Even though it is now April, it is called March Madness for a reason and the Connecticut Huskies and Kentucky Wildcats are proof of that. Before the start of the 2014 NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship all signs pointed to a final between the Florida Gators and the Wichita State Shockers, or another top seed finals match up.
However, during March Madness anything can happen. As the tournament started, immediately college basketball fans tournament brackets were busted as teams that were thought to be a shoe in to win their first match ups were upset. However, a few of the top seeds survived, and as the tournament moved on it began to look like the championship game would end up with top seed Florida facing off against a second seeded Wisconsin Badgers team. Saturday night the Madness ran wild again on the NCAA Tournament.
The Final Four games started out with the Gators taking on the Huskies. The last time Florida lost it was to the Huskies in December. After that loss, the number one-seeded team went on a 30-game win streak and stormed into the semi finals of the tournament. When the game started it was all Florida, taking a commanding lead early in the game over the seventh seed Huskies. However, the madness hit the team from Connecticut and in the second half it was all Huskies. The eighth seed Connecticut team went on to beat the top seeded team 63-53.
And last night it was apparent that the Connecticut Huskies are not the only team with the Madness of March as the Kentucky Wildcats took the court against the Wisconsin Badgers. The Badgers and Wildcats games quickly became a classic college basketball battle. The game was up for grabs until the last seconds when Kentucky’s Aaron Harrison nailed his only three-point shot of the game to take a 73-72 lead over Wisconsin. The Wildcats held onto that score for the final 5 seconds to advance to the finals.
In both games, while the winning teams celebrated the victories, the losing teams were devastated. Tears streaming down the faces of players, cheerleaders and fans in disbelief that their teams are not moving on. In a tournament filled with upsets, when a team is so close to the final, last night truly showed college basketball exactly what the madness is.
Out of a field of 68 teams, to come down to a final where a seventh seed will face an eighth seed is unthinkable. It is the equivalent of two Wild Card teams playing for the Super Bowl. Yet, that is March Madness. It is April, however, the madness that started on March 18 spreads into April for the Final Four every year.
On Monday night the Connecticut Huskies and Kentucky Wildcats are poised to continue the Madness of March. They will face each other in the final game of the college basketball tournament to determine which of them will be crowned the 2014 National Champions. It is sure to be an exciting end to college basketball for the year.
Commentary by Carl Auer