By Will Brown
The NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament recently came to an end, with the University of Villanova winning their second National Championship in the past three seasons.
In the National Championship Game, Villanova defeated the University of Michigan by a final score of 79-62. The title-game victory vindicated a dominant tournament run for Villanova, who won all six of their games by at least 12 points. During the tournament, Villanova defeated Radford University, Alabama, West Virginia, Texas Tech, and Kansas before their title-game victory over Michigan.
This year’s NCAA tournament will be remembered for the stunning upsets that occurred in some of the earlier rounds. In the first round of the tournament, the University of Maryland-Baltimore County defeated the top ranked University of Virginia. UMBC was one of the lowest ranked teams to qualify. It was the first time in the history of the tournament that a team ranking number one had ever lost in the first round, and it will be remembered as one of the biggest upsets in the history of the sport. However, Maryland-Baltimore County lost their next game to Kansas State University.
The biggest surprise team of the tournament was Loyola University of Chicago, who entered the tournament ranked as an eleventh seed. In their first game, Loyola-Chicago defeated the University of Miami on a game winning three-pointer, and they also had a game winning shot in their next game against the University of Tennessee. In the round of sixteen, Loyola-Chicago defeated the University of Nevada and then beat Kansas State University in the round of eight. Their surprising run came to an end in the Final Four when they lost 69-57 to the University of Michigan.
The University of Kansas was another team that made the Final Four alongside Villanova and Loyola-Chicago. They won an overtime thriller against Duke University in the round of eight. Kansas was led by star guard Malik Newman, who is originally from Jackson. The University of Michigan made the Final Four by winning games against Montana University, the University of Houston, Texas A&M University and Florida State University. This year’s Final Four and National Championship games were held in San Antonio, Texas.