March Madness: A Cinderella Story

March Madness

Tim Baxter

More stories from Tim Baxter


Tim Baxter

March Madness is winding down with the Final Four getting ready to compete. The Final Four are Loyola-Chicago, University of Kansas, University of Michigan and Villanova University.

With March Madness coming to a close, let’s review the key moments in this year’s tournament. 2018 has definitely been a year to remember thus far in the bracket. Cinderella stories, Sister Jean, and many snubs have dominated the narrative of March 2018. At this point, the Final Four has been narrowed down to Loyola-Chicago, University of Kansas, University of Michigan and Villanova University.

The two most notable stories to cover have been the immaculate University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) victory over Virginia, and Loyola-Chicago’s run – with the help of the crowd-favorite Sister Jean –  to the Final Four. Virginia easily had the strongest regular season coming into the tournament and were the number one seed at the outset. UMBC came into the tournament with a dream, and a big one at that. The UMBC Retrievers wanted to be the first 16 seed to defeat a one seed in the tourney. Incredibly, the upset occured, and UMBC won by 20 points. Sadly, the Cinderella story came to a close in the next round, with UMBC losing to the number nine seeded Kansas State.

On the other hand, Loyola-Chicago has punched their ticket to the Final Four. The Wolves won their first three games by two points or less. Their first game against a sixth seeded Miami was their second-largest win margin: two points. Their next two wins, against third seeded Tennessee and seventh seeded Nevada, were only by one point. Surprisingly, the Wolves then defeated ninth seeded Kansas State, by 12. Loyola-Chicago has been the underdog as the eleventh seed in every game they’ve played so far. The Wolves will face off against third seeded Michigan in the Final Four.

Michigan has had two single-digit wins and two double-digit wins, not facing their one or two seed in their bracket. Top seeded Xavier fell short to Florida State and the second seeded, defending champs, North Carolina lost to Texas A&M. In which, both teams fell to Michigan in their path to the Final Four.

Before the tournament even started, Villanova was ridiculed for having an easy path to the Final Four. Villanova’s toughest game was against the third seeded Texas Tech. They beat the Red Raiders by 12.

The fourth team to remain is University of Kansas. The top-seeded Jayhawks started off March with a clear win over the Ivy League’s champion, sixteen seeded Penn. The last three games that Kansas won were by four points, defeating Seton Hall, Clemson, and Duke. Although Duke lead most of the game, Kansas came back to tie the game with little time left, and Grayson Allen’s last second shot not falling in, led to Kansas defeating Duke in overtime.

2018 March Madness has been one for the books. A 16 beating a one, and an 11 in the Final Four, have made for great sports history.