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Student news of Olympia High School

The Olympus

Student news of Olympia High School

The Olympus

March Madness 2024: unraveling the drama of the first two rounds

As the dust settles on the first and second rounds of March Madness 2024, fans across the nation are catching their breath after a whirlwind of upsets, and unexpected triumphs. The tournament has once again lived up to its reputation, leaving spectators on the edge of their seats and brackets in shambles. 

First Round Upsets 

The tournament’s early rounds showcased the true essence of March Madness, as underdog teams defied the odds. 

The 5th-seeded Wisconsin Badgers fell to the 12th-seeded James Madison Dukes, defying expectations and shaking up tournament brackets across the nation. Despite Wisconsin’s formidable reputation and postseason experience, James Madison showcased resilience and determination, executing a game plan that stifled their opponents and propelled them to a historic victory.

One of the most memorable upsets of the tournament occurred when the 13th-seeded Yale Bulldogs stunned the basketball world by knocking off the talented Auburn Tigers in a thrilling battle. Yale’s relentless defense and clutch shooting proved too much for the Tigers, sending shockwaves through the tournament bracket and leaving brackets busted. 

Finally, Grand Canyon Antelopes entered as a 12 seed, shocking the 5th-seeded St. Mary’s Gaels. Despite entering the tournament with high expectations, St. Mary’s faltered against Grand Canyon’s relentless pressure and sharp execution, culminating in a surprising defeat.

Bad Day to be a 6 Seed

During the first round of the tournament, something unexpected happened: the 6th-seeded teams struggled against the 11th-seeded ones. Out of the four matchups, the 6-seeds only managed to win three games. Duquesne surprised everyone by beating BYU, showing resilience and determination. Oregon had an easy win against South Carolina, demonstrating their superiority on the court. Another upset came when North Carolina State defeated Texas Tech, riding on their momentum from the conference tournament. However, Clemson was the only 6-seed to survive, narrowly winning against New Mexico. This unexpected turn of events emphasized the unpredictable nature of March Madness, proving that anything can happen in college basketball.

Biggest Bracket Busting

As the tournament progressed, bracket-busting surprises unfolded, with powerhouse teams facing unexpected challenges and underdogs refusing to back down in the face of adversity. 

The Kentucky Wildcats, once considered a top contender for the championship, found themselves on the wrong end of a shocking upset at the hands of the Oakland Golden Grizzlies. Despite Kentucky’s storied history and talent-laden roster, Oakland’s relentless defense and hot shooting proved too much to handle, sending shockwaves through the basketball world and leaving fans scrambling to adjust their brackets. 

Second Round Upsets

In a surprising turn of events, the 6th-seeded Clemson Tigers pulled off an upset victory against the 3rd-seeded Baylor Bears, while the 5th-seeded Gonzaga Bulldogs delivered a commanding performance to blow out the 4th-seeded Kansas Jayhawks, despite trailing by 1 point at halftime. 

Clemson’s victory over Baylor was unexpected, as they managed to outplay their higher-seeded opponents with a combination of skill and determination. The Tigers’ tenacity on both ends of the court allowed them to secure a hard-fought win, showcasing their resilience in the face of adversity. 

Meanwhile, Gonzaga’s impressive comeback against Kansas was nothing short of remarkable. Despite trailing at halftime, the Bulldogs rallied in the second half with a dominant display of basketball prowess. Their ability to overcome the odds and outscore Kansas by a significant margin in the second half demonstrated their resilience and determination to advance in the tournament. 

Tournament Favorites

As March Madness progresses, two standout teams have emerged as clear favorites: UConn and Purdue. UConn’s dominant performances in the early rounds, where they blew out both of their opponents, have established them as a force to be reckoned with. Their consistent excellence on both ends of the court suggests they are primed for a deep tournament run. However, Purdue also looks formidable, showcasing similar dominance in their matchups so far. 

Looking ahead, Purdue faces a tough challenge in the Sweet Sixteen against the formidable Gonzaga team, which promises to be a thrilling matchup between two powerhouse programs. Meanwhile, UConn’s path forward sees them squaring off against SDSU, where they’ll aim to maintain their momentum and continue their impressive tournament run. 

With their strong performances and evident determination, both UConn and Purdue have positioned themselves as serious contenders for the championship title. As the tournament unfolds, basketball fans can anticipate intense matchups and exciting moments as these teams strive for March Madness glory.

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About the Contributor
Lucas Eussen
Lucas Eussen, Journalist
Lucas Eussen is a senior attending Olympia High School. Lucas likes to be outdoors and swim. If he's not outside or in the pool, Lucas enjoys being with his friends and family.

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