Mayhem within madness

Mayhem within madness

Harrison Wetzel, Staff Writer

Well, to say March is here is a fact, but simply an understatement. The men’s NCAA tournament kicked off the 16th, and to say the name “March Madness” has been fulfilled can’t quite be summed up.  Over the years we’ve witnessed countless Cinderella stories of the past, but this year seems to be the year she stayed the entire dance. And (9) Florida Atlantic, (15) Princeton, and (16) Fairleigh Dickinson have all emerged as the tales of this year.

Now, calling a 4 or 5 seed a Cinderella isn’t exactly right. But, when three of them show up to the final four, it must pose a few questions. What’s the explanation for the top seeds falling so easily? Per usual, conferences battle it out all season long, but this year there seemed to be a little more magic. The Big 12 obviously set this precedent as all teams within the conference were in the top 70 of the Kenpom rankings.

However, does a crazy regular season justify the insanity of this tournament? In simple words, not quite. With NIL deals now taking over college basketball, a closer gap than ever between the mid-majors and major schools, and the simple overrating of programs took the stage. The 1 seeds this year (Alabama, Houston, Kansas, and Purdue) have all not been quite up to standards. The 4 schools all took alarmingly amounts of irregular losses, and a constant switch of inconsistency pushed the bell. But, the lackluster performance from the other schools made these four stand out and earn the top bid. And to say it showed can’t be exclaimed any more. Not a single one of these four made it to even the Elite Eight, let alone the Final Four.

If there’s any question as the culprit of this year’s tournament, look no further than the “top” schools. These are not the typical standards required by 1-3 seeds, and I figure it will be resolved next year. But, let’s enjoy what we have now, and appreciate we might be witnessing the greatest March to ever occur.