March Becomes Madnesss

Blake Ramey, Reporter

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There are many story lines going into the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Tournament. The NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Tournament is a single elimination tournament played in the spring, otherwise known as March Madness, featuring 68 teams from the Division I level. The tournament was created in 1939 and was the idea of Ohio State University coach Harold Olsen. North Carolina is the defending national champion going into the 2018 March Madness tournament.

Photo by: @PlayersTribune
Trae Young taking a three over a defender.

Freshman guard Trae Young for the Oklahoma Sooners has been one of the hot commodities of the NCAA this season. He burst onto the scene as an unstoppable point guard with a shot compared to the arguably greatest shooter of all-time, Steph Curry. Young and the Sooners started off the season ‘on fire,’ but slowed down later in the year. Many doubted the Sooners chances to get put in the bracket. When they did, fans were outraged and blamed the committee. @boggs_joseph posted on Twitter, “Trae Young is the only reason why Oklahoma got in over Oklahoma State.” Trae Young himself was later seen in a video after being selected to the tournament, looking relieved and fist pumping while being surrounded by his celebratory teammates. Young would play the University of Rhode Island in the round of 64. Young had a great game, but at the end, the Sooners would come up short and have a first-round exit.

 

Photo by: @DeandreAyton
Freshman center Deandre Ayton posted this to his Twitter thanking the fans of Arizona and declaring for the 2018 NBA Draft.

The Arizona Wildcats basketball program are a widely respected basketball program. However, in early March head coach Sean Miller was wiretapped by the FBI discussing a $100,000 payment to secure one of their five-star recruits, Deandre Ayton. Sean Miller would go onto coach the rest of the regular season and lead the Wildcats into the NCAA tournament. Arizona´s punishment was within their seeding; the Wildcats were knocked down to a number four seed in the tournament. Arizona played Buffalo in a game fans thought Buffalo had no chance. Buffalo started off the game hot and held a lead all throughout the game. It was not until the second half where Buffalo pulled away. Arizona was completely embarrassed. Internet memes were made of Arizona. The whole Arizona fanbase was disgusted. @The_NHaynes posted on Twitter, “Good morning to everyone but the University of Arizona.”

 

Photo by: @lonniewalker_4
Lonnie Walker posted this picture to his Twitter after losing in the tournament thanking fans.

The University of Miami had a significant regular season playing through star player Lonnie Walker IV. Walker IV played at Reading High School in Pennsylvania. Walker caught national attention when he was expected to be the face of Hurricanes basketball. Walker led the team to a NCAA tournament appearance; this would be only Miami’s fourth NCAA tournament appearance. Walker IV would make his NCAA tournament debut against the Loyola-Chicago Ramblers. This was a pretty evenly matched game; however, viewers expected Walker IV to takeoff against the Ramblers. However, the Ramblers shocked the nation when Loyola Senior, guard Donte Ingram hit the game-winning shot and sent the Ramblers to the round of 32.

Photo by: @VirginiaSports
The Virginia Cavaliers in the huddle before a game.

March Madness became literal when 1 seeds and 2 seeds were knocked down like dominos. The Virginia Cavaliers showcased an incredible regular season. Virginia played like madmen all regular season which lead fans to believe Virginia was the favorite for the tournament. Virginia would play the worst seed in the tournament, 16 UMBC. This matchup appeared to be a no-brainer for brackets and fans across the country. Virginia started off the game slower than usual, their defense was poor and UMBC took advantage. UMBC’s offense was astounding, taking high percentage shots. On the other hand, Virginia looked like a whole new team and were first rounded and left in awe by the UMBC Retrievers. Virginia coach Tony Bennett was shocked. “If you play this game and you step into the arena, this stuff can happen,” Bennett said, according to cbssports.com.

 

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