March Madness has always been known as one of the most exciting times in sports. Where anything can happen and any team can win. Upsets happen every year, but this year in particular, the madness has been historic.
The big dance began this past Thursday, where 64 teams started competing. By the end of the 1st and 2nd round, there had been over 10 upsets along with a little bit of history. UMBC (University of Maryland Baltimore County) became the first 16 seed to knock off a 1 seed in tournament history when they beat Virginia 74-54. Only 2.18% of brackets had The Retrievers beating Virginia.
UMBC players celebrate after making history in Charlotte on Friday.
Aside from UMBC, other powerhouse teams were taken down, UNC, a 2 seed, lost by over 20 points to the 7 seed Aggies of Texas A&M. Another 2 seed, Cincinnati lost by 2 points to the 7 seed Nevada Wolf Pack, after leading by 22 points with just 11 minutes remaining. The 3 seed Michigan State Spartans came up short in a nail biter to the 11 seed Syracuse Orange. Tennessee, another 3 seed, lost to the 11 seed, Loyola-Chicago on a last minute bucket. To end off the 2nd round, Florida State joined the group of underdogs with a 75-70 victory over the 1 seed Xavier Musketeers.
Florida State players express their happiness after defeating 1 seed Xavier.
Nevada head coach, Eric Musselman, overwhelmed with emotion after coming back from a 22 point 2nd-half deficit to knock of the 2 seed Cincinnati Bearcats.
Even aside from all the upsets, there’s been multiple buzzer beaters and clutch game winners in the final seconds of games. Michigan knocked off Houston in the round of 32 off of a last second 3 point heave by freshman Jordan Poole. Also, Loyola-Chicago had back to back game winners in the first 2 rounds of the tournament.
“I was thirsty for the ball and it payed off,” said Poole. Head coach Beilein said he made the shot because of the fact that he has “an overdose of swag.”
The final four teams include 11 seed Loyola-Chicago, 3 seed Michigan, and 1 seeds Kansas and Villanova. Michigan will take on Loyola-Chicago at 6:09 this Saturday, followed by Kansas-Villanova at 8:49.