By: Dylan DeWitt
Nearly every year after Selection Sunday, where 68 Division I men’s basketball teams are picked for the NCAA tournament, roughly 70 million brackets are made to choose winners of all the games. The hope for the people who participate in the challenge is to correctly pick each game in the annual March Madness tournament.
There is always plenty of talk and dialogue about teams losing and brackets being completely broken, but, in reality, the odds of correctly picking each game is slim to none.
According to the NCAA.com, the odds of having a perfect bracket is one and 92 quintillion. To put that in numerical form, it is one and 9,233,372,036,854,775,808. This year, after not even two rounds into the tournament, entering the Sweet Sixteen, there are zero brackets that have selected every game correctly. This is largely due to the tournament being the year of Cinderella, the Davids beating the Goliaths, and the underdogs pulling off wins against the favorites.
One of the most highlighted victories has been the number 16 team, UMBC, defeating the number one team in the nation in the first round, Virginia. Coming into the game, Virginia was arguably one of the best teams not only for their lockdown defense, but overall ability to win over 30 games this season. Coming into the game, Virginia was 31-2, and their counterpart, the University of Maryland Baltimore County, had to make a game-winner in their conference tournament just to make it into the big dance. Never in the history of the tournament has a number 16 seed defeated a number one seed in the first round. After the victory, UMBC changes this record to 1-135.
UMBC has not been the only upset of the tournament either. There is currently only one remaining number one ranked seed, and two remaining number two seeds left in the road to becoming a National Champion.
Another major headline has been made with Loyola Chicago making it to the Sweet Sixteen after two thrilling last second victories. Loyola Chicago defeated number sixth ranked Miami (FL) and number three Tennessee to make it to the third round of the tournament.
Other notable upsets have come with number 11 Syracuse defeating a heavy favorite to come out of the Midwest division, Michigan State. Not to mention, Syracuse had to win a “play-in” game just to make the tournament.
Another upset came from Texas A&M dominating the defending champions of North Carolina in the Round of 32. To round out the highlights of upsets, number nine Florida State defeated number one Xavier, and number seven Nevada defeated number two Cincinnati in the second round of the tournament.
The tournament has not been only upsets, but other last second thrillers, and memorable shots that will perhaps go down as some of the best shots in tournament history. Number Three Michigan, the Big Ten Tournament champion, advanced to the Sweet Sixteen with a victory over Houston. With about three and a half seconds left in the game, down two, the Wolverines sent a pass nearly the full length of the court. The pass went to Right Wing Freshman Jordan Poole, who hit a game winning three-pointer as time expired to win by one and advance.
There have been high flying slam dunks, clutch shots to put teams up or make the contest all squared up, and loads of energy. All in all, this is March and it sure is filled with loads of Madness. Not to mention there are still fifteen games remaining to even decide the National Champion.
Hold on to the edge of your seat, buckle up, and throw those brackets in the trash, because anything is possible in March Madness on the road t