March Madness shocks viewers with final four


Miami vs. Iowa. Large March Madness scoreboards adorn every stadium the games are played in.

Ellie Dahlstrom and Annaliese North, Podcast and Distribution reporters

The Final Four teams in March Madness, Florida Atlantic, UConn, Miami FL, San Diego St were not the finalists spectators were expecting. Out of the finalists, only one team had previous appearances in the Final Four bracket. UConn made this year its sixth appearance and second win overall. Miami FL, San Diego St, and Florida Atlantic all had no appearances prior to this year. These rankings caused many fans’ opinions to differ, and caused many frustrations with people’s March Madness brackets, as they did not expect these teams to make it as far as they did.

“There were no number one seeds going into the final four which just doesn’t happen,” said sophomore Chase Johnson.

Seeds are decided based on previous tournaments the teams compete in to determine if they deserve to play in march madness. Seeds with lower numbers mean the team is predicted with a better chance to win. Many people have different opinions on why these teams made it as far as they did, “locker room presence, energy, drive to win,” are some of Johnson’s theories. Games are always unpredictable but this March Madness season had a lot of upsets. 

Not only did the final four contain no number one seeds, but three out of four teams had no previous appearances in the final four. Florida Atlantic, Miami FL and San Diego all made their first appearance this year. UConn however, made this year their sixth feature, and second win. Even though Miami did not win, spectators were surprised they made it as far as they did.

“I never really expected them to make the final this year,” said Aidan Hammond, junior basketball player.

That opinion seems to be a universal idea that this year’s March madness turnout was simply unexpected. This caused a lot of people to lose money in bets, brackets, and other gambling games.

Not only did the teams that made it to the finals this year affect fans but a huge part of march madness is the brackets. To many people these brackets are what makes their march so exciting, from people who are serious and know their teams to people who just do it with their family and friends for fun. Although these brackets are such a big deal in fans’ lives these past 3 years it looked different from what it usually looks like because of the Coronavirus where people couldn’t get together and discuss their brackets and have that sense of competition with friends and family. But this year it’s much different because fans are able to be together and talk about it and have that teasing back and forth about which team they picked. 

“ We couldn’t be together because of Covid it wasn’t as fun because we couldn’t discuss the brackets together and have that camaraderie,” said Kris McCarthy, sports and society teacher

These brackets not only affect fan bases, friend groups and families they also affect school classes just like McCarthy’s Sports and Society class, how it was hard to get together during covid and discuss the brackets together.

I never really expected them to make the final this year,

Not only did the coronavirus change things over the years but something else changed. People are allowed to transfer on teams now because of new transfer rules. This affected many coaches and players, coaches like the Michigan state coach was not a fan of this new rule because this meant that top players could leave. Even though the rules let up and allowed athletes to transfer teams the rules were still very strict, athletes are not allowed to contact coaches prior to going into the portal, and if they do, they will not hear back from a coach until they are officially in the portal. Coaches can face implications for answering athletes about transferring if they are not in the portal. One other rule is Student-athletes have to sit out a year when they transfer to a Division I school for the second time. For instance, if a student-athlete has played at two Division I schools and decides to transfer again, they will have to sit out a year. This new rule on transferring really affected this year’s bracket.

“ Now we’re seeing a lot of those top 10 teams losing right away because of a lot of the abilities for students to transfer from school to school,” said Kris McCarthy

All of these changes within these past couple years really changed the point of view of march madness fan bases, many people were excited with these new teams rocketing ahead while others did not take it very well. Many fans were upset because the top ten teams that people are used to winning right away didn’t instead the underdog teams came up and won. Many people have studied the past years of these games and used those teams for their brackets which got many people angry because lots of their brackets lost right away. While to many people these brackets were a huge upset on march madness fans, at the same time it affected them positivitly it encouraged people that you don’t need to have a lot of money and fancy gear and be a well known team or person you can still go out there and win no matter what, in the end it just matters on how you played.

March Madness 2023 had an unexpected turnout that upset a good amount of people, but overall kept the fans hooked.