #3 Michigan narrowly beat #9 Florida State 58-54. The final four teams still remaining battling it out for the last two spots in the final four on Sunday, March 25. In the East final,  #3 Texas Tech hung with #1 Villanova for a half before falling 71-59. The Midwest regional final was far from disappointing, as #1 Kansas took Duke to overtime and prevailed, 85-81.

The Final Four teams will travel to San Antonio for the Final Four on Saturday, and the two remaining teams will battle for the National Championship. Four teams remain: #11 Loyola-Chicago, #3 Michigan, and two #1’s, Villanova from the East and Kansas from the Midwest. Which team will prevail? Will we see a number one seed win it all for the third year in a row, or will Michigan, who was technically given the 2013 title after Louisville was stripped of it, win it all? Or, will the biggest Cinderella story of the tournament continue? Can Loyola-Chicago, a team supported by their fans and their 98 year old chaplain Sister Jean, win it all? Who will come out of Monday April 2nd as the champion? Tune into CBS on Saturday for the final four and then the national championship on Monday.