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The official student newspaper of Walter Johnson High School

The Pitch

The official student newspaper of Walter Johnson High School

The Pitch

The Madness of March: Basketball Tournament Takes Over

Each year in the spring, men and women, boys and girls, people of every age group, furiously print their March Madness brackets and fill them out, in hopes of winning not only money, but also pride and bragging rights. March Madness is the NCAA basketball tournament that determines the year’s champion.

People who participate in this ‘madness’ hang their brackets on the fridge like a masterpiece or do multiple brackets in online pools in hopes of winning money.

According to Business Insider, DePaul University math professor Jeff Bergen calculated the odds of winning a perfect bracket to be as high as one in 128 billion.

Business man Warren Buffett issued an ultimatum for the American people: whoever filled out a perfect March Madness Bracket would receive one billion dollars. No American achieved this near-impossible feat.

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According to Slate.com, every American could fill out a random tournament bracket for the next 290 million years, and there would still be a 99 percent chance that no one would win Buffett’s contest. So why do people continue to spend time and heartache filling theirs out?

The short answer is because it’s fun. People know they won’t get a perfect bracket, or even close to a perfect bracket. But it is still possible to end up with the right winner, and it’s fun to have a team to root for every game.

At this point the tournament is in the Sweet 16 round. Here are some highlights of what’s happened so far:

In the second round of the West region, the number 12 seed North Dakota State Bison played the number five seed Oklahoma University Sooners in Spokane, Washington on March 20. Lawrence Alexander of NDS dropped 28 points with eight rebounds and four assists to lead the Bison to an 80-75 victory in overtime. This is one of eight total upsets that occurred in the second round of the NCAA tournament.

On Friday, March 21, the number three seed Duke University took on the number 14 seed Mercer University  at the PNC Arena in Raleigh, North Carolina. This game was a round two game for the Midwest region. Mercer’s leading scorer, Jakob Gollon, scored 20 points and had five rebounds to lead the Bears to a 78-71 win over the Blue Devils. This upset marked the second time in three years that Duke has lost to a double digits seed.

The number nine seed George Washington Colonels took on the  number eight seed Memphis Tigers in round two of the East region. For the Colonels, leading scorer Isaiah Armwood totaled 21 points, but unfortunately, that wasn’t enough to stop the Tigers’ hot shooting, who posted 49 percent in field goals. The final score was 71-66 in favor of Memphis.

Dayton University stunned the Syracuse Orange to reach the Sweet 16 from the South region. Dayton took a 20-18 lead into half time. Dayton has won every game this season when opponents recorded 53 or fewer total points. In this game, Syracuse scored 53 points and Dayton took the win with 55.

Freshman Ishmail Wainwright of the Baylor Bears, who played basketball in high school for Montrose Christian in Rockville, MD, scored two points against the Creighton Blue Jays in Baylor’s 85-55 win.

The Final Four brought the tournament down to the number one ranked University of Florida Gators versus the number seven ranked University of Connecticut Huskies and the number two ranked University of Wisconsin Badgers versus the number eight ranked University of Kentucky Wildcats.

The Huskies upset the Gators in a 63-53 defeat to make it to the final game. They will play the Wildcats, who upset the Badgers 74-73 with a buzzer beater from freshman guard Aaron Harrison.

Kentucky has played this season with five freshman starters. Harrison plays with his identical twin brother, Andrew Harrison. Both were top recruits and have led the Wildcats to an outstanding season. Some may say that the young team is inexperienced, but they are obviously well prepared for the tournament. The last time the Wildcats made it to the Final Four was in 2012, and they continued on to win the tournament.

The last time UConn made it to the Final Four was in 2011, and they also went on to win the championship. Every time that UConn has made it to the finals, they have won.

These two teams playing each other marks the highest coming ranking ever, meaning they are the two worst ranked teams to ever play each other in the final.

The final game was played on Monday, April 7 at 9:10 p.m. in AT&T Arena in Arlington, Texas. The UConn huskies pulled out the win with a score of 60-54 over the Kentucky Wildcats.

The Pitch interviewed several WJ students to see who they thought would win it all. See the video to find out!

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Sabrina Greene
Sabrina Greene, Online Sports Editor & Social Media Consultant
Senior Sabrina Greene is writing for The Pitch for the first time this year. She is the Social Media and Marketing coordinator as well as an Online Sports Editor. She hopes to widen The Pitch’s social media presence and provide a female perspective on sports. Sabrina is also the Editor-in-Chief of Spectator Magazine and plays Varsity lacrosse. She plans to study English/Communications in college, where she hopes to play lacrosse and travel abroad.
Zeke Green
Zeke Green, Online Sports Editor
Senior Zeke Green is excited to be on The Pitch in his first year this year. He is an Online Sports Editor as well as a print staff writer. He plays varsity baseball and loves to play outside, no matter what is being done. He hopes to major in business and continue his sport at the collegiate level and move away from Maryland.
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