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Fans Mourn the Loss of Their March Madness Brackets

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Burning a March Madness Bracket

Burning a March Madness Bracket

Photo Credit Emilio Zipf

Photo Credit Emilio Zipf

Burning a March Madness Bracket

Emilio Zipf, Staff

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As usual during March Madness all college basketball fans will take time to mourn the loss of what they thought would be a perfect bracket. This year has been a historically tough year for fans, and no perfect brackets remain.

Just like last year, it seems actual fans who watch the games and analyze the teams are doing the worst with their brackets. However, this year, moms who choose the teams’ with the best looking uniforms are destroying all other demographics. This is a surprise considering, because baseball fans who choose teams randomly have had the best brackets for the last four years.

The 64 team sudden death tournament determines the NCAA men’s basketball champion. The participants are controversially chosen by a committee that openly worships Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) teams. But even in selection this tournament was strange, ACC powerhouse teams such as Duke, University of North Carolina (UNC), Louisville, and Notre Dame were not as powerful as usual. The committee panicked, only allowing 9 ACC teams in, almost neck and neck with other strong conferences such as the Southeastern Conference (SEC) and Big 12.

Then came the “educated predictions” by “educated” fans and sports analysts. The number one overall team, University of Virginia (UVA), was favored to win, over others such as Villanova, UNC, Duke, Michigan State, and Kansas. Of course, this wouldn’t matter, education and analytics are inferior to guessing in any given year.

Every college basketball fan was hyped for the first day of sixteen games, but they were disappointed. The only real shocker was 13 seed Buffalo’s upset of 4 seed Arizona, who many of the “educated” fans had believed could make a run at a championship. It seemed the sports analysts were holding well up to the madness.

Not for long though. Another 4 seed fell, Wichita State was defeated by 13 seed Marshall. Then late that night the ground fell out from everyone’s “educated” predictions. 16 seed University of Maryland Baltimore College, a school someone may have heard of, annihilated UVA, the overall number 1 seed,  a offensive and defensive juggernaut. It marked the first time a 16 seed had beaten a 1 seed ever in the men’s tournament, and probably the greatest upset in college basketball history. After that game the tournament descended into the madness we were waiting for.

A last second shot, thrust 11 seed Loyola-Chicago into the Sweet Sixteen, while another 11 seed and the last team to be chosen for the tournament, Syracuse, also made it past the first weekend. Loyola among other teams including 9 seeds Florida State and Kansas State were culprits in the devastating South and West regions of the bracket. Uncountable brackets were annihilated, as upsets continued into the elite eight.

The second weekend of March Madness was the most deadly in recent memory. The South region had two more upsets, setting up for a region final between Loyola and Kansas State, the first time a 11 seed and an 9 seed have faced in the elite eight. For only the second time in history an 11 seed made it to the final four after Loyola defeated Kansas State by 16 points. The West region wasn’t much friendlier to weary fans, as 9 seed Florida State buried 4 seed Gonzaga. However, a bastion of hope arose from 3 seed Michigan, who defeated Florida State, to make it to the final four. Michigan’s heroic acts will be remembered by the thousands of college basketball fans whose brackets were spared.

The midwest and east were a cakewalk for most brackets compared to the other regions. As predicted, number 1 seeds Villanova and Kansas advanced to the elite eight and the final four, defeating 3 seed Texas Tech and 2 seed Duke. The only major surprise was that Duke’s star senior, Grayson Allen, resisted tripping Kansas players as the game went into overtime.

Finally, the light at the end of the tunnel for the fans who have watched the madness of March slowly destroy their brackets. This weekend is the last week, where the final four teams will decide who will play in the National Championship. For the sake of fans and their brackets everywhere we can only hope Loyola-Chicago finally loses this weekend, and either Kansas and Villanova will prevail.

So for the next few weeks give college basketball fans there space, they have gone through a lot.

 

Watch the Final Four:

6:09pm on March 31st No. 3 Michigan vs. No. 11 Loyola-Chicago on TBS

8:49pm on March 31st No. 1 Kansas vs. No. 1 Villanova on TBS

National Championship on April 2nd at 9:20pm on TBS

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