Lancer Media Madness: We have a bracket champion

March Madness is the time of year where people of all kinds come together to watch college basketball, a highly contested tournament that is filled with stories of devastating losses, thrill seeking contests, and heroic victories.

graphic by Matthew Gelhard
This year’s Lancer Media Madness bracket winner, Matthew Gelhard

Only few knew that only Virginia would be the final team to stand in the tournament, let alone the final No. 1 seeded to stand. Duke, University of North Carolina, and Gonzaga were bounced before any team even stepped on to the court in Minneapolis, MN. 

At the end of it all, Virginia’s Cinderella story ended with a National Championship, dissolving the memory of the first round loss to No. 16 UMBC from the year before. Two of the best defenses in the country went head to head, and an OT portion is what it took to declare a winner. Texas Tech’s bench kept them in the game as they scored 29 of the Raider’s 77 points, but Virginia’s starting 5 that included Kyle Guy and De’Andre Hunter overpowered the fatigued defense to take home the hardware.

A takeaway from this tournament is that it is never guaranteed that the No.1 team in a region is an automatic Final Four candidate. Teams that are always shown on ESPN or featured in the newspaper don’t always end up with a happy ending, and it will never be unheard of that the team many expect to fail ends up getting to hold up the trophy and shower in confetti at the end of it all.

Matt (bracket champion):

This tournament did not fail to excite as I followed Virginia who were losing in the last fifteen seconds of the last their three games of the tournament, surviving deficits over Purdue, Auburn, and finally Texas Tech.

The tale of Zion Williamson and RJ Barrett lived up to the excitement but did not live of to the hype of being National Champions as I expected. I believed teams like Auburn and Texas Tech could survive until they met a No. 1 seed where they could be eliminated, these teams actually beat those No. 1 seeded teams and Texas Tech even made it all the way to the championship.

Madeline (runner-up):

I was very amazed with how this year’s tournament turned out. I had my mind set on Duke winning the championship due to their reputation and the well-known players on the team. Duke was eliminated in the Elite Eight which was a surprise for a lot of viewers considering they were No.1 seeded team their region. They lost a tough game to Michigan State with a very close score of 67-68. What also hurt my bracket was when Gonzaga lost to Texas Tech in the Elite Eight and University of North Carolina lost to Auburn in the Sweet Sixteen. I had those teams going to the final four which was a major upset.

I was not as successful as I had anticipated during this tournament and choosing the most popular team did not work out in my favor. Reflecting over how the tournament ended, next year I am going to be doing more research about team records and previous placements in this tournament.