Shepherdstown, W.Va., – 2021 is already a crazy year to date and NCAA Men’s March Madness just added to it. With upset after upset, mostly everybody’s brackets were ruined within the first few games. This year’s Cinderella story team Oral Roberts University to the first national championship in program history for Baylor University, there were storylines everywhere.
The madness started in the first round with upsets such as 15 seed Oral Roberts University over two seed Ohio State University followed by, 14 seed Abilene Christian University over three seed University of Texas, eleven seed UCLA over six seed BYU, and 12 seed Oregon State over five seed University of Tennessee.
With UCLA and Oregon State both making it to the Elite Eight as double-digit seeds, there were some other bracket-busters like 13 seed Ohio University over four seed University of Virginia, 13 seed North Texas University over four seed Purdue, and eleven seed Syracuse University over six seed San Diego State University.
UCLA making it all the way to the Final Four was historic on its own as they almost took down Gonzaga losing 90-93 but one player from UCLA significantly improved his draft stock, Johnny Juzang had some elite performances that will at least make him an early second round pick.
The madness also benefited some teams such as two seed Houston, who made it all the way to the Final Four only to end up losing to the eventual champions, Baylor University.
Houston had enough fortune to play all double-digit seeds throughout the whole tournament. Starting with 15 seed Cleveland State University in the round of 64, then ten seed Rutgers University, followed by eleven seed Syracuse, and lastly twelve seed Oregon State.
Looking to complete the perfect season undefeated one seed Gonzaga University was the favorite to win this year’s tournament. Making it all the way to the Final Four, Gonzaga was close to perfection but ran into another one seed in Baylor who ended up cruising to an easy 86-70 win in the national championship.
According to ESPN, it was the first time since 2005 (North Carolina and Illinois) that two one seeds faced off in the championship. Baylor was also the fifth school in history to win by 15 points in both of their Final Four games.
All in all, this tournament was exciting to watch and proved to be a success despite dealing with Covid-19 pandemic. With the tournament being cancelled last year people finally were able to enjoy a full year of college basketball.