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The Today

SOCO Student Media from Colorado State University Pueblo

The Today

SOCO Student Media from Colorado State University Pueblo

The Today

A month where anything can happen

Photo provided by Unsplash.

By Dylan Weaver

When it comes to March, college basketball reigns king. While lovers of their respective universities and colleges across the country come together in anticipation of the games, the month always holds the mystery of who will be crowned the winner. Per usual, the favorites are almost always the four number-one seeds, but the high seed never guarantees anything in March.

This year’s March Madness wrote a similar story instead of the recent year favorites in Kansas University or Gonzaga University taking the national championship home. It was none other than the University of Connecticut Huskies, also known as “UCONN.” 

In the capstone of this NCAA Division One season, the Huskies defeated the other shocking finalist as they overtook the San Diego State University Aztecas by a score of 76-59. While UCONN has had a history of winning, with this being their fourth national title since 2000 and their last title being in 2014, San Diego State has yet to be seen to go this far. 

In the Azteca’s history, this is the first time they have ever made it past the Sweet 16. In 15 appearances in the NCAA Division One tournament, this marks the program’s highest point ever.

Beyond these two finalists of the tournament, a sprinkle of upsets and shocking games took place. After just 22 games and not even through the first round, there were zero perfect brackets left. Some notable upsets of the tournament include what many thought to be the potential national champion in number 1 seed Purdue, but that was changed when 16 seed Fairleigh Dickinson overtook them for just the second time a 16 seed has upset a one seed in the tournament’s history.

Beyond Purdue’s upset this year, the three other one-seeded teams were taken down early, as none could make it to the final four. Alabama, Houston, and Kansas all fell short as Kansas dropped in the round of 32, with Alabama and Houston falling in the Sweet 16.

One of the biggest shocks of the tournament came when the unusual team of the Florida Atlantic University Owls made an incredible run into the final four after making the school’s second appearance ever in the tournament. While the Owls may have been a number nine seed contender and boasted a 31-3 record going into the match, FAU has never been known as a basketball powerhouse, and in their regular season leading up to the tournament, no ranked teams were ever faced.

Other teams to stir up the pot in March through their play included the likes of Princeton University, upsetting two-seed Arizona and making it all the Sweet 16; Miami University (FL), navigating a formidable midwest grouping and reaching the final four and Kansas State University getting as far as the elite eight after being absent from the tournament for four years.

In terms of notable players to have participated in this tournament, much future talent was in store for the NBA as some prominent players such as Brandon Miller (Alabama), Jarace Walker (Houston), Gradey Dick (Kansas), and Anthony Black (Arkansas) all showcased their abilities in making a run for the title. Many others were present, but in a single elimination event, time is limited in how much one can show.

While fan favorites are always what draw in a crowd to watch this heavily coveted event, the bigger mystery and stakes of this event are that anyone has a chance for a title once they’ve punched their way into the tournament. UCONN’s journey was just another example of this month’s craziness and how the best team may not always go home a champion. For many, March may be a month, but it is a time like no other in the sports world.

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