March Madness 2021

Reece Candler , Staff Writer

It is March again, and with that brings the NCAA Tournament. After last year’s disappointment, in which the tournament was canceled due to the COVID-19, this year brings a renewed sense of hope. Instead of games being played around the country like usual, all 67 games will be played in Indianapolis. The four 1 seeds for this year’s tournament are Gonzaga, Baylor, Illinois, and Michigan. This year’s tournament could be great in many different ways. Gonzaga, after steamrolling the WCC, will try to become the first team to go undefeated since Indiana in 1976. Michigan, who is led by former player Juwan Howard, will try to reach the Final Four for the first time since he himself played. Illinois will try to make its return to the Final Four for the first time since 2005, and win its first tournament. This year’s tournament is notable as well, as several blue bloods struggled. Both Kentucky and Duke missed out on the big dance, the first time this has happened since 1976. Along those two missing out, teams Indiana and Arizona all missed the tournament, two more powerhouses in college basketball. As for my predictions, I see only a few major upsets. I think that the Eagles of Winthrop will knock off Villanova in a classic 5-12 upset. I also feel that Rutgers, Maryland, and VCU, all ten seeds, will knock off the seven seed in the first round. My most notable upset predictions are that Syracuse and USC will both make it to the Sweet Sixteen. Boeheim has made magic happen as a double-digit seed and I think it happens again this year. As for the Final Four, I think Gonzaga, Illinois, Alabama, and Baylor will make it. Gonzaga and Illinois will meet in the championship game, where Gonzaga wins and finally gets its One Shining Moment as national champs for the first time after years of being a contender.