As much as everyone hates to see their chances at picking a perfect March Madness bracket go down the toilet, you have to admit this year’s tournament has been amazing to watch as a basketball fan. The upsets, the buzzer-beaters, and the overall madness that has ensued in the last week has been incredible, and I truly believe this year’s March Madness could go down as the greatest of all-time.
I downloaded the March Madness Live app on my phone so I could have multiple screens going with different games, and so I’d have my phone let me know when a game was wrapping up so I could tune in to the closer contests. I will say, it got a little out of hand when every time I checked my phone, it was the app telling me something like “Upset Alert: No. 2 Michigan State 71, No. 15 Middle Tenn. 77” and then five minutes later seeing “Upset Final: No. 2 Michigan State 81, No. 15 Middle Tenn. 90”. It was cool at first and I’m a huge fan of big upsets (just not when my Spartans go down in the first round), but it was just insane seeing 10 upsets by double-digit seeds in the first round alone, and that of course doesn’t even count the wins by No. 9 seeds over No. 8 seeds.
Now I know it may seem like I’m basing this completely off upsets, but the quality of the games this year has also gone up in my opinion. We’ve seen more buzzer-beaters than I can remember any other tournament having at this point, including this amazing fade-away game-winning three by Wisconsin’s Bronson Koenig in a big upset of No. 2 Xavier.
We saw No. 11 Northern Iowa upset No. 6 Texas at the last second off this amazing half-court buzzer-beater that may go down as one of the best shots in the history of the NCAA tournament:
Then, it looked like Northern Iowa was ready to pull off a bigger upset over No. 3 Texas A&M in the second round, as they were up 12 points with 44 seconds left in regulation. The Aggies pulled off a true miracle, however, and pulled off the largest last-minute comeback to win in college basketball history, winning in double overtime.
As if that wasn’t enough, there was this crazy ending in No. 8 St. Joseph’s win over No. 9 Cincinnati where a buzzer-beating, game-tying dunk didn’t count, where simply letting the ball go would’ve sent the game to overtime.
Everything has just been completely all over the place. I couldn’t keep up with all the action, which may have been because my eyes were blinded by the consistent flow of tears Michigan State had me spilling on my floor. No matter how you look at it, it was one of the most shocking weekends college basketball has ever witnessed, and I loved every second of it.
Order was restored in the second round, with all four No. 1 seeds moving on and 12 of the Sweet Sixteen teams are top five seeds. Even then, we will see a match-up of No. 10 Syracuse and No. 11 Gonzaga, which no-one saw coming, and some tough battles coming up for No. 1 seeds Oregon and North Carolina, as they take on No. 4 Duke and No. 5 Indiana respectively. There’s still a lot of basketball left, and the potential for some big names to go down in the next two weeks. Here’s hoping for more craziness, great basketball, and everyone’s bracket but mine being completely busted.