Top teams eliminated during March Madness

Bronson+Koenig+%28%2324%29+dribbles+past+two+Villanova+defenders.

Bronson Koenig (#24) dribbles past two Villanova defenders.

     Last weekend, millions of brackets were busted. Villanova and Duke, two elite basketball programs who both were virtual locks to make the Elite Eight or even the Final Four, were both eliminated in the second round. Villanova, who was a top seed, was eliminated by Wisconsin, who was given an eight-seed, although the popular opinion was that Wisconsin was underseeded. It was still a shocking upset, because although Wisconsin may have deserved a higher seed, Villanova was the defending national champion and they were viewed as being the best team in the tournament.

 

     Duke wasn’t a perfect team, and they never lived up to the potential of having a lineup full of top returning players like Luke Kennard and Grayson Allen, and top recruits out of high school like Jayson Tatum and Harry Giles. Nevertheless, they were given a 2-seed based on the school’s history, and they ran into South Carolina, whose win against Marquette was the school’s first in over 40 years. Lots of people thought Duke would win easily. They were wrong. South Carolina won the game 88-81, and started a narrative that the ACC (Atlantic Coast Conference, which is Duke’s conference) was overrated this year.

 

     Popular “Cinderella” teams were eliminated over the weekend as well, like Middle Tennessee and Wichita State. Wichita State played Kentucky, and they lost in the final seconds after their last second shot was blocked.
     After all the craziness last weekend, the Sweet 16 have been set. Gonzaga, West Virginia, Arizona, Xavier, Wisconsin, Florida, South Carolina, Baylor, North Carolina, Kansas, Purdue, Michigan, Oregon, Butler, Kentucky, and UCLA. Who will be crowned new national champion?