It’s March, and you know what that means. Madness. This year’s NCAA Men’s Tournament has been really crazy. There are always upsets that happen during March Madness, but this year has been one of the most shocking tournaments in recent history. Out of around 15 million brackets created, none of them were perfect after the first round of the tournament.
The field for the Sweet 16 is set, and these were all of the major upsets that have led up to the Sweet 16. 12 seed Oregon St. upset 5 seed Tennessee, 9 seed Wisconsin upset 8 seed North Carolina, 13 seed North Texas upset 4 seed Purdue in Overtime, 11 seed Syracuse upset 6 seed San Diego St., 13 seed Ohio upset 4 seed Virginia, 11 seed UCLA upset 6 seed BYU, 14 seed Abilene Christian shocked 3 seed Texas, Syracuse had another upset against 3 seed West Virginia, Oregon St. also had a second upset vs. 4 seed Oklahoma St., 7 seed Oregon upset 2 seed Iowa, and 6 seed USC upset 3 seed Kansas. In addition to those upsets, the most stunning team was 15 seed Oral Roberts. They beat the number 2 seed Ohio State in Overtime, and then knocked off the number 7 seed Florida. Oral Roberts is only the second 15 seed team in tournament history to make it to the Sweet 16. Another unbelievable game was 8 seed Loyola Chicago upsetting the number 1 seed Illinois. All of these games took place in the first two rounds alone.
The Sweet 16 matchups are 12 seed Oregon St. vs 8 seed Loyola Chicago, 5 seed Villanova vs 1 seed Baylor, 15 seed Oral Roberts vs 3 seed Arkansas, 11 seed Syracuse vs 2 seed Houston, 5 seed Creighton vs 1 seed Gonzaga, 4 seed Florida St. vs 1 seed Michigan, 11 seed UCLA vs 2 seed Alabama, and 7 seed Oregon vs 6 seed USC. There are definitely going to be some great games during this Sweet 16. This is the first time in tournament history that 4 teams seeded 11th or lower are in the Sweet 16. No one can predict what will happen in the tournament. It is truly March Madness.
In the 2015 NFL season Cam Newton was playing great. He won the NFL Most Valuable Player award (MVP), and NFL Offensive Player of the Year award (OPOTY). The Carolina Panthers had a record of 15-1 in the regular season, and Cam Newton led them to the Super Bowl. But they were defeated by the Denver Broncos in the Super Bowl. Since then Newton has not really been the same. He has been an average quarterback since the 2015 NFL season.
In the 2016 and 2017 NFL seasons Cam did not play well. Those were the worst two seasons of his career. In the 2018 NFL season he played alright, but still not great. In the 2019 NFL season Newton got injured, and he only played in two games that season. During the off-season the Carolina Panthers released Newton.
After Cam was released by the Panthers he signed a one year deal with the New England Patriots. Newton did not have a good year during the 2020 NFL season with the Patriots. He only had eight passing touchdowns. He did have twelve rushing touchdowns though. But he also had ten interceptions. Many people did not think that the Patriots would re-sign Newton because of his poor play this past season. Another reason people did not think that New England would re-sign Cam was because he had only signed a one year contract previously, and the Patriots could draft a new quarterback. So it was pretty shocking when the Patriots re-signed Newton to a one year deal worth up to 13.6 million dollars. This was very big news throughout the NFL. I think that most people were surprised by this, I definitely was. It will be interesting to see how Cam Newton plays this upcoming season.
After spending his entire career with the Houston Texans (10 seasons), NFL superstar J.J. Watt requested to be released from the team. The Texans agreed and parted ways with him. J.J. Watt is one of the greatest NFL players of all time. There was a lot of talk about which team he would eventually sign with this offseason. A lot of teams showed interest in signing Watt. Some of those teams were the Green Bay Packers, the Pittsburg Steelers, the Cleveland Browns, the Buffalo Bills, and the Tennessee Titans. These five teams were the most likely to sign Watt, and all five of these teams made the playoffs this past season. J.J. could fit in with all of these teams. But the Packers and the Steelers would have been a more personal fit for Watt. Watt was born in Wisconsin, grew up as a Packers fan, and he played for the Wisconsin Badgers. So it would have been really cool to see J.J. play for the Packers. If Watt decided to sign with the Steelers he would be playing alongside both of his brothers, Derek and T.J.. Three brothers together on one team would be pretty special.
But J.J. Watt shocked the sports world by signing with the Arizona Cardinals. He signed a two-year contract worth 28 million dollars, and 23 million of it is guaranteed. The Cardinals were not even a team that was mentioned for signing Watt. It is definitely an interesting choice for Watt though. Arizona’s defense was ranked 13th out of 32 teams this past season, which is not bad. They have a great offense that was ranked 6th in the NFL, and Kyler Murray is a really good young quarterback for them. Also J.J. has now been reunited with star wide receiver and former Texans player DeAndre Hopkins. Arizona had an 8-8 record last season, and I think they will have a better record this upcoming season. I believe that they can make the playoffs this season. J.J. Watt will help improve this team, and it will be fun to watch him play for the Cardinals this year.