March Madness update

It’s never felt so good to have our brackets busted

March Madness is back after a one-year hiatus and it has not disappointed. The tournament is being played in Indiana, as they have opted to have a bubble this year instead of having teams spread out all around the country.

There has been no shortage of upsets, as nine double-digit seeds made it to the round of 32. The clock hasn’t struck 12 just yet for a few of the Cinderella hopefuls, as Oral Roberts, Syracuse, UCLA and Oregon State have all advanced to the Sweet-16.

Meanwhile, Loyola Chicago is back in the tournament for the first time since 2018. The last time they were in the tourney, they made it to the Final Four as an 11-seed. Sister Jean has shown that she still has her magic, as the Ramblers knocked off one-seed Illinois in the round of 32, making the Fighting Illini the first one-seed to fall in the tournament.

The PAC-12 has lived up to its nickname “The Conference of Champions” so far in the tournament. Five PAC-12 teams received bids to play in the tournament and all five advanced to the round of 32. More impressively, four of them have advanced to the Sweet-16, as only Colorado has been eliminated so far.

The BIG-10 on the other hand, has not had the best tournament showing. They sent the most teams to the big dance, in nine. However, they have a 6-7 record so far in the tournament, with every team already being eliminated besides top-seeded Michigan. This record looks even worse when you take into account that the BIG-10 received two one-seeds and two, two-seeds.

One difference in this year’s tournament is that a team can be forced to forfeit due to Covid-19 issues. This has already come into play as VCU was forced to forfeit its first-round matchup with Oregon. This allowed the Ducks to advance to the second round where they eventually knocked-off Iowa and star big man Luka Garza.

Even with the enormous amount of upsets this year, Gonzaga and Baylor still headline the teams competing in the Sweet-16. Meanwhile, USC looks like a dark-horse after a blowout win over three-seed Kansas. It will also be interesting to see if anyone can continue their Cinderella run all the way to the Final Four.

While the tournament took a year off, it is back like it never left. Sometimes you don’t realize how much you miss something until it’s gone, and March Madness definitely fits the bill.

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