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What you need to know about the 2024 March Madness tournament

Mar 23, 2019; Salt Lake City, UT, USA; General overall view of wilson official NCAA basketball with the March Madness logo on the court during a second round game of the 2019 NCAA tournament between the Baylor Bears and the Gonzaga Bulldogs at Vivint Smart Home Arena. Mandatory credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY SPORTS
Yale guard Yassine Gharram celebrates with fans after Yale upset Auburn in an NCAA tournament first-round game on Friday. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

As always, the month of March has brought about unpredictable surprises, keeping basketball enthusiasts on the edge of their seats with the anticipation of the best competition in sports. The NCAA March Madness tournament. 

In these past few days, the world of college basketball has witnessed many victories that have left everyone speechless, and their bracket in shambles. This ranges from an Ivy league upset to a huge surprise from the ACC, and so much more. 

Perhaps one of the most surprising outcomes of a March Madness game this year was the Ivy league school of Yale, a 13 seed in the bracket, coming out of nowhere and shocking the world by upsetting the fifth best college team in the country, Auburn. 

Previously, Yale had only made the bracket a total of 7 times, winning a game only two of those years. That’s why this was such a big deal for both the organization and Ivy league teams, proving that common misconceptions of being smart and geeky means that you can’t win basketball games. “The guys had enough guts and stuck together enough to get us to a great victory,” Yale coach James Jones said. “I couldn’t be prouder of my guys.

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Very few expected this to happen, only 11 perfect brackets still standing once Yale made their upset against Auburn. “It was unexpected, to say the least” South Hadley High school student and basketball enthusiast Matt Gillis said. “It was the most surprising first round upset of this year, and it ruined everyone’s bracket. Including my own.”

Despite this tragic defeat, the biggest story has to be the NC State Wolfpack. Going all the way back to the ACC tournament, the Pack have won 9 consecutive games in a row, shocking the league by winning the ACC championship. Even then, after beating two very talented teams in Duke and North Carolina, they were seeded as the 11th best team in the south division. 

This poor seed was soon seen to be a mistake, as the NC State Wolfpack had sunk their claws into anyone standing in their way. It all began with Texas Tech in the first round, but they then went on to beat Oakland. 

North Carolina State’s DJ Burns Jr. (left) drives against Marquette’s Oso Ighodaro during their Sweet 16 game in the men’s NCAA Tournament in Dallas on Friday. Tony Gutierrez/AP

From there NC State went on to beat the #2 Marquette, shocking anyone who hadn’t already been impressed by their first two victories. Then in the elite eight the Wolfpack game back after a halftime deficit and beat the #4 and heavily favored Duke University.

This all has come together to bring the NC State Wolfpack to their first Final Four since 1983, which is a huge deal for their program. NC State coach Kevin Keatts stated that “I think what makes me really happy is that we have students on campus who have never experienced this before.”

The only issue for these student athletes is they now have to get through the #1 Purdue in order to make the national championship game, which is no easy task. They will have to face off against Zach Eedy, who is a 7’4” basketball machine that nobody has been able to put a stop to. But who knows. Maybe the Wolfpack will have the answer nobody else did. 

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