Madness Ensues Following First Weekend of the Tournament

Pictured+Above+is+the+Men%27s+March+Madness+Bracket+for+the+2021+Tournament

Photo from NCAA.com

Pictured Above is the Men’s March Madness Bracket for the 2021 Tournament

     With the March Madness Tournament being cancelled last year for both men and women, sports fans have long awaited this year’s tournament. The tournament is coveted in the sports world as one of the most thrilling events of the year, and it did not disappoint this year. 

     According to ESPN, this year was the first time in NCAA men’s tournament history that 4 teams seeded 13 or worse have reached the round of 32, meaning it was a huge year for not so well-known teams such as Oral Roberts or Abilene Christian to steal the show in the round of 64. 15-seeded Oral Roberts faced off against Ohio State in the first round, and it was a nail-biter. They ended up surviving 2-seeded Ohio State to become the first 15 seed to defeat a 2 seed since CJ McCollum and the Lehigh Mountain Hawks defeated 2-seeded Duke in the first round of the 2012 NCAA tournament. 

     13-seed Ohio defeated the defending champion Virginia Cavaliers in a thriller that ended up favoring Ohio 62-58. Ohio was led by guard Jason Preston, who said he was motivated by the death of his mother from lung cancer when he was 16. Preston dedicated his teams´ upset win to his late mother Judith. Another 13 seed, North Texas, defeated 4 seeded Purdue in overtime, a team in which many had winning the tournament as a whole. Another favorite to win the tournament was 3 seeded Texas, who was defeated by 14 seed Abilene Christian after Joe Pleasant sank 2 free throws to seal the game. These upset games were just a part of the first round of games, with a few other big name teams going down early to lower-seeded ones in the second round. 

     In the second round there were some upsets that had teams like Oral Roberts and Syracuse advancing to the sweet 16. 15 seed Oral Roberts continued their Cinderella story run with a 81-78 win over the 7 seed Florida Gators. Syracuse, led by coach´s son and lights out shooter Buddy Boeheim, defeated 3 seed West Virginia in a game decided by three points. Tournament favorite Illinois was defeated by 8 seed Loyola Chicago, a team that has advanced in the March Madness tournament as a lower seed before. Projected number one overall pick Cade Cunningham and 4 seed Oklahoma state were defeated by 12 seed Oregon state who continued their dominant run. USC destroyed 3 seed Kansas and punched their ticket into the Sweet 16. 

     According to Yahoo Sports and tournament media director David Worlock,  this March Madness tournament broke the record for most upsets before the round of 16, with 12 prior to its start. In fact, according to ESPN and reporter Matthew Berry, out of 14.7 million brackets, 0 remained perfect after the first weekend of March Madness and it only took 28 games for this to occur. There are still several more exciting matchups to look forward to for the rest of the tournament, so be sure to check into some of these games and be on the lookout for more upset victories and Cinderella stories.