Bracket Busting Season Ends as Virginia wins National Title

After an exciting March and April, the NCAA college basketball tournament, also known as March Madness, has finally come to a close. After top seeds  Duke, North Carolina, Virginia, and Gonzaga dominated the first two rounds of the tournament, March Madness lived up to its name when Auburn destroyed the top seed in the Midwest region, Purdue, and the second most picked national champion North Carolina by a score of 97-80.

In the Regional Championships, also known as the Elite 8, even more madness ensued in the form of upsets. First, Texas Tech had a strong defensive performance that resulted in number one seed Gonzaga’s elimination and according to ESPN, causing 8.9 percent of America’s championship pick to be incorrect. The following day, even more participants had their bracket fall when number one seed and popular pick Duke was knocked out by Michigan State with a close score of 63-62.  A whopping 36.1 percent of America had Duke winning the title and 53.6 percent of America had them reaching the title game, according to ESPN.

These upsets caused only one number one seed to make the final four, that being Virginia. This broke the four year streak of multiple number one seeds making the final four, which were the years from 2015 to 2018.

During the championship game between Virginia and Texas Tech, Virginia was crowned champion after they had a 85-77 victory over the Texas Tech Red Raiders. Although Virginia was the fourth most popular pick according to ESPN, they were only picked by 8.4 percent of the nation to be national champions, lowest of any top seed.  

The results of these matchups have impacted Westside Students brackets. Freshman Avery Dondlinger created one of the more successful brackets.

“[My bracket] went pretty good,” Dondlinger said. “I had [correctly picked] two final four teams which was the best of any of my brackets, usually I pick teams by the way the teams have played the whole year and their strength of schedule. Now that I think about it, this is probably the best I have ever done because I usually don’t do extremely well like this.”

Freshman Stella Minge’s bracket did not do as well as Dondlinger’s.

“My bracket fell apart in the second round when KU lost,” Minge said. “I also had Duke winning and they just lost so, not too good. This year I just wanted Duke to win because of Zion and all that and the three freshman [on Duke’s team] I just wanted them to win one before they go to the NBA.”