NCAA March Madness 2021 wraps up


Fans begin packing up and leaving Indianapolis on Tuesday, April 6, 2021, after the completion of the NCAA March Madness tournament. Photo courtesy of TNS

Joshua Aldeus, Writer

On March 19, 2021, the NCAA held the March Madness tournament. March Madness is one of the biggest sports events in America. It is a college basketball tournament that has been held every March since the 1930s, with the first winners being the Oregon Ducks. 

March Madness has seven single-elimination rounds, and each round is played in one game, making the stakes even higher. Teams with a higher ranking in the standings have a chance to get eliminated early, leading to fans’ brackets being busted early.

Every March Madness, fans decide to make brackets predicting who they think will win each round, but the odds of predicting a perfect bracket is not in the favor of the fans. In fact, the odds of having a perfect bracket are 1 in 9,223,372,036,854,775,808. Given this statistic, this year’s tournament was filled with many upsets.

One of the first upsets came from the first round when the 2019 national champions, the Virginia Cavaliers, who were ranked fourth in their conference, lost to the 13th seed Ohio Bobcats. Virginia also became the first defending team to lose in the first round since UConn in 2012.

14th seed Abilene Christan managed to pull off an upset over third seed Texas, who were heavily favored to make the Final Four. North Texas also pulled off an upset were the 14th seed beat the third seed.

15th seed Oral Roberts was a huge underdog that shocked everyone after beating the second seed Ohio State and seventh seed Florida. 

Loyola Chicago, who was known for many major upsets in the 2018 tournament, where they reached the Final Four, upset the first seed Illinois Fighting Illini in this year’s tournament.

Oregon State upset Tennessee and Oklahoma State, the fifth and fourth seed. Syracuse also went on a two-game upset streak, beating third seed West Virginia and sixth seed San Diego State. 

UCLA stood out in this tournament as well. Even though they qualified for the tournament via a play-in bracket where leftover teams have a chance to enter March Madness, they made it to the Final Four. In their loss against undefeated Gonzaga, they were one buzzer-beater away from a trip to the national championship. 

On April 5, 2021, The National Championship game was headlined by the No. 1 Baylor Bears and No.1 Gonzaga Bulldogs, who hoped to finish their undefeated season with a championship.

Baylor shut down Gonzaga’s perfect season with a win in the National Championship with the score being 86-70. After the victory, Baylor celebrated their first national championship in the school’s history.