By Branson Hardcastle | Broadcast Reporter
March Madness, the two greatest words in sports, reigns true to its name year after year.
It’s a time where basketball fans cheer on their teams in the biggest tournament of the year –– the NCAA tournament. The NCAA tournament brings some of the blue blood basketball teams together, such as Kentucky, Duke and North Carolina, face-to-face with smaller universities such as UMBC, Loyola-Chicago and many others.
March Madness has everything: emotion, buzzer-beaters, insane dunks, crazy celebrations and, most importantly, upsets. This year alone, there have been too many upsets to keep up with. UMBC defeated Virginia for the first ever 16-seed win over a No. 1 seed in the tournament’s history.
The traditional schools are expected to go far every year, but the small schools have a different mindset: to beat those schools and make a name for themselves. What better place to do this than on the national stage?
In 2011, No. 8 seed Butler began its improbable run to the Final Four by beating Old Dominion in the Round of 64, then knocking off No. 1 seed Pittsburgh in the next round. The Bulldogs continued their run and found themselves in the Final Four facing Connecticut in the championship game. Unfortunately, Butler fell short in its Cinderella run, as it lost to the Huskies by 12 points.
If you ask most people, Butler wasn’t supposed to be there. Most people had them losing to Pittsburgh in the Round of 32. This is what makes March Madness so special –– teams that some people have never heard of upsetting some of the biggest names in college hoops.
This year has been possibly the most exciting, mad March Madness there has ever been. There have been a plethora of buzzer-beaters and last second shots, huge upsets and improbable runs.
Loyola-Chicago is a prime example in all of those categories. In the Round of 64, the 11-seed Ramblers beat 6-seed Miami on a three-point buzzer-beater. The very next round against 3-seed Tennessee, Loyola-Chicago dialed up the magic again and hit a jumper in the lane with a few ticks left on the clock to give them the win and move on to the Sweet 16.
This craziness is what basketball fans live for. Viewers tune in from all over the country at all times of day to watch the games. Students find ways to stream games during class so they don’t miss the action. Some professors have even played the games on projectors during class because they want to watch the games as well.
One of the coolest things to watch is when people get behind the lower seeded schools and cheer for them as if it is their own university.
UMBC gained over 100,000 followers on Twitter after making history by beating Virginia. Many people have pledged their allegiance to the Retrievers after their team lost and are pulling just as hard for them as they did for their own team.
Every year, there is at least one team that pulls off some crazy upset that sends the basketball world into a frenzy, every year there is heartbreak as your team doesn’t make it as far as you want them to, but most importantly, every year brings us all the madness in March.