NCAA Tournament: Biggest March Madness Storylines

The Final Four will begin Saturday night in Houston when Villanova plays Oklahoma and North Carolina takes on Syracuse. As March Madness comes to an end for this season though, there are many storylines that have made this tournament one of the best in recent memory. Here are a few of those stories before this year’s NCAA Tournament goes into the record book.

It has to start with what Syracuse has been able to do to make it to the Final Four as the first No. 10 seed to do so. After pounding Dayton in the first round, the Orange caught a break with 15 seed Middle Tennessee after their upset of Michigan State followed by another double digit seed in Gonzaga in the Sweet 16. Syracuse then pulled a major upset in coming back from a large halftime deficit to beat top-seeded Virginia in the Midwest Regional Final. They will now get a third meeting with North Carolina after losing the first two meetings this season. Can they pull off another upset and play for the national championship?

Speaking of Middle Tennessee, they knocked off the team that many had winning the national championship in Michigan State. They became just the 7th 15 seed to beat a No. 2 seed in the NCAA Tournament. While they got beat by Syracuse in the second round, it was something that the players will never forget from their upset in St. Louis of the Spartans.

How about Northern Iowa? After a buzzer-beating half-court shot beat Texas in the first round, the Panthers held a double-digit lead in the final minute of regulation against Texas A&M before letting it slip away and losing in double overtime. It was a painful way for Northern Iowa to go out because they would have had a solid chance of making noise in the Sweet 16 against Oklahoma.

Another great story from this season’s tournament is Yale. The Ivy League school pulled out one of the famed 12-5 upsets with their win over Baylor and then took Duke to the limit in the second round. It just proves that smart kids can get the job done on the court just as much as they can off the court.

There is even the story that broke on March 31 that South Carolina was sent a text telling them that they had made the NCAA Tournament when it wasn’t true. The leak of the bracket before it was fully released on television made the NCAA look terrible on Selection Sunday. The two-hour bracket show was a complete disaster and there will likely be tons of changes going into the 2017 tournament which will conclude in Phoenix at University of Phoenix Stadium which has seen some of the biggest upsets in sports history happen inside it.

It concludes with Buddy Hield. The Oklahoma sooner lit up Oregon in the West Regional Final and is clearly the player of the year. It has carried the Sooners to a point where they may have a chance to win their first national championship in school history. Can Hield keep up his hot scoring inside of a football stadium though in Houston with the completely different sight lines? If he can get Oklahoma a national championship, they just may carry Hield off the Norman campus on his way to the NBA.

This has truly been one tournament that people will never forget…..

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