By Neil Kavanaugh
March is winding down, which means it’s time for the NCAA’s annual men’s college basketball tournament, often referred to as March Madness. March Madness has taken Catholic University by storm. 64 teams enter, only one will emerge. This is what has happened the past week, see how your bracket stacks up.
“For me, March Madness is so much fun because for the first few days there is multiple games going on all day and you always have a good game to watch,” said senior Nolan Behringer. “I was rooting for UC Irvine to upset Kansas State in the first round because I worked in Irvine this summer. Despite Irvine being a 13 seed and Kansas St being a 4 seed, UC Irvine still managed to pull off the upset.”
In the East, 10 seed Minnesota University played upset to the 7 seed University of Louisville in the first game of March Madness. The following game 3 seed Louisiana State University barely pulled away with a win over 14 seed Yale University. 12 seed Liberty University had a shocking win over 5 seed Mississippi State University. 9 seed University of Central Florida upset 8 seed Virginia Commonwealth University 73-58.
One of the closest games was found in the Midwest with 12 seed New Mexico State University losing to 5 seed Auburn University by a single point, which is not a good sign for the Auburn Tigers, who are expected to go deep this year. 6 seed University of Maryland pulled off a last second victory over 11 seed Belmont University, which came to the joy of many Catholic University students, who view UMD as almost the hometown team. 9 seed Washington University won over 8 seed Utah State University, and 11 seed Ohio State University beat out 6 seed Iowa State University.
In the West 6 seed University of Buffalo blew 11 seed Arizona State out of the water 91-74. 4 seed Florida State University defeated 13 seed University of Vermont. 12 seed Murray State University defeated Marquette University 83-64. 10 seed University of Florida overcame 7 seed Nevada University, and 9 seed Baylor University defeated 8 seed Syracuse University.
In the South 12 seed Oregon University defeated 5 seed Wisconsin University by a score of 72-54. 13 seed University of California Irvine upset 4 seed Kansas State University, and 10 seed University of Iowa overcame 7 seed Cincinnati University. 9 seed Oklahoma University beat out 8 seed University of Mississippi.
The second round became even more tense that the pandemonium of the first round. 1 seed Duke University barely escaped 9 seed University of Central Florida 77-76, who were carried to victory thanks to their talented starting forward Zion Williamson putting up 32 points.
“The Duke-UCF game was a game that truly embodies march madness and was one of my favorite games in a long time,” said senior Tommy Shaw. “Unlike the stagnant NBA, any team can go up against a heavy favorite and have a chance to win. That’s the way basketball should be.”
5 seed Auburn University beat out 4 seed Kansas University to advance to the Sweet Sixteen, where they are set to face 3 seed University of Houston. The first half of the Sweet Sixteen came this past Thursday, with 1 seed Gonzaga University defeating 4 seed Florida State University, who are expected to make a very deep run this year. 3 seed Texas Tech University blew out 2 seed Michigan University 63-44, and 1 seed University of Virginia escaping 12 seed Oregon University. 3 seed Purdue University upset 2 seed Tennessee University to advance to the Elite Eight.
“Purdue vs Tennessee was an outstanding game,” said freshman Nick Berrios, “although it was fun to watch it messed up my bracket I had made because I had Tennessee in the final losing to Duke.”
The tournament picks back up Friday March 29th, with the championship set to take place April 8th.