by Nick Gilbert / March 29, 2021
The National Collegiate Athletic Association’s biggest tournament is back after a year hiatus due to the pandemic COVID-19 sweeping the nation. March Madness, NCAAs end of season tournament has been around since the late ’30s and will be holding its 82nd annual basketball tournament in the state of Indiana.
Play started on March 18th with the first four and last four teams were pitted against one another for a spot in the tournament. The next day started the field of 64, and madness quickly arose shortly after the first games tip off. Underdog Virginia Tech ranked #10, pushed Florida #7 to OT, after a back and forth game the Florida Gators moved on and lived by the phrase of the tourney, “survive, and move on”. #15 Oral Roberts ousted #2 Ohio State which was the biggest upset by far for the first round.
Along with Oral Roberts, a total of 8 teams who were double digits advanced to the round of 32, which is a one of the highest in the tournament’s history. The total of all the teams seeds added up ranked in the tops all time at this point.
Prior tournament favorite and one of the Cinderella teams, Loyola-Chicago, hoped to finish the job this time around. Sister Jean and the Loyola-Chicago battled through the first two rounds reaching the Sweet Sixteen before dropping the contest against #12 Oregon State, who has now advanced to the Elite Eight. Oral Roberts also lost after a hard fought battle against Arkansas. ORU gave them a run but ultimately lost 72-70.
Only two double digit seeds remain in the tournament, and those teams are Oregon St. and UCLA. Along with them, 3 of the 4 number 1 seeds are also in the field of eight – Gonzaga, Michigan, Baylor. The remaining teams are Arkansas, Houston, and USC. Gonzaga is the tournament favorite and is looking to make history in more ways than one – capture their first title in school history as well as be one of the very few teams to go undefeated in both the regular season and the tournament. With the extra games they played throughout the season, they will have captured the most wins in NCAA history if they accomplish winning the entire tournament.