The Highland Echo

Villanova wins again!

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Photo Courtesy: http://stlouisreview.com

Photo Courtesy: http://stlouisreview.com

Photo Courtesy: http://stlouisreview.com

Jimmy Patton, Sports Editor

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One of the most highly anticipated months and events in all of sports has finally concluded. The 2018 March Madness basketball tournament is officially over, and the Villanova Wildcats are National Champions for the second time in the last three years.
With every year, March Madness brings so much fun and excitement to basketball fans and viewers across the country. This year, was no different. 64 teams each year make the big dance to earn a shot to become NCAA champions. The number one seeds for this year’s tournament were Virginia, Xavier, Villanova, and Kansas. After weeks of games, it all came down to Villanova and the Michigan Wolverines. Every year it seems as if the tournament gets better and there is always many monumental upsets. This year’s tournament did not disappoint in regards to upsets. For the first time ever, the country witnessed the top team in the country, the one seed Virginia Cavaliers fall to sixteen seed University of Maryland, Baltimore County or UMBC. The retrievers made an embarrassment out of the supposed favorite to win the tournament by a final score of 74-54. Guard Jairus Lyles had a monster game racking up 28 points. The Retrievers dominated throughout the game giving Virginia no true chance to make a comeback. This was only one of many other bracket busting upsets to take place. Number 4 seed, Arizona would fall to the number 13 seed Buffalo in a shocking upset as Arizona looked to be primed to make a deep run in the tournament with NBA prospect Deandre Ayton.
Other bracket busters include early losses by Wichita State, Michigan State and North Carolina. These teams were thought to have good odds to advance far into the tournament but failed to do so. One of the most popular stories and arguably the biggest surprise team of the year, were the Loyola Chicago Ramblers. Winning their first 3 games of the tournament, by a combined total of just four points, they were truly this year’s Cinderella story which many viewers rooted for. With victories over the Miami Hurricanes,Tennessee Volunteers, Nevada Wolfpack, and Kansas State Wildcats, the Ramblers would make their way into the final four. A large part of their popularity was due to their biggest fan, 98 year old Sister Jean. She has been the team chaplain since 1994. The support of her team has made her an icon.
Eventually the country would see four teams standing in hopes to win a national title. These teams were the Michigan Wolverines, Loyola Chicago, Kansas Jayhawks and the Villanova Wildcats. Villanova and Michigan would end up meeting each other in the championship beating the Ramblers and Jayhawks convincingly. The highly anticipated championship matchup between Villanova and Michigan would leave us with a clear cut champion. With a final score of 79-62, Villanova would prevail earning their 2nd championship victory in 3 seasons. Finishing with a 36-4 on the season, coach Jay Wright’s squad was extremely impressive yet again. Lead by sophomore guard Donte DiVincenzo who put up 31 points in the game of his life, Mikal Bridges and Jalen Brunson, surely a talented lineup that is well deserving of their win. College basketball surely brought lots of fun this season, and loads of excitement as always leaving fans antsy for next year to watch the madness unfold again.

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Villanova wins again!