March Madness and Bracket Busters


Jesus Morales and Jivonni Leix express emotional panic as their brackets collapse.

Scarlet Enright, Social Media

There is no stopping the madness – that is, of course, March Madness! 68 teams would be invited to the dance floor, but in the end, it would take just two to tango and only one would be crowned the 2023 NCAA Men’s Basketball Champion.  For the first time in NCAA Tournament history, all four #1 seeds were sent packing before the Elite Eight.  

 #1 seed Purdue was stunned by little Fairleigh Dickinson, who might not have played “fairly”, but they were able to upend Purdue’s star center and mustache grower Zack Edey 63-58. Kansas was another #1 seed that fell early. The Jayhawks had to play without their Hall of Fame coach, Bill Self, who was hospitalized with heart complications.  Kansas missed their coach and also missed their free throws in a 72-71 loss to underdog Arkansas. 

 The tournament is always known for big upsets from schools that no one has ever heard about.  I thought Furman was the name of a group of guys that like to wear mink coats, but I was mistaken.  Furman University is one of the smallest Division I colleges and is located in Greenville South Carolina.  They played against ACC power Virginia, who had just won the whole banana split four years earlier.  It didn’t matter that Virginia had 5 times as many students or if they had NBA prospects, it was Furman’s time to shine and with 6 seconds left, the Furman Paladins stole a half-court pass and threw in a deep three for a stunning 68-67 come from behind win.   

Houston and Alabama were the last of the #1 seeds to be rudely escorted to their limousines, fried calamari, and their N.I.L. deals.  The Final Four consisted of no 1, 2, or 3 seeds.  This would be the first Final Four for Miami, San Diego State, and Florida Atlantic and 4-time champion Connecticut smelled blood as they breezed to victories by an average of 22 points.  San Diego State had a thrilling come-from-behind victory over Florida Atlantic to make it to the title game. San Diego State was overmatched by the Connecticut Huskies who would win easily 76-59 and would later take turns cutting down the nets in Houston.