NCAA tournament excites, disappoints

The men’s and women’s NCAA division I basketball tournaments began on March 15 and 16, respectively, and ended on April 1 for women’s in Columbus, Ohio and April 2 for men’s in San Antonio, Texas.

The men’s tournament lived up to its nickname of March Madness when 16-seed University of Maryland Baltimore County defeated first-seed University of Virginia, 74-54, in the first round, the first time a 16-seed would beat a first-seed in the history of the tournament, leaving many shocked and surprised.

“I was a little shocked,” said Meriwether Godsey employee Jayvon Biddle. “Especially Virginia losing to a 16-seed.”

The upsets continued when defending champions University of North Carolina Chapel Hill lost to Texas A&M University, 86-65, in the round of 32.

First-year and UNC fan Daquan Mason gives his reactions to UNC’s loss.

“I haven’t been paying attention since they lost,” said Mason. “I hope whoever wins will succeed.”

The biggest story of the tournament may be 11-seed Loyola University Chicago’s Cinderella run all the way to the Final Four, losing to Michigan University, 69-57.

“I was also surprised at Loyola making it to the Final Four,” said Biddle.

Early College student Derek Chen explains why he’s drawn to the NCAA tournament.

“It’s very exciting,” said Chen. “There’s many upsets, it’s pretty fun to watch.”

Michigan would then go on to face Villanova in the championship game on April 2, where the Wolverines would lose to the Wildcats, 79-62, behind sophomore guard Donte DiVincenzo’s 31-point performance.

On the other hand, the women’s tournament was a completely different story, with all first-seed teams making it to the Final Four. Despite this, the Final Four matchup between Notre Dame and the University of Connecticut drew much attention as Notre Dame defeated UConn with a buzzer-beater, 91-89, by junior guard Arike Ogunbowale.

UConn went undefeated this season going 36-0 in the regular season and eased their way into the Final Four, beating Saint Francis University, 140-52, in the first round and defeated the University of South Carolina, 94-65, in the fourth round.

Notre Dame then went on to face Mississippi State University in the championship game on April 1, winning 61-58 on a buzzer-beater also by Ogunbowale.

First-year and University of South Carolina women’s fan Monell Dunlap gave her thoughts on the tournaments.

“I think that (upsets) happens every year,” said Dunlap. “Every year there’s always upsets, you got to be prepared for your team to win or lose.”

With all of the upsets and the unpredictability of the tournament, people end up cheering for the team they want to win, or going against the team they want to lose.

Biddle, also a UNC fan, talks about who he wants to win.

“I want Loyola to win,” said Biddle. “I can’t go for Villanova because they beat us with a buzzer-beater two years ago, I can’t go for Michigan because they came out of our bracket.”

Others take a more analytic approach to the tournament, going for who’s likely to win even if they aren’t fans.

“I’m going for Cincinnati cause I picked them in my bracket,” said Chen. “(Out of the Final Four teams), Kansas, so that I’ll win the bracket challenge.”

The tournaments are spectacles to watch, with displays of talent, skill and passion put on with every game, giving fans something to remember. One example of this is Michigan’s Jordan Poole making a buzzer-beater shot, beating Houston University, 64-63, to advance to the fourth round.

“My favorite moment are the buzzer-beater shots,” said Mason.

Other’s find joy in seeing a rival school go down.

“My favorite moment was when Duke lost,” said Biddle.