The craze of March Madness
Littered with drama and excitement, the 2010 NCAA men's basketball tournament left fans in a state of frenzy that could only be described as March Madness. As the event came to a fittingly spectacular close on Monday night with Duke's 61-59 win over Butler, the road to the big dance was full of riveting surprises that had fans nationwide in awe. From Tennessee upsetting Ohio State to Butler topping Syracuse, basketball aficionados continued to contemplate if the tournament could possibly become any crazier. That surprise was combined with emotion, as the tournament saw teams like the Ohio Bobcats, a Cinderella story barely finishing ninth in its own conference, but knocking off number three seeded Georgetown in a convincing 97-83 win to advance to the second round.
While Ohio University turned heads across the nation in the world of sports, St. Mary's was in the southern section of the tournament looking to make their own waves, as they put nearly everyone's brackets on high alert. By defying the odds and pulling off one of the many major upsets in March Madness, St. Mary's defeated the number two seed, Villanova, in thrilling fashion, 75-68. In the process, the Gaels revealed one of the more talented big men in the country, Omar Samham, who lit up the Wildcats for an impressive 32 points.
Undoubtedly one of the biggest upsets of 2010 college basketball was the fall of top overall seed Kansas to Northern Iowa in the second round of the tournament, as they were defeated by a bold, ill-advised shot by Northern Iowa guard Ali Farokhmanesh to seal it 69-67.
Despite dropping the jaw of countless fans that witnessed the upset, Farokhmanesh never viewed his team as a long shot. "The fact we're a nine seed, that's probably why we've been given the Cinderella label," Farokhmanesh said to the LA Times. "I guess we don't look at ourselves as a Cinderella."
Aside from the underdogs making multiple headlines throughout the tournament, there were other games that took excitement and thrill to a whole new level. Contests that left fans drained of all the adrenaline, as they watched their favorite teams duke it out in the waning seconds of the game. A prefect example was Kansas State against Xavier in the sweet sixteen, as the teams battled to double overtime resulting in a titillating 101-96 victory for the Kansas State Wildcats. Both teams nailed multiple clutch shots and free throws, making this game an instant classic and leaving any fans that missed out desperately searching for a replay.
With the NCAA basketball tournament expanding to 96 teams from the original 65, fans can look forward to more riveting upsets and future classics to come. According to yahoo.com, the expansion may come as soon as 2011, leaving basketball fans chomping at the bit for more March Madness.