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Follow this link to purchase tickets for Green Hope Athletic events
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Follow this link to purchase tickets for Green Hope Athletic events

March Madness round of 64 recap

Kentucky+and+Kansas+met+up+in+the+2nd%0Around+of+last+years+tournament.+Kansas+was+triumphant+over+Kentucky+with+a+score+of+89-84.
Mason Cline
Kentucky and Kansas met up in the 2nd round of last year’s tournament. Kansas was triumphant over Kentucky with a score of 89-84.

Lebron James, Stephen Curry and Giannis Antetokounmpo are household names that frequently come up in discussions about basketball, but for a short time each year, between the months of March and April, the public eye shifts to the collegiate stage for the NCAA D1 basketball tournament. 

March Madness origins

The NCAA tournament originally began in 1939 with only eight teams competing. The number of teams that competed doubled three times over the years bringing the total number of teams to 64. The bracket used today follows this format. 

The tournament added play-in games in 2001. Play-in games are games for the last 4 spots in the NCAA tournament. The games consist of the winners in the four lowest conferences and the four that get put in by the NCAA selection committee. The play-in games for this year’s tournament happened on March 19 and the winners of those games were Colorado University, Grambling, Wagner and Colorado State. Grambling and Wagner received 16th seeds – the lowest ranking – from their play-in games while Colorado University and Colorado State received 10th seeds.

The conference champions in 32 conferences are automatically entered into the tournament and the NCAA committee decides on the remaining teams. 

A low-ranked team, or an underdog, sometimes will make it far in the tournament. This is called a Cinderella story and some Cinderellas could surface this year. NC State maintained an exciting five-game winning streak in the ACC tournament to make it into the NCAA tournament. 

First-round previews 

The play-in games and one day of the round of 64 have already happened so now 48 teams are left. The biggest upsets so far were Kentucky- a 3 seed – getting upset by 14th seed Oakland, winning their second ever March Madness game, and NC State – an 11th seed – keeping their winning streak alive upsetting Texas tech University – a 6 seed-. Both of these teams are promising candidates for Cinderella stories, but NC State and Oakland will meet up in the next round so only one will move into the sweet 16.  An upset is when a higher-ranked team loses to a lower-ranked team. Most low ranked teams don’t have Cinderella stories though because the higher-ranked teams are often the ones to watch and this year seems no different.

The number 1 seed overall and reigning champs, The University of Connecticut (UConn), are expected to make a big run. The other 1 seeds in the tournament, UNC, Houston and Purdue, are also contenders for the championship. 

While these teams are performing well some teams that are historically successful in the NCAA tournament are underperforming this year. UCLA has the most championship titles out of any college but is not playing in the NCAA tournament this year. UVA is similarly high performing but lost in a play-in game and also will not take part in the round of 64. 

Nonetheless, this year seems very promising and has many strong teams to be on the lookout for, and viewers will be very interested to see who takes home the title of NCAA championship. 

Authors’ picks

My picks for the final four include UConn, UNC, the University of Kentucky and Tennessee, though my picks are obviously not reliable as my tournament champion was eliminated in the first round. 

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About the Contributor
Mason Cline, Staff Writer
Mason is currently a junior at Green Hope High School and this is his first year on staff. He plays for the school’s varsity football team and hopes to study business at either NC State or UNC Wilmington. He spends his free time eating “good food”, especially sushi. As the youngest in a big family, Mason claims it was hard for him to figure out what he wanted to do. However, with a few English classes and a new found love for writing, joining the GH Falcon became an interest he could call his own. Nine times out of ten, if you ask Mason what he’s listening to, it’ll probably be a Travis Scott song.
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