March Madness Road to Sweet Sixteen

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March Madness Road to Sweet Sixteen

By: Ethan Roebuck, Editor

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As cliché as it may sound, this past weekend in the NCAA Men’s College Basketball Tournament has been absolutely mad.

For the first time ever, a 16 seed beat a first seed. UMBC beat Virginia, the school most widely chosen to be the champion of the tournament, handedly at a score of 74 to 54 as one of the final games of the first round. Leaving millions, including myself, ripping up our brackets out of anger as we have lost any hope of having a solid bracket. However, the story is incredible as it is a historic win for the tournament, as well as for the UMBC Retrievers who claimed their first tournament win.

Marshall upset Wichita State earlier in the week, a very unbalanced matchup that saw the lower seeded team win by six points.    

11 seed Loyola-Chicago has very much played a “Cinderella” role through the tournament after knocking off six seed Miami by two points and then beating third seed Tennessee by just one.

Kentucky narrowly escaped a very scrappy Davidson team after they were able to tie the game in the second half. Through the entirety of the game, Kentucky did not make a single three point shot, their first game without doing so since 1988, a streak of 1,047 games.

The Houston Cougars were eliminated in the second round by Michigan on a difference of just one point despite leading for a good portion of the late second half. Jordan Poole made a three-pointer with just 1 second left to win the game.

Then, Nevada knocked off the highly rated Cincinnati Bearcats by a score of 75 to 73. Josh Hall knocked down a jumper to give the Wolf Pack a two point lead with 10 seconds to go and win the game with the same score. All of this is despite Nevada being behind 63 to 42 with 11 minutes remaining in the game.

One of the largest shock victories came from Florida State knocking off first seed Xavier in the second round, another major bracket buster, at a score of 75 to 70. The Seminoles came from several points behind in the concluding minutes, taking the lead for the first time since the first half with just a minute and 12 seconds left in the game.

Purdue narrowly beat fellow Indiana school Butler. The Bulldogs gave them a hard run through the final stages of the game, and actually lead for the majority of the first half. Despite Purdue making 45.8% of their three point field goals, the game was remarkably close.

The entire college basketball season has been wild, and the tournament has been the most wide open it has been in recent times. The rest of the tournament is sure to thrill. 

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