March Madness: The Underdogs Are For Real!

It’s March and that means it is time for some madness and you can’t have madness without the underdogs beating the odds and causing major upsets! In other words, the world of NCAA Basketball better get ready for some unexpected surprises. That’s what March Madness is all about.

These are schools that go by multiple names. However, it does not matter if you call them mid-majors, cinderella stories or underdogs. At the end of the day, they’re there to play. They’re capable of anything, including shocking the world.

The greatest underdog story in NCAA tournament history has to be the Texas Western Miners (now known as UTEP) vs Kentucky Wildcats in the 1966 NCAA National Championship game. The Miners won the game 72-65. In addition, it was the first time in history where a title match featured an entire African-American starting lineup.

The greatest cinderella story is the Villanova Wildcats in the 1985 NCAA tournament. The wildcats came into the tournament as 8th seed. Tto this day is the lowest seed to ever win the title. The wildcats matched up against Georgetown and future #1 pick Patrick Ewing in the championship game and won 66-64.

The run of the 2010 and 2011 Butler Bulldogs can’t be forgotten even though they lost in the national championship. It’s remarkable that they made it to the finals in the first place.

In 2010, Butler came within a missed halfcourt from some kid named Gordon Hayward to almost knocking off Duke to win the title. In 2011, Butler ran into a  UCONN Huskies team led by Kemba Walker, which is known as the greatest run to the title by any team.

This year’s tournament will consist of underdogs and mid-majors to the point that the title game can’t include a traditional powerhouse. Going into the conference tournament, the NCAA rankings include three mid-majors in the top-five(Gonzaga, Dayton, and San Diego State.) and another sitting inside of the top 15(Creighton).

Gonzaga is the team that has the best shot at being the mid-major to win it all. Looking at its past history, some won’t even call it underdog or cinderella story. Gonzaga is still in a mid-major conference and this year has signed the first 5-star recruit in school history.

History tends to repeat itself. For example, in 1990, UNLV won the title and was the last time a team from a non-power conference won it all. In 2020 it could happen again. Shockers and surprises are simply part of the concept of March Madness.

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