Madness Returns


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By ANDREW HOWE

 

Once again, millions of people around the country turn their heads to their tv in hopes of their favorite college team winning the college basketball national championship. With 68 teams playing for the chance to win, many fans go home disappointed. The annual tournament has been around since 1939 and has had many teams win the championship.

The tournament will be starting on March 19 and 20 with four games that will decide who will represent the final 64 teams. On March 21 and 22 the first round is being played in 8 different cities around the country. March 23 and 24 will be the second round and will be played in the same cities as the first round. After all those games are played, there is a few days for a break so that the remaining 16 teams can travel to the cities they will be playing at in the sweet 16 and elite 8 games. Those games take place March 28 through 31 in four different cities. With four teams decided with those games, they travel to Minneapolis, Minnesota for the Final Four and National Championship on April 6 and 8.

The bracket is split up into 4 regions with 17 teams each. Each region has that play in game to get it down to the top 16 teams in each region. The region is seeded 1-16 and the 1 seed plays the 16 seed, 2 seed plays the 15 seed and so on. You would think that since the four 1 seeds are supposedly the best teams and should win each game until they play each other in the final four and national championship. This years one seeds were Duke, Virginia, Gonzaga and North Carolina.

The first round of the tournament is always fun to watch. With every team playing their hardest to win, there were a lot of really good games. The first round featured 12 upsets which some of them were shocking while others were not a surprise at all.

The second round was not filled with many upsets with the higher seeds winning every game except the 5 seed Auburn who beat the 4 seed Kansas. Auburn would then pick up wins against North Carolina and Kentucky to make it to their first final four in the programs history.

The three other teams who have made it to the Final Four are Michigan State, Virginia and Texas Tech. Michigan State came into the tournament as the 2 seed in the toughest region of the bracket. They had a very easy path to the Elite Eight blowing out everybody who got in their way. The toughest challenge was in that Elite Eight game where they faced the 1 seed Duke, led by freshman phenoms, Zion Williamson and R.J. Barrett. Michigan State picked up a late score to put them up 68-67. They then held on to that lead and won the spot into the Final Four.

Texas Tech came into the tournament as the 3 seed but had a pretty easy run to the Final Four. They had blowout wins almost every game with their closest win being by 6 points.

There are many people around the country, when brackets are released, try to pick who is going to win every game in hopes of getting a perfect bracket, which is when they guess every game correctly. Every year, there are upsets in which a lower seeded team beats the higher ranked team to move on in the tournament. The 10 seed beats the 7 seed the most often with 52 wins since 1985. If you are picking these upsets for your bracket, then you might want to have all of your 1 seeds win against the 16 seeds in the first round. The 1 seed has only ever lost to the 16 seed once in the tournaments history. That loss came last year when UMBC defeated Virginia 74-54 in a blowout game.

As of press time, the Final Four is scheduled to be play April 6 and 7. The National Championship is going to be played on April 8.