March Madness 2021

Vincent Cavaniola, Writer

April 6, 2021: March Madness most certainly lived up to its name this season. There were so many upsets, most games came down to the wire, and not one bracket out of the 14.7 million that were submitted was perfect, which is shocking.

On April 5, 2021, 1 seed Baylor University took down 1 seed Gonzaga University and spoiled their perfect 31-win season. The final score was 86-70. Baylor guard Jared Butler won the award for the Final Four’s most outstanding player; he dropped 17 points in the Final Four game against Houston and 22 points in the championship against Gonzaga. Prior to this, in the Final Four, Baylor faced the 2 seed Houston Cougars and Gonzaga defeated the 11 seed UCLA Bruins in a nail biter. In overtime, Bulldogs guard Jalen Suggs hit a game winning halfcourt shot to send UCLA home.  

Some other shocking upsets that occurred this past month include: 2 seed Ohio State losing to 15 seed Oral Roberts; 15 seed Oral Roberts getting the win against 7 seed Florida; 8 seed Loyola Chicago defeating 1 seed Illinois; 14 seed Abilene Christian beating 3 seed Texas University; 11 seed Syracuse taking down 3 seed West Virginia; 13 seed Ohio sending 4 seed Virginia home; 12 seed Oregon State defeating both 5 seed Tennessee and 4 seed Oklahoma State; and, lastly, 13 seed North Texas winning against 4 seed Purdue. The most shocking upset that has happened so far, in my opinion, is Loyola beating Illinois, as Illinois was picked to win it all by many people across the country because they had a historic winning season. 

 

Some of the players that participated in March Madness are preparing to declare for the 2021 NBA Draft, which takes place July 29, 2021. The top three players in this draft, according to college basketball analysts, are Oklahoma State G Cade Cunnigham, USC C Evan Mobley, and Gonzaga G Jalen Suggs. In my opinion, this draft class isn’t as good as it has been in recent years. For example, PG Ja Morant (Memphis Grizzlies), PF Zion Williamson (New Orleans Pelicans), PG Luka Doncic (Dallas Mavericks), and PG Lamelo Ball (Charlotte Hornets) are superstars in the making I think. Hopefully I can be proved wrong and these players shine as rookies in the NBA next season.