March Madness has been ‘mad’

Published 7:30 am Thursday, March 30, 2023

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I’m not much of a basketball person, but my eyes are always on the TV when the NCAA’s March Madness rolls around.

This year, I have really enjoyed watching the men’s tournament games on CBS, TBS, TNT, and truTv. I even downloaded the official March Madness app on my iPhone when I could not be near my television at home.

It’s safe to say this year’s edition of what I believe to be the world’s greatest playoff has been fun and exciting with plenty of upsets. I was rooting for the Alabama Crimson Tide to win it all, but they had a great season.

It was pretty neat to see first and second-round games being played at the Legacy Arena in Birmingham two weeks ago. That was the first time NCAA games were played in the state of Alabama since 2008.

Let’s move on to the 14 upsets. I don’t think any could have topped 16-seed Fairleigh Dickinson’s upset win over top-seed Purdue in the East Regional. The West Regional’s top seed Kansas went down in the second round to Arkansas. The South Regional’s top seed Alabama and Midwest Regional’s Houston both lost on the same night in the Sweet Sixteen. That means 2023 is the first time ever that all four top seeds bowed out before the Elite Eight. Two-seed Texas was the only one or two seed left among the final eight teams.

The Final Four will be played Saturday, April 1, in Houston with the national championship game Monday, April 3. The South’s five-seed San Diego State and East’s nine-seed Florida Atlantic meet in the first national semi-final before the Midwest’s five-seed Miami (FL) battles the West’s four-seed Connecticut.

Three of the remaining four teams will make their Final Four debuts, while Texas is back in for the first time since 2003. Florida Atlantic is only the second nine-seed to make it this far and the first since Wichita State in 2013. I’m not sure whom I’ll be rooting for, but it would be cool to see a Cinderella team hoist the trophy. Needless to say, my eyes will be on the TV screen come Saturday night and again next Monday.

This is what March Madness is all about. I can’t wait to see who will be crowned the national champions of 2023!

— Zack Maio is a staff writer for the Andalusia Star-News.