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International Dateline

The Student News Site of Washington International School

International Dateline

The Student News Site of Washington International School

International Dateline

March Madness, In Case You Missed It


This year’s March Madness was a wild ride full of moments that made us laugh, cry, and come together to appreciate one of the most exciting events in all of sports.

But, in case you missed one of the most bracket-busting NCAA tournaments we’ve seen in a long time, here are the three most important things you should know about 2018 March Madness:

UMBC’s Historic Upset

The most unforgettable moment of this year’s tournament surprisingly happened in the first round. It happened when the No. 16 seed University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC) Retrievers bested the tournament’s No. 1 overall seed, the University of Virginia Cavaliers. The Retrievers pulled off the 74-54 victory in Charlotte, NC, shaking the entire world of sports.

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“These are the moments that you dream of,” said UMBC guard Jairus Lyles in the press conference following the game.

Lyles, a native of the D.C. area, scored 28 points in the game. He even chucked up a half-court shot after the clock stopped and it still went in, summarizing Lyles’ night.

On the other hand, UVA was completely off as they shot 4-22 from the 3-point line, while UMBC shot a whopping 50 percent from behind the arc.

“We got thoroughly outplayed and that’s the reality of it,” said UVA coach Tony Bennett.

This was the first time a No. 16 seed beat a No. 1 seed in the men’s tournament. The only No. 16-No. 1 upset in the women’s tournament happened in 1998 when Harvard upset Stanford. This is why all basketball fans were in shock.

UMBC’s run was short-lived, as they lost to Kansas State in the second round, but the basketball world will never forget the Retrievers’ magical win.

“Unbelievable – it’s really all you can say,” said Ryan Odom, the coach of UMBC describing his team’s win.

Sister Jean and Loyola-Chicago’s Cinderella Run

The Loyola-Chicago Ramblers stole the hearts of many as they made an unexpected Cinderella run to the Final Four.

The team’s most famous figure was not a player, and it wasn’t even a coach. It was a 98-year old nun named Jean Dolores-Schmidt, more commonly known as Sister Jean. Sister Jean has accompanied the Ramblers as team chaplain since 1994.

Loyola’s tournament started off with an upset over coach Jim Larranaga’s Miami Hurricanes. It ended with Donte Ingram hitting a 3-pointer beating the buzzer for the win.

Loyola’s last-second magic continued in their second round win of Tennessee. Clayton Custer, a junior guard, hit a jumper on a lucky bounce with 3.6 seconds remaining to send the Ramblers to the Sweet 16.

In the Sweet 16, Loyola faced Nevada. It was a nail-biter the entire time, until the last ten seconds. Yes, Loyola hit another last-second shot. With 6.3 seconds left, Marques Towns hit a clutch three to secure a 69-68 win. Loyola’s coach, Porter Moser, described Towns as a “warrior” following the game.

“I don’t care that you broke my bracket,” said Sister Jean after the win in an interview with CBS, as she predicted that Loyola would lose in the Sweet 16.

Loyola beat Kansas State pretty handily in the Elite 8, as they shocked the world by heading to the Final Four.

In the National Semifinal, Michigan was too much to handle for Loyola. The Wolverines’ Moritz Wagner was unstoppable in the game, finishing with 24 points and 15 rebounds. But, Loyola’s will still go down as one of the most notable Cinderella stories of this decade, and it will not be forgotten.

The Ramblers followed Sister Jean’s life slogan throughout the tournament: “Worship, work, win”, and it sure paid off.

Villanova and the DiVincenzo Show

Although there were many upsets in this year’s March Madness, the 2018 NCAA champion was not a surprise. The Villanova Wildcats cruised to the national championship, winning every single game by more than ten points.

Surprisingly, Loyola’s Donte Ingram wasn’t the most important Donte of the tournament. Villanova’s sixth-man Donte DiVincenzo had an incredible performance in the championship game, scoring 39 points in a 17-point victory over Michigan.

“I was just trying to make the right play,” said DiVincenzo donning a championship hat with a piece of the net tied onto it, “I was just feeling it”.

Other players also played key parts in Villanova’s tournament dominance. Jalen Brunson and Mikal Bridges carried the team for most of the tournament, scoring a lot of their points. This is Villanova’s second championship in three years as they won it all in 2016.

“I never dreamt of it,” said Villanova’s coach Jay Wright, on winning his second title.

This year’s March Madness brought us everything we could ever wish for, giving pure entertainment to anyone who watched it.

By Saul Pink


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