March Madness Update


NCAA Photos via Getty Images

Photo by Scott Taetsch/NCAA Photos via Getty Images

Brady Hopkins, Reporter/Photographer

National Championship

In the National Championship game, the Kansas Jayhawks made a historic comeback to defeat the North Carolina Tar Heels, 72-69 in an absolute thriller. 

In the first half, it was all North Carolina. The Tar Heels got off to an amazing start and were up by 15 points at halftime. However, Kansas came out of halftime looking like a completely different team. Quickly, Kansas made it a competitive game and the two teams were neck and neck throughout the second half. 

The game came down to the last possession. North Carolina guard Caleb Love, missed what would have been a game-tying 3 point shot as time expired, which disappointed junior Davis Pruden. 

“I’m not a North Carolina fan, but I was rooting for them in that game,” said Pruden. “I was really hoping that they would win, because they were an underdog, and an exciting team to watch in the tournament,” 

The Jayhawks’ 16-point comeback set a new record for the largest comeback in a national championship game. The win gave Kansas their 4th NCAA tournament championship, and first one since 2008. 

“I almost thought the game was over, North Carolina had played so well in the first half that I didn’t think Kansas would be able to come back,” junior Maleke Huntington said. 

Final Four

In the first game of the Final Four, Kansas defeated Villanova with a score of 81-65. Kansas was led by David McCormack and Ochai Agbaji, who both had combined scores of 46 points in the win over Villanova. 

The second game featured North Carolina and Duke. Love led North Carolina to a 81-77 win over arch-rival Duke, in what was a very exciting game. Some students thought that the game was an amazing thing to witness.

“That game may have been one of the best college basketball games I have ever watched, it was entertaining from start to finish,” sophomore Konnor Nelson said.

The historic game was the final game of Duke’s Hall of Fame head coach, Mike Krzyzewski. At the beginning of the season, Krzyzewski announced that he would be retiring after this season. In his time at Duke he had a record of 1,202-368, led Duke to 15 ACC Championships and five National Championships. 

“It’s sad to see such a good coach like him go, he has been at Duke for so long, I think it will be weird to see anyone else as the head coach,” Huntington said.

The National Championship teams are set. North Carolina and Kansas will compete for the title April 4 at 9:20 PM. Both teams are well-known programs in college basketball. The game will be the seventh meeting between North Carolina and Kansas in the NCAA tournament. Kansas has won four of the previous six meetings against the Tar Heels. 

Elite Eight – April 1

The Elite Eight round, unlike any other round, featured no upsets, as all of the higher seeded teams advanced to the Final Four.

The Elite Eight saw the end of a record breaking tournament for the Saint Peter’s Peacocks. They were defeated by No. 8-seed North Carolina 69-49. 

With the Elite Eight over, the next round is the Final Four, which will feature some of the biggest college basketball schools in the country. Kansas, Villanova, North Carolina, and Duke  will battle for the two spots in the National Championship. Villanova and Kansas will face off first at 6:09 PM on April 2, followed by North Carolina and Duke at 8:49 PM. 

North Carolina and Duke are bitter rivals, but they have never played each other in the NCAA tournament until now. It will surely be an entertaining game, as these two great teams compete on one of the biggest stages in college basketball.

 Duke head coach, Mike Krzyzewski, is looking to win his 6th National Championship in what is his final season, and beating North Carolina along the way would surely make it even better. 

Sweet Sixteen – March 29

In a round that two No.1-seeds were eliminated from the tournament, that still wasn’t the biggest storyline. Saint Peter’s continued their miraculous run in the Sweet Sixteen by defeating Purdue and became the first ever 15-seed to make it to the Elite Eight. 

Arizona was the third No. 1-seed eliminated after their loss to No. 5-seed Houston, leaving just Kansas as the only 1-seed left in the tournament. The large number of upsets means that there is a very good chance that there will not be a 1-seed in the Final Four. 

No. 8-seed North Carolina is another team that is on a great run. They are a team that is consistently good, but during the regular season, they didn’t play up to their usual expectations. North Carolina seems to be putting it all together at the right time, and have won their first three tournament games against No. 9-seed Marquette, No. 1-seed Baylor, and No. 4-seed UCLA.