Brevin Scullion and Kaleb McCloud
“I don’t think that there are going to be any upsets,” said Jamesville DeWitt High School junior Eden Shiomos. This sentence became ironic after the first two days of the tournament because the biggest upset ever when a 16 seed beat a one seed. The one seeded Virginia Cavaliers fell to the 16 seeded University of Maryland, Baltimore County Retrievers. The day before, the four seeded Arizona Wildcats lost to the 13 seeded University of Buffalo Bulls, and the six seeded University of Miami Hurricanes lost to the 11 seeded University of Loyola Chicago Ramblers.
“It was over quicker than I thought. Just like that, my bracket was busted after the first two days;” said sophomore Matthew Cieplicki. “There are always upsets, but not as many major upsets like we saw those first couple of days,” said Cieplicki. Many students were frustrated when they had their brackets busted, but others enjoyed the upsets. “I always like to see an underdog win. I think it’s cool what Loyola Chicago is doing,” said sophomore Connor Durkin. Others were bold enough to even predict these major upsets. “I knew this year that there were bound to be major upsets. I happened to just pick the right one,” said sophomore Kenny Hildreth, who happened to pick the University of Buffalo Bulls over the Arizona Wildcats.
Though many students try to get 100 percent, there are a variety of strategies used when picking winners. “Since I watch college basketball I have some background information on the teams already. I look at the team’s seed and look back on their overall season, and I’ll try to make an accurate pick based on that,” said sophomore Sydney Baker. For other students who don’t know as much about college basketball, they have a different strategy when making their picks. “I just pick the team with the better seed, and if I am feeling an upset then I’ll pick an upset,” said Shiomos. Whether students analyze the games for days or make their pick based on the team’s mascot, no true strategy has shown to be better due to the fact there has never been a perfect bracket in the 33 years the tournament has been around.
Though there are always upsets in the first round, people tend to be able to predict the Final Four teams accurately. However, this year is unusual because two common Final Four teams, Arizona and Virginia, exited this tournament in the first round. “I think so many teams have the potential to go to the Final Four. Like junior Josh Greenway said, “it is going to be a tight race to the big game.”
With only 68 teams making the tournament out of so many Division I teams, teams are bound to be worthy of getting in, but never end up doing so. “Syracuse shouldn’t have made the tournament for any reason at all;” said Salkic, “ Notre Dame should’ve made the tournament because they were so much better than Syracuse and Notre Dame beat Syracuse.”