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March Madness Review

Recap of the 2024 NCAA Mens Tournament Capped off by a University of Connecticut Tournament Victory
March Madness
Recap of the 2024 NCAA Mens Tournament Capped off by a University of Connecticut Tournament Victory

March Madness Review
Cinderella Run

North Carolina (NC) State’s run to the final four was one to remember, as they originally weren't supposed to be in the tournament. They faced Virginia to move to the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) Championship, to hopefully advance in the tournament. The team came into the ACC tournament as a 7 seed, and needed to win every game in the tournament to advance to March Madness. The team defeated key opponents such as Texas Tech in the round of 64, Oakland in the round of 32, Marquette in the round of 16, and Duke in the Elite Eight, to punch their ticket to the Final Four. In the final four they would take on a heavy favorite, Purdue, where they would eventually lose. NC State was led by Senior forward DJ Burns Jr, who made a name for himself as a fan favorite, as he averaged 16.2 Points per game (PPG) while in the tournament.

Best Team

For the second year in a row the University of Connecticut (UCONN) Huskies have won the national championship with a final score of 75-60. University of Connecticut is now only the 8th team in NCAA history to win back-to-back consecutive championships  and since the 2006-07 Florida Gators. Not only was UCONN dominant, but they could be considered the greatest team of all time with facts to prove it. The Huskies set an all time tournament record with a total point differential of +140, absolutely destroying every team put in front of them. The Huskies don’t just win these tournament games, they take them over. Their last 12 tournament games dating back to last year, they’ve won each game by double digits. No other team stood a chance against coach Dan Hurley's Huskies.

Biggest Upset

In the first round of the NCAA tournament, Kentucky (3 seed) was set to square off against Oakland (14 seed). Oakland started their tournament run by winning the Horizon League Championship as the one seed. Kentucky came into the tournament as the leader in points per game (PPG) in the country, led by freshmen Rob Dillingham and Reed Shepard. Kentucky’s offense was on top this season, so there was no reason they shouldn’t win it all, with a team average of 89 PPG. The only worry with Kentucky was their defense giving up 80 PPG. Oakland needed to have a strong shooting game; otherwise, there was no hope. As the first half came to an end, Oakland had a three point advantage. The rest of the game was back and forth and stayed close the whole way, but Oakland would ultimately prevail led by strong shooting from Gohlke, who finished with a game high 32 points on 10 threes. Kentucky went home knowing they left a lot on the table with poor three point shooting, and the inability to guard the three point line would be their downfall.

Person Bracket

24.7% of brackets accurately predicted Uconn going back to back and winning the tournament once again. People, however, had teams like Houston and Purdue as favorites to win. One bracket that stood out among the rest was former NBA player Carlos Boozer's bracket. It had an astounding 99.7% accuracy. The bracket was ranked 79k of all the brackets that were filled out. 

Most Dominant Player

Purdue’s star forward Zach Edey was the definition of dominant the entire tournament, as he averaged a respectable 29.5 Points Per Game, and 14.5 Rebounds Per Game. Edey led his team to the National Championship, where Purdue would lose to the Champions, UCONN. Here Edey would score 37 points, while shooting 60% from the field.  

 

“Zach Edey's game will 100% not translate to the NBA. I think he’s just a taller Luka Garza in terms of what he’ll do in the NBA, but I think he’ll be a good G league player,” shared Senior James Wilson on Zach Edey’s future.

Every March, there is a tradition unlike any other. March Madness is a yearly tournament comprising the best NCAA men’s college basketball teams. March Madness isn’t just a tournament; it’s a cultural phenomenon left off the calendars, but celebrated amongst the diehards. This year was one to remember, with many upsets and Cinderella runs to lead to the craziest March Madness tournament in recent memory.

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About the Contributors
Zak Koshar
Zak Koshar, Writer
Zak Koshar is in 11th grade. This is his first year taking journalism and plans on being a Sports Broadcaster/Reporter.
Micah Venezie
Micah Venezie, Writer
Micah Venezie in a Sophomore at Oakdale High School. He likes to play hockey for both the high school and the Frederick Freeze. He is excited to take Journalism.
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