March Madness 2021 is Exactly That and More


March Madness is the nickname of the (usually) annual NCAA basketball tournament.

To begin March Madness 2021, six of the sixteen teams that advanced were the lower seed, four of those six teams being seeded eleven or lower. While not being the most unlikely start to a March Madness, this one is not far from it.


Two seeded Ohio State entered the tournament looking to easily brush pass their round one competition. However, fifteen seeded Oral Roberts had other plans. Oral Roberts defeated Ohio State in a 75-72 thriller that came down to multiple game-typing attempts from Ohio State in the final seconds. 


Oral Roberts then went on to beat seven seeded Florida in another close game, with Roberts winning 81-78. This win marked only the second time in the history of the NCAA Tournament that a fifteen seed has advanced to the sweet sixteen, and the second time in Oral Roberts school history where the school has made it to the Sweet Sixteen.


One of the other teams seeded eleven or lower that one on day one of the tournament was Syracuse. The Orange entered the tournament off of a thrilling loss to Virginia in the ACC tournament. But that did not stop Syracuse and star player Buddy Boeheim from beating San Diego state 78-62 off of Boeheim’s thirty points.


Syracuse didn’t stop there either, going on to defeat three seeded West Virginia 75-72, in a game that was down to wire. Boeheim was once again the Orangee’s driving force, dropping 22 points in the second half to help Syracuse to it’s 24th sweet sixteen in school history.


The other “low-seeded” teams (seeds 9-16) that made it out of the round of 64 were Wisconsin, Oregon State, North Texas, Rutgers, Abil Christain, UCLA, Maryland, and Ohio. Of those teams, UCLA, and Oregon State were the only other teams to advance to the sweet sixteen, however that was not the last of the upsets.


2018’s cinderella team, Loyola-Chicago, knocked out the one seeded Illinois Illini as an eight seed, six seed USC trampled three seed Kansas 85-51, Oregon beat Iowa and top-5 collegiate player Luka Garza, and the 2021’s projected number one pick Cade Cunningham, and his four seeded Oklahoma State Cowboys lost to 12 seed Oregon State.


As upset-ridden as this year’s tournament has been, three one seeds still remain, one of them being Gonzaga, who opened the tournament as the favorite and has remained so through their two wins of the tournament. The zags face five seeded Creighton on March 28 which is shaping up to be their first big test of the tournament. 


March Madness 2021 is ridiculous so far, with fifteen seeds in the sweet sixteen, only two two seeds left, and one seeds losing to eight seeds. Zero perfect brackets remain in ESPN’s Tournament Challenge, where fans and analysts alike can predict every matchup of the tournament. Out of the millions of brackets created, none of them are perfect. With 15 matchups remaining before a final team cuts down the net on April 5th, anything can happen.