64 college basketball teams earn a spot to play and compete in one of the biggest sports tournaments, March Madness. This tournament is unpredictable because it usually doesn’t end with a Cinderella story.
Every year, there are bracket busters that mess up people’s brackets. These upsets shock the world and leave many with destroyed brackets. This year, there were four big upsets that took the world by surprise.
The first bracket buster occurred on March 18th, 2017 at KeyBank Center in Buffalo, NY when Wisconsin defeated the defending champions Villanova. Many people had Nova going far in their brackets, but that didn’t last long when they lost in the round of 32 teams.
“I’m happy they made the game’s defining defensive play, ripping the ball away from Hart. The Wildcats quickly fouled Brown, who made one free throw to give the Badgers a three-point cushion that turned out to be more than enough as Villanova struggled to corral the rebound and saw its season ended earlier than expected,” the AP Wire Service of Fox News reported.
“Nova losing wasn’t a surprise because it is hard to go back to back,” junior Max Mygatt said.
The next bracket buster happened a day later on March 19th, 2017 at Bon Secours Wellness Arena in Greenville, South Carolina when South Carolina beat Duke. Duke was a favorite for winning the whole tournament, but their run ended unexpectedly. South Carolina wasn’t worried about playing the number two seed, leading to their seven point win in the Round of 32.
South Carolina celebrating after making it to the Final Four from The Inquisitor.
“Well, they [South Carolina] didn’t get here by talking about anything other than the step in front of them. But my, what a step they took Sunday,” reporter David Cloninger of The State said.
“Duke losing early really messed up my bracket because I had them going to the finals,” senior Dylan Pinsky said.
Another upset occurred on March 19th, 2017 at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, Indiana when Michigan beat Louisville. Michigan was just a seven seed, and they managed to pull off a four-point victory over the number two seed. Even though Michigan is a good team, they ended the favorite Louisville’s March Madness appearance in the round of 32.
“‘But our guys [Michigan], we started a tradition of taking a shower, I guess, without going into the shower after good wins. It’s not stopping,’” said coach John Beilein, reported by Abbey Mastracco of NJ.com. The Wolverines were excited about their huge win and they couldn’t hold back from showing it.
“It’s a whole different atmosphere. There is something about the tournament that makes the games close and the teams play better,” senior JP Woodward said.
The last upset happened on March 23rd, 2017 at SAP Center at San Jose in San Jose, California when Xavier defeated Arizona. Xavier was an 11 seed team who finished Arizona’s road to the finals in the Sweet 16. Xavier wasn’t supposed to go past the Round of 64, but they managed to make their way to the Elite Eight.
“We [Xavier] never split apart when the game went out of our favor. We stayed strong and knew if we followed our game plan, we were gonna win,” said guard Trevon Bluiett, reported by Scott Polacek of Bleacher Report.
“Xavier messed my bracket up the most because I had them losing in the round of 64. They won though because they played like they had nothing to lose,” senior Brooks Michel said.
This year’s March Madness has been crazy by how many better-ranked teams have been knocked out of contention for the title. Duke was a huge upset because of how much potential they had and how far they were supposed to go.
“I knew there were going to be upsets, but I just didn’t know who was going to lose and when. I look forward to the upsets each year,” senior Brandon Bradsher said.
“I was surprised to see teams who were thought to win the championship lose early in the tournament,” Woodward said.