The greatest time of year has finally arrived. Prepare yourselves, and get ready for your brackets to get busted, because it's March Madness! Every year, millions of people across America crowd around their TV's on Selection Sunday, with high hopes that their team will make it into the NCAA March Madness Tournament. It's a time of excitement and frustration, especially when all 68 teams are selected, and it's time to fill out a bracket. This year is anticipated to be especially mad, because of all of the upsets that shocked the nation in regular season play.
Villanova and Duke, two incredible programs in the world of college basketball, were defeated by St. John's, who seemed to pose no threat. NC State defeated UNC, Duke and Virginia consecutively. Not to mention, all of these teams are in the ACC which is arguably the toughest conference in college basketball. And let's not forget that unranked Wofford defeated the defending national champions, the University of North Carolina Tar Heels.
It's safe to say that with all the madness in the regular season, any team has a shot at claiming the title. Analyists have contrasting brackets, but there seems to be some agreement on three teams to take it all. Virginia, 17-1 in the ACC during regular season, Duke, with the number one high school prospect Marvin Bagley, and the Michigan State Spartans who defeated the defending national champions by 20 points in the beginning of the season. Some even projected #4 seed, Arizona to take the ship.
The tournament officially began this past Thursday, March 15, and there were, as always, some upsets that majorly busted people's brackets. The first one that shocked the nation seemed to be #13, Buffalo defeating Arizona by a major blowout. The Bisons made it through the first round, beating the Wildcats 89-68. This upset left many frustrated and at a loss for words, because almost no-one expected the wildcats to lose in the very first round. Some other upsets included Loyola-Chicago taking down Miami. BUT, just when you thought the madness couldn't possibly be anymore more mad... it did. For the first time in history, a #16 seed defeated a #1 seed. That's right...Virginia was taken down by UMBC 74-54. There are no words to describe how insane this victory is for UMBC.
With these upsets, it truly is anyone's title this year. But, this is what makes March Madness the greatest time of the year. Teams who feel like they have no shot do the unthinkable, and survive and advance. That, is the central theme of the tournament: survive and advance. One game at a time, and the tournament will come down to the remaining 4 teams in the Final Four. It's a long road, but whoever gets the privilege of cutting down the nets on April 2nd will have a night they will never forget.
So, prepare yourselves and get ready for the rest of the madness!