Madness Would Be an Understatement: March Madness Recap
David beat Goliath, Truman beat Dewey, and Baylor beat Gonzaga. I was wrong. I’ll admit it. I didn’t think anyone would even hang with Gonzaga. I was wrong twice. First off UCLA and their Cinderella was capped by Gonzaga, and Jalen Suggs. There will always be coulda,shoulda, woulda when it comes to MarchMadness. UCLA “should’ve” beat Gonzaga. It was the best game of the tournament by far. But back to the main event. We all thought it would look like Kong vs Godzilla, but it looked like when the varsity team brought up the JV to scrimmage. Baylor was all over them from the tip getting a lead of nine and never looked back. Gonzaga was the most efficient offense team ever. Read that back. They were the greatest offense team ever. They lost. Everyone always says a good offense beats a good defense. That saying may need to be tweaked as the greatest college offense lost to a great defense. You have to give credit to Scott Drew, Baylor’s coach. He turned around a arguable laughing stock of the Big 12 into one of the best teams in college basketball. The job he has done there has been phenomenal. The team themselves are no joke with at least two of them going to the NBA in Jared Butler and Davion Mitchell. Both of them are uber athletic guards, who have the smarts to run a NBA offense. Both of them have led Baylor’s no middle defense which has revolutionized defense in college basketball. As everyone has been trying to form to the pack like or a variation of it, Baylor went across the grain. Instead of pack principles, they allowed baseline and relied on help defense and rotations. As everyone questioned if Scott Drew’s a good coach, he followed his own path to create a national championship.
Before breaking it down into a look at next year’s college basketball season a few teams need to be mentioned. This season had 12 upsets which is second most in history. (An upset is considered when a team 5 seeds lower beats the higher seed) Oral Roberts shocked the world, and were a missed three pointer away from the elite eight. A feat that no 15 seed has ever accomplished. Syracuse as an 11 seed getting all the way to the sweet sixteen, Jim Boeheim’s 3rd time taking a double digit seed to the sweet sixteen. Oregon State as a 12 making it all the way to elite eight, and shocking most of the world. A quick shout out to 8 seed Loyola-Chigaco for beating Illinois, whom many people had winning their brackets. This was another year of the upset. Another year of making March even more mad, and giving us the viewers another year of triumph and heartbreak.
A quick look into next year with a few teams to watch out for.
Purdue- A team of all underclassmen who handled the big ten with ease. Bringing everyone back, and having Matt Painter as a coach. Watch out for them to be a final four team. They will be an elite eight team next year.
Michigan- Yes, another big ten team. However they only lose two key players, and are bringing in one of the best classes in America. Watch out for Hunter Dickinson to be a Player of the Year candidate.
UCLA- If Johnny Juzang stays they are a top 4 team. They lost their best player in Chris Smith, who could have been a player of the year candidate. They also bring back Tyger Campbell, the leader of that team. With a decent recruiting class, and Mick Cronin at the helm good things are happening in Westwood.
Marquette- The Golden Eagles are scary! Bringing in new head coach Shaka Smart is a breath of fresh air this team needed. With three young stars in DJ Carton, Justin Lewis, and Dawson Garcia, the future is now in Marquette basketball. In a weaker Big East as well watch them emerge as a top 25 team.