Students and faculty recap March Madness

Villanova team members raise their third National Championship trophy in three years.

Courtesy of the Baltimore Sun

Villanova team members raise their third National Championship trophy in three years.

On Monday, April 2, Villanova University beat the University of Michigan in the NCAA March Madness tournament, 72-69. With Loyola University Chicago in the Final Four this year, more students and faculty than normal paid attention to the final few games.

The men’s basketball tournament has had so many upsets this year, but the final game definitely wasn’t one. Villanova has won two of the past three National Championships. Their victory over Texas Tech University in the tournament broke Duke University’s record for most wins in a four year period.

“I was so happy when Villanova won; I knew they would beat Michigan,” said Jillian Wallace, senior, who will be attending Villanova in the fall.

Loyola made an unexpected run this year. The small Catholic school went into the national spotlight, reaching the Final Four as an 11 seed. Ms. Maura Langevin, Spanish teacher and Loyola alum, drove down to Atlanta to see the team beat Kansas State University 78 – 62 on Saturday, March 24.

“When I was a student at Loyola, there weren’t that many fans going to the games, but just going down [to Atlanta] and seeing the environment and how enthusiastic everybody was about Loyola sports was really awesome,” Ms. Langevin said.

Ms. Langevin has also met Sister Jean, the team chaplain who gained popularity throughout the tournament. She’s known as a good luck charm to the team, sitting courtside and praying with the team before every game. However, the team’s luck ran out as Loyola lost to Michigan on Saturday, March 31 with a final score of 69-57, ending its underdog run.

In addition to Loyola’s run, this year’s tournament had many other upsets. For the first time in NCAA history, a 16 seed beat a one seed as the University of Maryland Baltimore County defeated the University of Virginia 74 – 54, scoring 53 of its points in the second half.

“[The Virginia/UMBC game] was exciting to watch, even though I had Virginia going to the Final Four,” said Charlie Lyne, junior.

Several other upsets busted brackets in the first round, as Michigan State University, the University of Arizona, and Wichita State University all lost. For the Devils’ Advocate bracket pool, writer Sam Moriarty came in first place, predicting the championship game. Though, to this day, no one has ever filled out a perfect bracket, but there’s always next year.