Busted Brackets for CCSU Students

Alexis Dascher, Staff Writer

Since Sunday, March 12, basketball rookies and enthusiasts have begun selecting teams to go against one another for their March Madness brackets. 

The National Collegiate Athletic Association is notorious for its college-team tournaments. The teams with seeds 1-16 are brought to Houston’s NRG Stadium in hopes of advancing to the next bracket.

Central Connecticut State University senior JP Bonilla said this year’s tournament had some great games.

“There have been many matchups that have helped my bracket get more points,” Bonilla said. “However, there’s been a lot of upsets that have ruined my bracket, such as Purdue vs. Fairleigh Dickinson and Arizona vs. Princeton.”

On Friday, March 17, the Knights beat the Boilermakers with a 63-58 score. 

“Fairleigh Dickinson brought down a giant,” AP reported for ESPN. AP also said the Boilermakers were the second No. 16 seed to win a March Madness game. 

The Princeton Tigers beat the Arizona Wildcats with a shocking score of 59-55. 

Bonilla described these matches as unimaginable. 

“Both these games were huge matchups where the lower seed ended up beating the higher seed and were results that no one could ever predict, especially myself,” he said. 

Like Bonilla, University of Connecticut student Abbie Rochette said she had Purdue University’s team further in her bracket.

“I had Purdue going to the championship against UConn, and when they got out so early, it definitely kind of ruined my bracket!” Rochette said.

Despite many upsets, Rochette described the season as enjoyable to watch.

“It’s crazy that there are no No. 1 seeds in the Elite Eight,” she said.

With an almost 100% guarantee that a No. 1 seed would play in the Elite Eight, many people were shocked to realize that no top seeds were moving forward.

These new statistics show a 75% chance of No. 1 seed teams making it to the Elite Eight yearly. 

“…the men’s NCAA Tournament will not have a No. 1 seed in the Elite Eight for the first time since seeding began in 1979,” the Associated Press reported to NBC News. “Perdue, Kansas, Houston, and Alabama are all gone, ensuring the Final Four will not have a No. 1 team for the first time since 2011 and the third overall.”

According to Rochette, seeing different teams enter the championship is excellent, and she enjoys making brackets. 

“New teams are getting a chance to shine,” she said. “I make a bracket every year with my family just for fun, and I did one with my friends from Berlin as well!”

Rochette said she has been making brackets for six years and has grown more invested in the results. 

Central junior Aaron Keefe said he started a bracket with some friends this year, and many of his first-week picks were correct.

“A lot of them were close games and enjoyable to watch,” Keefe said. “I’m not the biggest college basketball watcher, but March Madness is always fun because you always get the games where all these teams weigh in, and one team makes a run yearly.”

According to Keefe, March Madness can still entertain people who do not watch basketball.

“Creating a bracket is always fun because even if you don’t follow basketball, you can randomly pick a team and root for them,” he said. “If your team loses, you can hop on another team that you think looks interesting.”

Keefe described March Madness brackets as a good way to include everybody and also a way to further one’s sports knowledge. 

“While it’s not for everyone, you can start watching college basketball, and then you can transition to National Basket Association games because it’s different from college basketball,” he said. “If you like basketball, you can also try football or soccer.”

According to Keefe, this is his fifth year creating a bracket, and he has never picked the correct championship winner. 

“Even though I’m always wrong, I guess it’s just how the cookie crumbles,” he said. “But, I’m excited to see the rest of it unfold, and hopefully, I picked the winner this year.”

The NCAA championship game was on Monday, April 3, at 9:20 p.m.