From Behind the Arc: March Madness 2018
April 8, 2018
This 2018 NCAA Tournament was truly one for the books. There was plenty of everything: Upsets, Buzzer-Beaters, Cinderella’s, Firsts, Dominance, Clutchness, etc. All this made a perfect storm for the “One Shining Moment” of this season which was in honor of the Villanova Wildcats. The Wildcats marched to the national championship, they destroyed competition left and right and capped it off with winning the big game 79-62 against 3-seeded Michigan.
The Wildcats took on some very tough competition in a tournament, where it’s win or go home. They ended up playing some of the best teams in the bracket by playing West Virginia led by star senior Jevon Carter, a tough Texas-Tech and a beat one of the best teams in the bracket, Kansas, in record-breaking form.
The team assembled by this University is one of the best we’ve seen out of the NCAA in years. They had on the floor junior guard and AP player of the year Jalen Brunson alongside off the bench sensation Donte DiVincenzo. These two are among many superstars this team suited up and with a team, this stacked it’s no wonder they won looking back at it.
So truly hats off to the Wildcats who have now been able to capture two championships in the last three years.
However, with every winner there is a loser and the one that came closest to being National Champs was the Michigan Wolverines. This team quite possibly had one of the most improbable tournament runs. This team happened to play Montana in the first round which cut Grizzlies fans hopes really short.
However, the Wolverines didn’t stop there. The next round they won on a last-second prayer to beat Houston at the buzzer. From there the rest was pretty smooth sailing. Due to multiple unforecasted upsets, the Wolverines never played a single team above a six-seed until the national championship. Which happen to be a very hot Villanova.
So even though Michigan never officially “proved” themselves against any high seeded teams in the bracket their strength as a team and skill was definitely seen in how strong they played.
From each region, we saw plenty of historic and amazing moments. Each one had heartbreaking and triumph moments for a lot of teams.
The South was by far the craziest with the #16 UMBC beating the #1 overall Virginia. Which happened to be the first time in bracket history. UMBC may have had their Cinderella story cut short the next round but the impact of the UMBC Retrievers will be known for years to come.
Another team in this region (probably the most famous in the bracket this year) was the Loyola-Chicago Ramblers. This eleven-seed was the most successful Cinderella in the entire bracket this year. The Ramblers stole the hearts of fans with the miracle shots, fun personalities and famous fans(peep Sister Jean). All made it that much more fun to watch this team take their talents to San Antonio and the Final Four.
In the Midwest region, we saw some very tight and fun to watch basketball games. Kansas and Duke were the two strongest teams in the region and it showed in not only the games leading up to their dual but also in their overtime game that was full of heart-racing moments.
This region is looking to have a lot of future NBA stars and we got to watch it all boil in one-quarter of the bracket. These stars included Devonte Graham(Kansas), Marvin Bagley III(Duke), Miles Bridges(Michigan State), Jaren Jackson Jr(Michigan State) and Trae Young(Oklahoma).
March Sadness: In Memoriam
Aside from exceptional talent, triumph and “shining moments” there was d
defeated, choking and upsets that left great teams shocked. So a new tradition for March Madness and the From Behind the Arc column we now will have an “In Memoriam” for the top five teams whose March Madness turned into March Sadness. The teams are as follows:
- Michigan State
- North Carolina
Another tradition in complete contrary to the previous is the top teams of March Madness. These are the teams who made the deepest runs, showed the strongest talent and may have even torched brackets with their consistency and momentum. So here are those that stood at the top:
- Texas Tech
- West Virginia
So now where we stand when the confetti is swept, the teams have all gone home, the fans go back to actually doing work is just wait. Put in on your calendar that the madness begins once again on March 19th, 2019.