The Baylor Bears faced off against the Gonzaga Bulldogs in the Championship game. But before I talk about the title game, let’s look back at the Final Four games. In the Final Four the 2 seed Houston Cougars played 1 seed Baylor. Baylor crushed Houston. The final score was 78 to 59. In the other Final Four game the 11 seed UCLA Bruins took on number 1 overall seed Gonzaga. The Bruins were huge underdogs, and they played a great game. The game went into Overtime! Gonzaga was up 90 to 88 near the end of Overtime, but then UCLA got a layup to tie the game with 3.3 seconds left. It looked like the game was going into double Overtime. Gonzaga inbounded the ball to freshman Jalen Suggs, and he banked in a half court buzzer beater to win the game 93 to 90! It was unbelievable! I have watched a lot of basketball games, and this was definitely one of the best basketball games I have ever watched. I felt bad for the UCLA team and fans because of how the game ended. But this UCLA team exceeded all expectations. They went from the First Four to the Final Four, and almost became the first 11 seed ever to make it to the Championship game.
The Championship game between Baylor and Gonzaga was a great matchup. Both of these teams had a very high scoring offense. Gonzaga was still undefeated, and both teams were looking to win their first Championship. Before this game the only title game appearance for Gonzaga was in 2017, and Baylor’s only appearance was in 1948. In this game Baylor jumped out to a 9-0 lead and never looked back. Gonzaga never had the lead in the game. They just could not come back. Baylor ruined Gonzaga’s perfect season in a dominant 86-70 win. The difference was the defense of the Bears. I actually predicted that Baylor would win this game because they had a fantastic offense and defense. But I thought that it would be a really close game. I wanted Baylor to beat Gonzaga because they were the underdogs. So even though it was not a close game it was still fun to watch. Overall this March Madness Tournament was pretty crazy.
And then there were four. The Final Four is here and the matchups are definitely interesting. The teams remaining are the Baylor Bears, the Houston Cougars, the Gonzaga Bulldogs, and the UCLA Bruins.
The number 1 overall seed Gonzaga has been cruising past their opponents. In the Sweet 16 they beat 5 seed Creighton 83 to 65. Then in the Elite 8 they defeated 6 seed USC 85 to 66. Gonzaga made it to the Final Four in the 2017 tournament, and now they are back in it again.
Baylor has been taking care of business as well. In the Sweet 16 they beat 5 seed Villanova 62 to 51. In the Elite 8 they beat 3 seed Arkansas 81 to 72. This is Baylor’s first Final Four appearance since 1950.
The next Final Four team is Houston. In the Sweet 16 they took down 11 seed Syracuse 62 to 46. Then in the Elite 8 they defeated 12 seed Oregon State 67 to 61. This is Houston’s first Final Four appearance since 1984.
Then there is this year’s Cinderella team, the 11 seed UCLA Bruins. They have had an incredible run from the First Four to the Final Four. In the Sweet 16 they played Alabama in an amazing game. Alabama made a crazy buzzer beating 3 pointer to send the game into Overtime. But UCLA upset 2 seed Alabama by winning 88 to 78. In the Elite 8 UCLA had another stunning upset, as they beat 1 seed Michigan 51 to 49. No 11 seed has ever advanced to the Championship game. The lowest seed to make it to the Championship game is an 8 seed. UCLA is only the fifth 11 seed team to ever make it to the Final Four. This is the Bruins first Final Four appearance since 2008, and it is their 19th Final Four appearance. UCLA is the only team in this year’s Final Four who has actually won a title, and they have won it 11 times.
With a Championship game berth on the line 11 seed UCLA will be taking on 1 seed Gonzaga. Gonzaga has been playing outstanding offense and defense. It will be interesting to see how UCLA plays against them. The other game in the Final Four is 2 seed Houston against 1 seed Baylor. Houston is one of the best defensive teams in the country. Baylor also has a great defense, and they have a fantastic offense. These Final Four matchups are really intriguing.
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.