March Madness lives up to its name when it comes to the madness. Fans urgently fill out their own brackets with their own predictions of what they believe will result in a champion before the first round starts. Experts spend hours analyzing what they think will come out of each match up and some devote their time to predict where the surprises will come from.
What brings the madness is low seeded teams who sometimes kick off the big dance just being glad they’re able to compete in the tournament to defeating some of the top picked teams to win it all.
How well does this tournament really determine who the champion for the year is?
Some argue that it doesn’t.
How can a top picked team who had a remarkable season who just so happen to play one bad game suddenly be irrelevant?
Let’s look at Villanova for example, the reigning champions, were the 2nd most popular pick to win the tournament this year. Wisconsin was only predicted by a little over 9% to even make it to the Sweet 16, according to ESPN. Wisconsin, an 8th seed, came to give Villanova a run for their money and prove everyone wrong.
Villanova was knocked out and Wisconsin advanced on to the Sweet 16 after a 65-62 win. Just like that Villanova was done for the season and everyone had already moved on by the time the clock had ran out.
Although these upsets are what keep so many fans and even those who aren’t so intrigued and glued to their TVs for the month of March, history has shown us that in the end top seeds always win. The lowest-seeded team to ever win the tournament was 8th-seeded Villanova in 1985.
That brings into question: Do the upsets only really help keep the games interesting until we get down to the top teams in NCAA?
Some argue that the tournament does indeed prove who the real winners are regardless of regular season.
The competition that comes from the tournament can really bring out who can do their best under pressure and against some of the best teams in the league. Wouldn’t it prove who can make the plays needed to continue one step closer to the championship?
Iowa State, a 5th-seed, won the Big 12 tournament proving they were the best in their conference. Or did they? Technically Kansas, 1-seed, beat the most teams in the conference therefore making them the best of the Big 12. Unfortunately for the Jayhawks they played a poor game in the Big 12 tournament and were out the 1st round. Again, just like that they were irrelevant and Iowa State went on to win the title. Who was really the better team?
Take a look at Iowa who didn’t make it to the NCAA tournament even though they had beat several teams who had made the tournament.
There’s two stories to every side. Frankly, this will depend on how you look at it and maybe who your team might be. In the end a winner always comes out on top and this year it was North Carolina who went 33-7 overall in the 2016-2017 season and who was ironically a 1 seed.