THE WIND-UP

March Madness: Round Updates and Predictions

Alex Jewell, Staff Writer

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The first round of the NCAA tournament has come to a close, and overall it was as expected. Murray State (12 seed) ran Marquette (5 seed) out of the building with superstar Ja Morant, recording a Triple Double with 16 assists, 17 points, and 11 rebounds. Michigan State (2 seed) was on the heels of a major upset as Bradley (15 seed) gave the Spartans all they could handle. Senior Guard, Matt McQuaid, however, sealed the victory for the Spartans, hitting a 3 pointer with 3:30 minutes left in the second half. UC Irvine (12 seed) upset Kansas State (5 seed), with Max Hazard leading in scoring with 19 points and 4 rebounds.

 

The four, one seeded teams took care of their games respectively. However, both UNC and Virginia were trailing at halftime. Both had to make a second-half comeback in order to win. Wofford (7 seed) got their first-ever NCAA tournament win beating Seton Hall (10 seed) 84-68. The Terriers shot thirteen three-pointers to take the game, with Fletcher Magee leading the team in scoring with 24 points.

 

Overall, I thought this first round was rather boring.  There were a few scares for the high seeds but no real major upsets. Also, there weren’t any buzzer-beaters in this round. Which I thought to be very surprising, considering that we are in March and this is where miracles happen.

 

As we come to the round of 32, I expect to see big upsets as Wofford takes on Kentucky and UCF tries to throw Duke off the throne. As for Michigan State (2 seed), this is a must win for head coach, Tom Izzo. They haven’t got past the first weekend since 2015, and this team certainly has the firepower to do it. The Spartans will take on a familiar foe, the Minnesota Golden Gophers. Auburn and Kansas will meet in a big matchup and for the Jayhawks of Kansas, they’re just trying to survive (as this has not been their best year by any means). Injuries and adversity hit this team hard and cost them a conference title. I predict Round of 32 will be much more entertaining than Round of 64, as we get better matchups and the likelihood for more upsets. I can’t wait to see what March has in store for us.

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March Madness: Round Updates and Predictions