March Madness–-The Final Four is Set


Courtesy of bp6316 via wiki commons

March Madness basketball game with a crowded room full of excitement.

Journey Tucker, Staff Writer


Madness has taken this month into full effect; with upsets, records, and surprises. As March ends, the final four for NCAA Basketball have been set. Both the Women’s and Men’s NCAA basketball tournament is soon to come to an end as both of the divisions play to punch their ticket to the national championship. This year’s tournament has shown that the tournament has and will continuously live up to the name of “madness” and that the beauty of the tournament is that the seeding placement does not guarantee the safety of a team in the tournament.  

Without a number-one seed in the Men’s bracket, the tournament is still packed with an immense amount of talent. Teams like Florida Atlantic, San Diego State, UCONN, and Miami have gone on a run of upsets to be able to play in the Final Four. The ninth-seed Florida Atlantic Owls were consistent underdogs until the 2022-23 season, where they barreled through the brackets, beating Tennessee (fourth-seed) and Kansas State (third-seed) to make their second tournament appearance and their first final four in history. Fifth-seed San Diego State Aztecs were also able to make a run, beating number-one-seeded Alabama and squeezing out of a tight game against third-seeded Creighton in the Elite Eight. Alongside the Owls, the Aztecs will also make their first Final Four appearance. UCONN has also made a long-term run in the tournament as a fourth-seed, beating Gonzaga and making their sixth grand appearance in the Final Four. The University of Miami Canes made an illustrious run, beating one-seeded Houston and second-seeded Texas to be the third out of the four teams to make it this far and be in their first Final Four. 

Every year the United States gathers for a month of excellent college basketball. (Courtesy of bp6316 via wiki commons)

In the women’s bracket, two one-seeds still stand strong as they make their way to continue their trip to the championship. Iowa, South Carolina, LSU, and Virginia Tech broke records and set milestones on their run to the Final Four. Iowa, making its second Final Four appearance, made the run one for the books. Hawkeyes’ player Caitlin Clark won both the AP Player of the Year and the Naismith Trophy, as well as having the first 40-triple-double in NCAA tournament history, men’s or women’s during their game against Louisville. The Hawkeyes make their second Final Four appearance in 30 years. LSU Tigers make their sixth Final Four appearance after their win against the ninth-seed Miami Hurricanes, with their new coach Kim Mulkey. The Virginia Tech Hokies make program history in three ways; first one-seeding placement, first Elite Eight, and first final four advancements, all under coach Kenny Brooks’ seventh season. The undefeated South Carolina Gamecocks have continuously paved their way throughout the tournament, making this their second consecutive season making the final four, in hopes of them making a back-to-back appearance in the championship. This year’s march madness for women breaks records as a collective, drawing an average of 2.2 million viewers which is the most recorded on ESPN. Viewership of the women’s tournament went up 42% from last year. The matchup between Iowa and Louisville was the most-watched women’s Elite Eight game with 2.5 million views. 

The four teams for each bracket play for a chance to be in the national championship this upcoming Friday and Saturday. The women’s tournament is held in Dallas, and the games are scheduled for Friday, March 31st. The Tigers face off against the Hokies at 4:00 pm MST, and the Gamecocks will go against the Hawkeyes at 6:00 pm MST. Just a few hours away in the big state of Texas, the men’s tournament is in the town of Houston. On the following Saturday on April 1st, the Owls will match up against the Aztecs at 3:00 pm MST, and the Hurricanes will play against the Huskies at 5:00 pm MST.