2018 March Madness may be the best yet

2018 March Madness may be the best yet

Austin Bechtold, Staff Writer

This year’s NCAA March Madness men’s basketball tournament has been nothing but extraordinary.

The 2018 tournament has been surprising, shocking, full of full buzzer-beating moments, and most notably, the year of the underdog.

Many firsts occurred over the first two rounds of the tourney.

For the first time in the men’s tournament, a No. 1 seed lost to a No. 16 seed in the round of 64. University of Maryland-Baltimore County (UMBC) routed heavily favored Virginia, 74-54. Many people had picked Virginia to win the whole thing, only to witness history unfold.

Also, for the first time ever, the top 4 seeds in a region of the bracket failed to reach the sweet 16. No. 4 Arizona, No. 3 Tennessee, and No. 2 Cincinnati all joined Virginia in the South region as teams underachieving and going home early.

Many Cinderellas remain in the tournament.

No. 7 Nevada overcame a 22-point deficit to Cincinnati to advance and meet fellow Cinderella No. 11 Loyola Chicago, which trailed 61-62 in both of their wins, only to hit game winners with only a second to go. They defeated No. 6 Miami and Tennessee to keep the dream alive.

West region No. 1 Xavier lost to No. 9 Florida State, which makes two No. 1’s eliminated in the first two rounds.

This year might be the most difficult year of all to pick a winning bracket.

The last team in the tournament, Syracuse, had to win a First Four game to enter the Round of 64 — and then ran off two straight wins, the latter against No. 3 Michigan State, another team that was supposedly destined to make a strong run to San Antonio.

Syracuse might be the most dangerous team in the tournament at the moment. The Orange are 7-1 as a double-digit seed in the tournament the past three years, starting with making it all the way to the Final Four in 2016 as a 10 seed.

Don’t count out Syracuse to win it all, but also don’t count out anyone else in the tournament. It’s just that kind of year.