Tomorrow night is the Final Four, in which Oregon will play UNC and South Carolina faces off against Gonzaga. The biggest surprise, South Carolina, had to defeat the 2, 3, and 4 seeds en route to Phoenix, compared to the easier path for Gonzaga, who played the 8, 4, and 11 seeds. On the other side of the bracket, Oregon, who overcame the skepticism people had going into the big dance because their best big man tore his ACL in the PAC 12 tournament, is now just reaching distance away from bringing home a National Championship. UNC will try to avenge their 2016 loss to Villanova in the finals after they had a couple of miracles occur to defeat Kentucky in one of the most exciting games of this year’s March Madness.
To start off the 2017 tournament, in the first round there were only 6 upsets, compared to 2016’s 13. According to FiveThirtyEight’s Excitement Index, last year’s Round of 64 had a total score of 107.2, which is much greater than this year’s abysmal low of 80.3. But as we all know, the madness in March began with Wisconsin upsetting the favorites to cut down the net, Villanova. That was followed by Michigan beating Louisville and South Carolina defeating Duke.
Finally, I would love to see some more intense and thrilling basketball, but I will be rooting against the teams who broke my bracket, UNC and Gonzaga. Despite my semi-biased approach to the Final Four, I believe that Gonzaga will play UNC in the National Championship game, where UNC will take their turn in cutting down the net.