Upsets, underdogs and surprises

This year’s March Madness challenges bracket predictions

Now that March has come and passed, the start of April means the end to March Madness. The nation-wide college basketball tournament seems to be the talk of many students and faculty around the school. Some teachers had classroom bracket competitions, and some students competed amongst their friends and family. All is said and done – this year’s March Madness was full of underdog surprises and frustrating upsets.

Since March Madness consists of the best college basketball teams around the country, people from almost every state participate in the creation of brackets. However, this year, with numerous upsets, NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association) released that there was not a single perfect bracket created. A few teams, for example, were expected to win but didn’t ended making to the later rounds: Duke, Villanova, Kansas, Louisville and Arizona. These teams happened to be the higher seed between their opponents but didn’t seem to pull through.

Sophomore Linnea Graham said, “I chose Duke to win because they won a couple years ago and it worked out for me then but this year not so much.”

Graham and her family participate in a family competition every year. Last year, Graham ended up winning it for her family, but this year her chosen champion, Duke, lost in the second round, costing her major points.

Another student affected by the major upsets this year was junior Anna Johanson. “I picked Villanova to beat UNC in the championship because they won last year, but I regret it since they ended up losing in the second round this year,” said Johanson. Villanova was a popular champion on many people’s brackets since they were a number one seed, but with them losing in the second round to Wisconsin, many brackets like Johansson’s suffered the consequences.

Despite the upsets and destroyed brackets, there were some who came out on top. The end results of the tournament ended up with University of North Carolina versus Washington’s own Gonzaga University in the championship. The game was close, continuously back and forth and at various times it looked like Gonzaga was going to pull through with over ten point leads. In the end though, North Carolina squeezed by beating Gonzaga 71-65. Not many in Lake Stevens predicted North Carolina to win due to Gonzaga being in their home state, but some went against their state pride and chose correctly.

“I chose North Carolina to win it all because they were a number one seed and their competition seemed easy for them given that they are a really good team,” said sophomore Sydney Bumstead. Bumstead is a Lake basketball player herself, playing for junior varsity this past season. Maybe it was her basketball knowledge or pure luck, but Bumstead was able to  predict UNC as the March Madness champion.

This year’s March Madness was full of pleasant and some not so pleasant surprises that brought a competitive intensity to brackets. Although some underdog teams upset many higher ranked teams, it was still an exciting year to watch men’s college basketball. Congratulations to those LSHS students who won their brackets and to those who didn’t, better luck for next year!

After a long and intense game, North Carolina pulls through beating Gonzaga 71-65 in the championship.