by Logan Tyler
Starting on March 14 of this year, Division I men’s basketball created madness — March Madness that is! Played all across the United States, the best of the best in college basketball have been battling it out to be crowned the winner of the March Madness tournament. For only a few short weeks, fans across the country, and world, are captivated by the games, a lot of fans simply watching for any upsets that occur during the tournament.
On March 14 and 15 eight teams kicked off the first leg of the tournament, also known as the First Four. The First Four games are played earlier in the week before the first round and contain the four lowest-seeded automatic qualifiers and the four lowest-seeded at-large teams, where at-large teams face at-large teams, and automatic qualifiers face automatic qualifiers. Texas A&M-Corpus Christi set the tone of the tournament in the first game, beating equally-seeded #16 Southeast Missouri State by 4, the final score 75-71. The same night, Pittsburgh narrowly escaped Mississippi State by 1, ultimately winning 60-59. Arizona State and Fairleigh Dickinson University joined Texas A&M and Pittsburgh moving out of the First Four to continue on in the tournament.
Two days later, the real fun kicked off where 32 teams competed in the first round of the tournament. One notable upset was #13-ranked Furman beating #4 University of Virginia. Furman ultimately met their match in the second round, losing to fifth-seeded San Diego State University, who beat Creighton University on Sunday to advance to the Final Four. One of the biggest upsets in NCAA Tournament history was another big game that threw off fans’ brackets – #16 Fairleigh Dickinson beating #1 Purdue. Fairleigh Dickinson was not predicted to go very far in the tournament and was, in fact, the shortest team to enter the tournament. This fact juxtaposed against Purdue’s 7-foot-4 All-American, Zach Edey, meant not many fans had hope in the Knights, who quickly showed America what they were capable of.
Another upset that carried through the whole tournament was #15-ranked Princeton beating #2 Arizona State in the first round, keeping their winning streak alive until they were matched up against Creighton, ultimately losing in the Sweet 16 round of the tournament. However, Florida Atlantic University is still continuing their winning streak, beating University of Memphis by 1 in the first round, their momentum taking them all the way to the Elite Eight where they beat Kansas State to advance to the Final Four.
The Final Four will take place on April 1, where San Diego State will compete against Florida Atlantic and the University of Connecticut will battle against University of Miami (FL). All four teams will be competing for a shot in the championship which will take place on April 3.