March MADness Recap


Calvin Chmura, Public Relations and Promotions Manager

The NCAA Tournament came to a close this weekend in Indianapolis; on Monday the Duke University Blue Devils defeated the Wisconsin Badgers. But before last night, “March Madness” had some crazy moments, including upsets like the Badgers defeating the then undefeated Kentucky Wildcats. All four regions in the Tourney this year were filled with excitement. Here are some of the best moments.

In the round of 64 on the second day of March Madness, Iowa State, who many picked as a favorite to win the whole tournament, lost to 14 seeded University of Alabama Birmingham 60-59. As the 3 seed, the Cyclones were down three with only a few seconds left but missed the three pointer and only were able to get a tip in which was not enough to defeat the Blazers. Later that day, another 14 seed Georgia State defeated Baylor on a last second three pointer made by R.J. Hunter with 2.7 seconds left on the clock. The Panthers won 57-56. 6 seed Southern Methodist University also fell on March 19th to UCLA 60-59 after a late goaltending call propelled the Bruins to a win. Ohio State was also able to defeat Virginia Commonwealth University in overtime 75-72. On the fourth day of the NCAA Tournament, there was only one true upset, where Dayton, the 11 seed defeated Providence 66-53.

In the round of 32 North Carolina State stunned the top seeded Villanova in East Region 71-68. Ralston Turner hit the two free throws that put the Wolfpack and NCAA championship hopes out of reach for the Villanova Wildcats. In the same region, the 2 seeded Virginia Cavaliers were slain by the 7 seeded Michigan State Spartans 60-54. The Spartans, led by Travis Trice, had an amazing day with 23 points, while the Cavaliers could not make a basket, shooting on 26% in the first half and just couldn’t recover.

Kentucky continued to roll through the Midwest region until they played Notre Dame, where the Irish almost pulled out the win while leading for most of the second half but the Wildcats found a way to come out on top 68-66. Kentucky eventually went on to lose in the first Final Four game to Wisconsin 71-64. Michigan State upset Oklahoma in the Elite 8 62-58, but lost to Duke by twenty points 81-61 in their Final Four game and the Blue Devils moved on to the championship.

The championship game was very exciting, but the Blue Devils pulled out the championship win. The real stars of the game included the freshman for Duke, who accounted for 60 of the Blue Devils’ 68 points. Tyus Jones, Grayson Allen, Jahlil Okafor and many others shined for the Blue Devils as they defeated the Badgers 68-63. The Badgers, the favorite to win, had many opportunities to close the gap between the two teams but could not recover as Tyus Jones hit many clutch shots towards the end of the game; Jones finished with 23 points and the Most Outstanding Player Award. Senior forward Frank Kaminsky, also named National Player of the Year, shined for the Badgers with 21 points and 12 rebounds. But Kaminsky’s efforts were not enough as the Blue Devils were crowned NCAA champions.

The championship has capped off an amazing career for Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski with his fifth NCAA title and well over one thousand wins. Duke has a very young team with mostly freshmen on the team, but many are unsure if most of the team will decide to stay on the team or take their chances in the NBA Draft, which is very common for players in this era. If most of the freshmen stay, they have an opportunity for a dynasty for the next couple of years, but if they decide to leave, look for yet another group of freshmen to take their place and make a run for the title.