The Thrilling Road to the National Championship

Father of Eagle High students, Tim Snooks, attended the March Madness national championship last year in Houston Texas. UConn took down San Diego State last year by a score of 76-59.
Father of Eagle High students, Tim Snooks, attended the March Madness national championship last year in Houston Texas. UConn took down San Diego State last year by a score of 76-59.
Tim Snooks

The 2024 men’s March Madness tournament is almost here. While the defending champions from the 2023 March Madness tournament, UConn, or the University of Connecticut, hope to be back-to-back champions. There are other top contending teams such as Houston, Purdue and Tennessee is looking to stop them. 

March Madness is a single elimination tournament for men’s Division 1 basketball. In this tournament there are 68 teams that compete in seven rounds. The 68 teams were picked on March 17, this year. This is called “Selection Sunday” where a committee gets together to pick the full NCAA Division 1 tournament bracket which includes teams and their seedings. 

The first round is the round of 60. Prior to the start of this round, eight teams have “play in” games. The winner gets to join the Round of 60. After the first round, is the Round of 32. Next, the remaining teams play in the Sweet 16. Then there is the Elite eight. Following that, the remaining winners play in the Final Four. Finally, the two remaining teams play in the National Championship, and the last remaining team is crowned as the best college basketball team in the nation. 

The March Madness “play in” games are played on March 19 and March 20. The Round of 60 started on March 21. The Final Four is on Saturday, April 6 at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona. Just two days later, the NCAA Championship Game is on Monday, April 8 at the State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona. 

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While anything can happen in March Madness, there are some teams that have been playing very well lately and have a chance to make a big run in the tournament.  

March Madness is called March Madness for a reason. Every year, there is some madness that occurs. Last year, Purdue, who was a one seed, lost to Fairleigh Dickinson University, who is a 16 seed which is the lowest seed in the tournament. This year, Purdue, Houston, UConn and Tennessee are expected to be the one seeds in March Madness. These teams have been the most consistent throughout the year and all have great potential to make a run in this year’s tournament. 

“I think Kentucky is going to win March Madness this year,” said sophomore Carson Bowers. “They have a very electric offense with multiple potential first round draft picks.” 

While Kentucky is not a one seed, they have some great talent on their team. When they are hot, they can be dangerous. Freshman Rob Dillingham, Justin Edwards, Reed Sheppard, Aaron Bradshaw and potentially DJ Wagner are all electric players on the Wildcats that have a future in the NBA. 

“I think the Tennessee Vols are going to win March Madness this year. Dalton Knect is unstoppable. I think he is going to be the SEC player of the year,” said sophomore Brayden Lame. 

Knect has been nearly unstoppable this year for the Vols. He is averaging 20.6 points per game. Against a good Auburn team, he had 39 points in a big time win for the Vols. 

There are many great teams in college basketball this year that could make a run in the tournament. Teams to watch out for other than the teams already listed are UNC, Marquette, Duke, Baylor, Auburn, Kansas, Gonzaga, BYU and may more. 

“I can’t wait for March Madness this year. This is my favorite time of the year for sports. March Madness is always crazy, and it will be interesting to see which Cinderella team there is this year,” said sophomore Colin Duarte. “I also like to fill out the brackets for March Madness and see how well my predictions are.” 

Picking a perfect March Madness bracket is basically impossible. There are so many games played that it is just not realistic to even get the Sweet 16 all correct. The chances are one in 9.2 quintillion.  

March Madness is the best time of the year for college basketball fans. It will be interesting to see which team brings home the championship this year.

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