Madness in March

April is quickly approaching, which means March Madness is almost over. This year’s Division I NCAA College Basketball Tournament has been filled with crazy upsets, Cinderella stories, and record setting viewership. Both the men’s and women’s tournaments have lived up to the name “madness.” Any sports fan can appreciate the level of competitiveness and heart that this year’s games have shown. 

The men’s side this year has presented the most unheard of upsets and Cinderella stories. The heavy favorites to win the tournament, first seed in the east region Purdue, lost in the first round which set the tone for the rest of the tournament. Other first seeds Kansas lost in the round of 32 and first seeds Houston and Alabama lost in the round of 16. This led to the first time in the history of the tournament that there were zero one seeds in the elite eight. The final four will be played on Saturday consisting of #5 SDSU versus #9 FAU and #5 Miami versus #4 Uconn. Uconn is the only team out of the four to win the tournament, or even make it to the final four. No matter the outcome, this year’s tournament will be one for the record books.

Florida Atlantic University has shocked the world with their unprecedented road to the final four. FAU is only the third nine seed in NCAA history to reach the final four. It is also only their second time making the tournament, the first being a first round exit to Alabama in 2002. The players on FAU have made it to this point by playing selfless, hardworking basketball. By playing together they have gone on one of the most impressive runs in tournament history.

On the women’s side of the tournament, the overwhelming success of Caitlin Clark of Iowa has contributed to the unheard of support of women’s basketball this season and tournament. Caitlin Clark put up an impressive stat line against Louisville on Sunday with 41 points, 10 rebounds, and 12 assists, becoming the first player in NCAA tournament history to record a triple double with 30 plus points! This game was played on ESPN and amassed over 2.5 million viewers. This is more viewers than any NBA game played on ESPN this season. This is a huge recognition  for the women’s game. The undeniable support and growth of the female game has propelled women’s basketball. Overall this year’s NCAA tournament has made history. Not only on the court, but off the court as well.