March Madness: Is another Cinderella story in the making?

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March is here.

 

The anticipation and patience is officially over. As we take a deeper look into the field of 68, a few red flags have been raised regarding “Who’s In? Who’s Out?”.

After an hour of the waiting game, teams such as Syracuse, Arizona State, Oklahoma, and UCLA successfully got their bid in the 2018 NCAA Tournament. A few questions came about regarding a couple teams who will not get their shot in the tournament. For instance, Notre Dame, St. Mary’s, USC, and Oklahoma St. were among the teams who were considered “stripped of a spot”.

In the Southern region of the bracket, Virginia claimed their spot as the top seed and will kick off their run Friday night against a 16 seeded UMBC team. In the Western region, Xavier took the top spot as they are set to start their run Friday evening as well against NCCU or Texas Southern. The East section of the bracket consists of Villanova, who still seems as if they are a legitimate contender the national championship once again, faces off against LIU or Radford University in their first round game Thursday. The Midwest region of the bracket is where things become interesting, Kansas took home the number 1-seed as they are set to kick off tournament play against Penn. However, the competition is stiff in this region, three potential one seeded teams were placed in one section, making things interesting assuming the three top-tiered teams make runs towards the Final Four.

A Cinderella story is when a lower seeded team makes a run in the NCAA Tournament, typically upsetting teams that had potential to win it all. This year’s Cinderella story is one for the making as many teams look as if they could knock off some of the upper seeded teams. Any team in this years field could potentially be that team to knock off a higher seed. For instance, teams such as South Dakota St, who is a 12 seed, faces off against 5-seed Ohio State University on Thursday, or even a 12-seed Murray State in the East region of the bracket has an opportunity to take down another 5-seed, West Virginia in the first round of the tournament kicking off on Friday night.   It’s been a roller coaster ride for the AP Top 25 poll as teams are jumping all around the rankings week in and week out. This year’s tournament could be one of those years that a Cinderella team makes a run into the Elite 8 after upsetting multiple teams.

In 2017, March Madness drew in more than 181 million viewers to the tournament, however; as the tournament continues, less viewership is evident because less fans are attracted to watch the games when their respected teams are no longer competing.

Dating back to March 17, 1939, fans around the country have been making their selections on the teams they believe will win. More recently, fans participate in bracket challenges from ESPN, CBS, Yahoo Sports, or through their own specific organized tournaments. Each year, the NCAA generates more than $1 billion in revenue. With that being said, there are prizes for anyone who completes a legitimate perfect bracket, however; having a 100% perfect bracket is a near impossible feat. Nobody has ever completed a perfect bracket in the history of the tournament.

The tournament is set and teams are ready to begin their journeys in hopes of completing their goal. The only question is, who will cash in and claim the 2018 National Championship?

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March Madness: Is another Cinderella story in the making?