After a hiatus taken due to COVID-19 last year, March Madness returned in full form this year to the delight of fans across the nation. Over the course of the tournament, we bore witness to many amazing games, crazy plays, and insane shots. In the final game of the men’s tournament, Baylor upset Gonzaga by a score of 86-70 to take home the championship, ending what would have otherwise been a perfect season for the Zags. As for the women’s bracket, Stanford edged out a 54-53 win over Arizona in a thrilling game that went down to the end.
We were also treated to a variety of stunning upsets throughout the course of the tournament. Oral Roberts, a small school in Tulsa, Oklahoma, stunned the basketball world during the tournament, upsetting heavily favored Ohio State in the first round and Florida in the second before a narrow loss to Arkansas in the Round of 16. Loyola Chicago pulled off another crazy upset, beating a number 1 seeded Illinois in the second round, as well as Abilene Christian, who upset Texas in the first round. The women’s tournament also had it’s fair share of upsets, with Wright St. upsetting Arkansas and Belmont upsetting Gonzaga in the first round.
There was no shortage of crazy games and moments in both tournaments. In the final four of the men’s bracket, Gonzaga and UCLA played a tight, thrilling game, ending on a miraculous, buzzer-beating shot by Jalen Suggs of Gonzaga in overtime to send the Zags to the final game and end an unlikely run by the eleventh seed Bruins. In the championship game of the women’s tournament, Arizona nearly completed a comeback lead by star player Aari McDonald in a nail-biter that went down to the last second, but ultimately didn’t make the game winning shot, giving Stanford the victory.
Overall, this tournament had no shortage of memorable moments, and should be remembered for years to come as the tournament that was able to thrive despite all of its roadblocks.
Graphic: Sunny Rhew