March Madness upsets destroy brackets one at a time

Tis the season for March Madness basketball, when fans everywhere gather to watch their favorite team or alma mater compete for all the glory of being National Champions. Many people choose to fill out a bracket to predict who will go the distance and win it all. Every year brings surprise endings in the NCAA tournament. Uncertainty lingers in the minds of every player, for no one gets a free pass and no one can be counted out.

Xavier, the team destroying brackets left and right and perhaps creating two of the biggest upsets of the tournament, knocked off #3 seed Florida State and #2 seed Arizona to land themselves a spot in the Elite Eight.

The Musketeers started off strong against the Florida State Seminoles, shooting 56 percent and making 11 of 17 three-pointers. After 11 minutes of play Xavier was up by 15, and ended the game with a 25-point victory to land them in the Sweet 16 for the sixth time in 10 years.

After taking down Florida State, Arizona was next on Xavier’s radar. The Musketeers trailed the whole game against Arizona until there were 40 seconds left. They capitalized on a turnover and made a layup to put them in the lead by two. Xavier shot nearly 53 percent for the game, which carried them into the Elite Eight.

The last 11 seed to participate in the Elite Eight was Dayton in 2014, and the last 11 seed to earn a spot in the Final Four was VCU in 2011.

Unfortunately, Xavier just couldn’t keep their winning streak alive. Top-seeded Gonzaga dominated, winning the game by 24 points. Gonzaga advanced to the semi-finals for the first time in team history.

Xavier was not the only team causing problems for bracket makers. #7 seed South Carolina beat number #2 seed Duke to secure a spot in the Elite Eight for the first time ever. As of nine days ago, South Carolina had not won an NCAA tournament game in 44 years.

In the East region, it was Wisconsin who was involved in a couple dramatic games. They slipped passed top-seeded Villanova by three points to make it into the Sweet 16 only to lose to #4 seed Florida by a buzzer beater. The game went into overtime after a last second shot by Wisconsin and ended equally as crazy with one by Florida, giving Florida a trip to the Elite Eight.

There have been many upsets in this March Madness tournament with more games to come. Who is going to be the next national champion? Nobody knows.