POSTED March 31, 2021
March Madness is one of the biggest sporting tournaments in the world and one of the most-watched as well, during March Madness it drew in an average of 10.9 million viewers. Throughout March and three days of April, there will be 71 games played in just the span of just 16 days.
Before each March Madness season starts, you can make a bracket of teams you predict to win and think will do well in their games. This is a very popular way for people to play along with the action because 16.2 brackets were made by people trying to predict the outcome of games.
In the First Four, there were eight teams playing a final game to decide if they made it to the first round, and four teams that won their games were Norfolk State, Texas Southern, UCLA, and Drake. Since these four teams won they moved on to the first round of games.
First Round (64 teams left)
In the first round, 32 games were played with 16 being played on each side of the bracket. In just the first round alone there were 10 upsets where the higher-ranked team lost to the lower-ranked team. One of the biggest upsets was the number 15 seed, Oral Roberts, defeating the number two seed Ohio State. With just that game alone it ruined 14 million perfect brackets that had not predicted a game wrong before that. Another big upset happened on the other side of the bracket with 14 seed Abilene Christian beating three seed Texas by only one point. After all of these upsets, no one had a perfect bracket left and they were all gone by the 28th game.
Second Round (32 teams left)
In the second round, number one seed Illinois lost to the eight seed Loyola Chicago by a whole 13 points. That was not the only upset in the second round though there were three other huge upsets when 12 seed Oregon State beat the fourth seed Oklahoma State and when 11 seed Syracuse beat the third seed West Virginia, and lastly, the 15 seed Oral Roberts making history by beating the seventh seed Florida and becoming the second 15 seed to ever make the sweet 16. For one of the first times ever there were four 10+ seeds in the sweet 16 with 12 seed Oregon State, 11 seed Syracuse, 11 seed UCLA, and 15 seed Oral Roberts.
In the sweet 16, only three upsets happened and one of the biggest upsets was 12 seed Oregon State beating number eight seed Loyola State and for the first time since 2002, a 12 seed made it to the elite eight. Another big upset that happened was 11 seed UCLA beating two seed Alabama in a close overtime finish sending them the elite eight to face off against one seed Michigan. In addition one of the new fan favorites, 15 seed Oral Roberts couldn’t quite make the elite and lost by only two points in a very close game against three seed Arkansas.
In the elite eight, only four games were played, and on the right half of the bracket one seed Baylor beat three seed Arkansas in a close nine-point game, and two seed Houston beat 12 seed Oregon State in an even closer game by only six points. On the left side of the bracket of the biggest upsets of the whole tournament happened when one seed Michigan lost to 11 seed UCLA by a close two points and became the fifth 11 seed to ever make it to the final four. The other game on the left side of the bracket was pretty expected as one seed Gonzaga beat six seed USC by a whole 19 points in a complete blowout game for Gonzaga.
In the final four two huge games were played that lead two teams into the championship game. First, one seed Baylor destroyed two seed Houston by 19 points, for the other game though it was a very close game that ended in Gonzaga winning by just three points because of an overtime buzzer-beater against 11 seed UCLA
In the Championship game one seed, Gonzaga was playing one seed, Baylor. In this game, Gonzaga was expected to win because they were 33-0 compared to Baylor’s 2 losses and before the final four Gonzaga did not have a single close game. This game was a huge one though throughout the 60-minute game it averaged 17 million viewers and the whole tournament together made NCAA almost one billion dollars in revenue.