The NCAA basketball championship, better known as March Madness, is a college basketball tournament that takes place every spring to mark the end of the season. Teams from across the country are invited to take part and are seeded based on their abilities and their chance to win the competition. It’s one of the most exciting times to be a basketball fan, and lots of fans enjoy it even more than the NBA finals.
March Madness is well known for being unpredictable, and each year millions of basketball fans enjoy betting on the games and coming up with their predicted tournament brackets. This year has been unprecedented, however. For the first time in history, the final eight teams remaining in the competition, known as the Elite Eight, won’t feature a single no 1 seed.
As the final games get underway, you can see all college basketball odds online. In this article, we’ll look at what’s happened so far and why this is one of the most unpredictable NCAA tournaments in history.
Crimson Tide Out
Alabama Crimson Tide were one of the favorites to win the tournament back when it got underway on March 14. Going into their game against San Diego State, they were also the clear favorites, with a spread of -7. The Sweet 16 matchup saw the no 1 seed Crimson Tide take on the Aztecs, who are a no 5 seeded team.
The Crimson Tide were heavy favorites thanks to the huge level of talent on their roster. Freshman forward Brandon Miller has been a major star for the team and reached double digit points in 26 of his last 27 games. In the SEC tournament final against Texas A&M, he scored his third double-double in four games. In addition to Miller, Alabama also have the talent of mark Sears, a freshman guard who averages 12.4 points, 2.6 assists and 1.2 steals per game.
Meanwhile, San Diego’s key players are junior guards Lamont Butler and Micah Parrish, who both had impressive games in the build up to this contest. Both had dominant performances against Furman in the previous round and had great seasons for the Aztecs.
In the end, Miller was mostly kept quiet by San Diego, as he was limited to just nine points and eleven rebounds. Sears managed to break double digit points, but for the most part, San Diego excelled at stopping the Crimson Tide offense. Meanwhile, Darrion Trammell stole the show, scoring an impressive 21 points as the Aztecs won the game 71-64. Despite the odds at the start of the game, it was relatively comfortable, with the no 5 seed winning every quarter.
“There’s not a lot of difference between the best team in the country and the worst team in the country,” San Diego State coach Brian Dutcher said. “You’re seeing that on this stage.”
Other Shocks This Year
This wasn’t the only shock of this year’s March Madness, of course. The tournament has been extremely unpredictable, with all of the no 1 seeds going out. In addition, the current bracket guarantees that whichever team wins will be a first-time champion.
The Sweet 16 saw the Houston Cougars, another no 1 seed, get knocked out of the tournament by the no 5 seeded Miami Hurricanes. The Hurricanes not only won the game but also became only the fifth team this season to score at least 70 points against the Cougars.
For the first time since 2011 and the third time overall, the Final Four won’t feature a No. 1 team thanks to the elimination of Purdue, Kansas, Houston, and Alabama. The NCAA’s top four teams combined to win just five tournament games this year, the fewest victories by top seeds since the field was increased to 64 teams in 1985.