March Madness Proving Madder Than Ever!

The NCAA college basketball tournament - or March Madness in popular culture - remains one of the great American sporting events and following the wild results of this first weekend, that position is in no jeopardy. College basketball fans - and non-fans who suddenly flock to their televisions and brackets come March - speak to the appeal of the ultimate Cinderella sporting event.  Fans and college alumni watch for different reasons (school, money, two more weeks until baseball opens...) but the first four days of the NCAA tournament offered a satisfying collection of drama for all. And if betting on college basketball isn't enough excitement for you, you can always take your action online with the crew at 918Kiss.


Virginia's inexplicable loss to UMBC -- the first time a top seed had lost in the opening round in 136 matchups between a 1-seed and a 16-seed -- will rank as the greatest upset in the history of the tournament. Additionally, this is the first time a pair of 9-seeds will participate in the Sweet 16 (looking at you, Kansas State and Florida State) and it's the first time since seeding began in 1979 that a region (in this case the South Region) will not feature a single top-four seed in the round of 16. It's basketball blue-blood Kentucky that stands to benefit, as their road through Atlanta stands to be - based on rankings - the easiest path (thanks to stunning upsets by Nevada and Loyola-Chicago) of legendary Wildcats Coach John Calipari's career.

On Sunday alone, there were a cascade of upsets that have blown up brackets nationwide. Florida State came back late to knock off #1 seeded Xavier in a true shocker. The previously referenced Nevada (lead almost entirely by transfers from other schools) stormed back from 22 points down with 11 minutes left to upset Cincinnati. Texas A&M knocked off defending national champions North Carolina. Meanwhile, Jim Boeheim's Syracuse team was the very last at-large team picked by the committee, yet they dominated the pace of play and shocked a Michigan State team that many had picked to win the national championship. Now the Orange will play longtime foe Duke in the Sweet Sixteen.

This is ultimately what makes the NCAA tournament so special. The players, the teams, the coaches and the storylines change yearly yet the appeal remains. This is the mystique of March Madness. And with the wildest Sweet 16 in recent memory coming up this week, who knows what thrills are left to be found? 

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