All the above schools only have one thing in common: They have played spoiler in the March that has seemed madder than any in recent years. Every time one improbable upset occurs, another pops up immediately after that leaves even more viewers in awe. First it was Loyola-Chicago with a deep buzzer-beater to beat Miami, and Buffalo beating the Wildcats and the tournament had already been deemed crazy. How could Arizona lose?! I had them going all the way! Little did we know, it was only going to get worse…
The Syracuse orange and Marshall had alternative routes as 11 and 13 seeds (respectively) than most had thought on the next day. But the madness reached a pinnacle when, for the first time in NCAA history, a 16-seed defeated a one seed in the tournament. The University of Maryland, Baltimore County didn’t care if you had UVA going all the way as they had their way with the Cavaliers and won 74-54. UMBC would fall shortly later, but it didn’t mean that the tournament was any saner. I’ve had a busted bracket before, and yes, losing money sucks. How dare these teams that have no business even being here contend for the title?! Though many act pissed, I know everyone actually loves it.
I watched as the clock wound down and UVA students cried and UMBC partied like it was 1999 and I, of course, did not predict UMBC was going to beat the 31-3 Cavaliers. Yet, I went to my ESPN app and screenshotted the final score because of the very idea I witnessed history. Everyone who is conscious and attentive to college basketball will never forget just how insane March of 2018 was.
The beauty of upsets, is that suddenly, the night belongs to underdogs. Sure, you have Kansas and Nova on the other side of the bracket, but all eyes and hearts are on board with Loyola-Chicago. Think about everything you know about Kansas or Nova, and then think of the depth of which Loyola-Chicago is being magnetized. Sister Jean has become a household name overnight. More and more stats of them being the winningest program in tournament history becomes displayed more and more because that’s what the people want to see is the underdog.
Life has its obstacles and everyone finds themselves at odds with a heavyweight: Sickness, stress, paralysis, disabilities, depression, and so many other obstacles and we the everyday people are the underdogs. We must fight and scrap on a day to day basis just to live and make it to another day. So, when we see a team like Loyola-Chicago, we root for them because we see ourselves in them. So here’s to the maddest March in recent memory, and a huge grin for the overwhelming success of the underdogs in this tournament, and in life.