Why This NCAA Tournament was One of the Best Ever

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The 2021 Men’s NCAA tournament has concluded and is without a doubt going to be a March Madness remembered as one the best.

Evan Suraci, Sports Editor

When big sporting events such as the 2020 NCAA Men’s Basketball  Tournament were canceled, it signaled that Covid-19 was about to significantly alter our way of life. Coaches, players, and fans were hurt by the cancellation and loss of the March Madness Tournament.

One year later, the 2021 Men’s NCAA tournament has concluded and is, without a doubt, going to be a March Madness that will be remembered for a long time because of the upsets and the exciting moments.

First, this tournament set a record for the number of upsets through the first two rounds. The seed count record heading to the sweet 16 was originally 89 in the 1986 tournament but this year the total seed count was 94. Essentially, four 11 seeds or higher advanced to the sweet sixteen for the first time in tournament history. With the historic run of UCLA going from the last 4 into the Final Four, Oral Roberts being one shot away from being the first No. 15 seed to be in the final four, and Loyola Chicago upsetting national title contender Illinois in the round of the 32, this year’s tournament provided a lot of moments that left many college basketball fans in shock.

Additionally, this year’s tournament included quite a few almost Cinderella inspirations. Everyone likes to root for the mid-major schools that are underdogs and come in and play with a shock-the-world swagger. Three teams that missed out on a Cinderella run were No. 13 seed North Texas, No. 14 seed Abilene Christian, and No.15 seed Oral Roberts. While North Texas and Abilene Christin got bounced after the second round, Oral Roberts made it to the Sweet Sixteen and put up a fight against No. 3 seeded Arkansas, but a rimmed-out Max Abmas three-pointer at the buzzer kept the Golden Eagles from being the first No. 15 seed to make it to the Elite Eight.

Overall, this year’s tournament showed other reasons why it was one of the best tournaments because it showed that the tournament does not need the so-called “blue blood” schools, with UCLA being the lone blue blood in this tournament. Moreover, some conference representatives can be underrated or overrated. Hopefully, there will be no more March Madness cancellations ever again, as this year absolutely showed that the people need March Madness.