The NCAA Division I men’s basketball tournament kicked off the first round of the tournament on March 15, 2018. There were expected wins but more major and historical upsets that only a few expected.
The No. 1 teams of all four divisions were Virginia (South), Villanova (East), Xavier (West), and Kansas (Midwest). Only three of the teams made it past the first round, and two to the Sweet 16. UMBC defeated Virginia in the first round, and Xavier fell to 9-seed Florida State in the Second Round.
For the first time in March Madness history, 16-seed UMBC beat a 1-seed, Virginia. UVA was the favorite team to make it to the championship and potentially win it all. UMBC beat Virginia by 20 points with a final score of 74-54.
Jack Morton, a senior at Boys’ Latin, will be attending UMBC next year to play lacrosse. As a future Retriever, he was very excited to see that they achieved a historic victory. “I didn’t think they were going to win at all, but I said they would in my bracket out of pure loyalty,” said Morton.
While some people were excited for UMBC to win, others were unhappy that their brackets were incorrect. Ryan Evans, a member of the sophomore class, had Virginia going to the final four in his bracket. While he was watching the game, he said he was thinking, “this can’t be happening.”
Since the favorite team to win the tournament was knocked out in the first round, people have had to resort to other teams to root for. Mason Russell has been a UNC fan his whole life and wanted the 2-seed team to win the championship. UNC won the tournament last year but lost against 7-seed Texas A&M 86-65 in the Second Round.
“I was upset when they lost at first, but I understand how March Madness goes at this point,” said Russell. Russell makes a bracket every year but has never made perfect picks, along with the rest of the world. Achieving a perfect bracket is said to be 1 in 9.2 quintillion, according to NCAA.com.
This year billionaire Warren Buffett offered his annual perfect bracket prize of $1,000,000 a year to anyone who can guess every game correct. The conclusion is that nobody would earn this award due to this tournament being one of the most unexpected turnouts in history. Many reasons factor in for this, such as major upsets, odds of winning, or bias toward specific teams, but Buffett is clearly willing to give a potential winner what they deserve for a near impossible achievement.
Loyola-Chicago is the notable Cinderella team throughout the tournament, meaning that they have made it farther than they were expected to. They played challenging games leading up to the Final Four, such as 3-seed Tennessee and 6-seed Miami (Fla.). This has been one of the farthest runs a Cinderella team has made, giving another reason that this year’s tournament could be considered historical.
As the tournament came to an end in March, the Final Four consisted of 11-seed Loyola-Chicago playing 3-seed Michigan, and 1-seed Villanova playing 1-seed Kansas. Both games took place on March 31st, and the National Championship took place on April 2nd. Villanova beat Michigan by a score of 79-62.