Like every March, college basketball never disappoints with all the action-packed games going on. This year has been much different with more upsets than any other year. The 68-team tournament started Thursday, March 17 with the First Four teams playing to advance to the First Round. The tournament quickly dropped down to 16 after that following Monday concluded. This week featured Sweet 16 games on Saturday and Sunday and Elite 8 games on Monday and Tuesday. Now the field has been trimmed down to the FInal Four: Gonzaga, UCLA, Baylor, and Houston.
Houston started off the tournament with a quick beat down of Cleveland State along with an early upset scare against Rutgers. In the Sweet 16, they had to face off against the hot Syracuse Orange and Buddy Boeheim. They ended up winning the game by 16, resulting in a date with the Oregon State Beavers in the Elite 8. The Cougars took control early and never looked back, reaching their first final four in almost 40 years. Houston will face off against Baylor for a trip to the national championship.
Baylor went into the tournament as one of the clear favorites due to only 2 loses in the regular season. They handled 16-seed Hartford and 9-seed Wisconsin easily as the tournament began. They also handed Villanova a loss after a hot start. They were able to finish off 3-seed Arkansas to reach the Final Four. Baylor is looking to win their first national championship in program history.
The biggest shock in the Final Four is the 11-seed UCLA Bruins. They had to beat Michigan St in the First Four in order to reach the Big Dance. They added an upset of 6-seed BYU and a beat down of 14-seed Abilene Christian who, in fact, was another Cinderella hopeful. Then they were able to pull off massive upsets in the Sweet 16 and Elite 8 over 2-seed Alabama and 1-seed Michigan. UCLA is the first team to go First Four to Final Four since VCU in 2011 and is looking to be the first to win a national championship.
Gonzag, who is currently a total 30-0 on the season, is looking to become the first undefeated national champions since the 1976 Indiana Hoosiers. Gonzaga has practically steamrolled everyone on their way to the Final Four. They took care of 16-seed Norfolk State and 8-seed Oklahoma. They dismantled 5-seed Creighton in the Sweet 16 and 6-seed USC on their way to the Final Four. They’ll face the underdog UCLA Bruins on Saturday for a trip back to the national championship game after a heartbreaking loss to North Carolina four years ago.
March Madness hardly ever disappoints. After a year with no tournament, fans everywhere have been enjoying this years tournament and look forward to the Final Four on Saturday and championship on Monday as the college basketball season comes to a close.