March Madness

By Nate Collins

Once again the great March Madness NCAA Men`s Basketball Tournament has come and gone,
and this year, more so than previous years, upsets and shockers were apparent throughout the
tournament. All in all, there were really 4 stories that stood out.

First things first, Florida Gulf Coast. “Dunk City” was one of the true shockers of the tourney,
having to win a game just to get in the tournament. After earning their first tournament bid in
their history, they made the most of it by throwing sick alley-oops and playing a fast paced
offense which led them to a Sweet 16 appearance as a 15 seed. Even though their demise came in
the Sweet 16, many people will remember FGCU University.

Second, the “shocker” streak that the number 9 seed Wichita State Shockers had. The Shockers,
who were not even supposed to win their first game, did that and much more, making it to the
Final Four. Greg Marshall, Wichita State`s head coach, had nothing but praise to his basketball
team after losing a heartbreaker to eventual champion Louisville in the Final Four saying, “I
could not be prouder of these boys, they worked their tails off and we knew we had a chance to
win this game, but Louisville just made the plays at the end of the game that we didn’t.” Nobody
expected the Shockers to go as far as they did, but as the old saying goes, games are not played
on paper.

Third, the “Young Gun” La Salle Explorers really did “ shock the world” by advancing to
the Sweet 16 as a under the radar 13 seed. To win their games, they simply did a single task,
something simple called putting the ball in the basket. A lot. After putting the ball in the basket
more than favored Boise State University did in the play in game, they faced the predominant
power Kansas State. They absolutely put a shellacking on them, dominating all phases of the
game. Unfortunately for the Explorers, after beating Marshall Henderson and the Ole Miss
Rebels, they fell to their ultimate demise against Final Four bound Wichita State.

And the last big headline of the tournament can be found in Ann Arbor, as the hometown
favorite Michigan Wolverines made play after play throughout the tournament, making it all
the way to the National Championship game against the number 1 seed overall, the Louisville
Cardinals. After coming from behind to beat Kansas University in the Sweet 16, the Wolverines
blew out the Florida Gators 79-59 in the Elite Eight to advance to the Final Four where they
would face and pick apart the daunting 2-3 zone of the Syracuse Orange to claim a spot in the
national Championship game, their first since 1989.

After surprising the world and making it to the Championship as a 4 seed, the Wolverines knew
that they were going to have their hands full against the Cardinals. After taking an early lead,
led by All American AP Player of the Year Trey Burke, the Wolverines lost momentum as
Shane Behanon of the Cardinals buried 4 three pointers in the span of 4 minutes to bring the
Cardinals to within 1 at halftime, after trailing by 13. The second half was tight throughout,
as the teams traded baskets. But, in the end, turnovers, and some poor shot selection at key
moments, ultimately led to the Wolverines demise. Calvin Dado, an extreme Michigan fan,
thought that the Wolverines should have converted when they had the chance, “They played
good, but championship teams make plays to win when necessary, and they just didn’t. But I am
still very proud of them for making it to the national championship.”

March Madness has filled our thirst for drama in college basketball. Providing us with upsets,
thrillers, mind blowing plays, and game winners. So long college basketball.

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