Looking Back on March Madness


Danny Ranz, Sports reporter

It feels like yesterday that “March Madness” consumed the time and energy of many Americans. From shocking upsets to last-second baskets, the 2015 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament was one for the ages. A few weeks into the future, it’s easier to reflect on a great time in the sports world.  How did it affect the students here at BHS?

From the starting gates, the NCAA Tournament destroyed brackets left and right. Led by coach Ron Hunter, the 14-seed Georgia State Panthers upset three-seed Baylor, with Hunter’s own son RJ sinking a game winning three-point shot at the final buzzer. 14-seed UAB stunned Big-12 champion, three-seed Iowa State, destroying over five million brackets, according to ESPN.com.

After a controversial call against sixth-seeded SMU Mustangs,11th-seed UCLA silenced their critics by becoming the only double-digit seed to make it to the Sweet Sixteen. Michigan State did the unthinkable by becoming only the second seven-seed in history to make it to the Final Four. As always, the NCAA tournament proves that anything is possible.

“Out of over 150 entries entered in my bracket contest, not one student picked Michigan State to be in the Final Four,” said special education teacher Mr. Fazio. “Michigan State messed up a lot of brackets.” After two weeks of intense action, Kentucky, Wisconsin, Michigan State, and Duke highlighted the Final Four. The two big storylines of the Final Four were Kentucky’s pursuit of perfection and the legendary coaches featured within.

Kentucky had a historic season and were two wins away from having the first undefeated season since the 1976 Indiana Hoosiers. Their first task was to get past Wisconsin. Easy, right? After the tipoff, Kentucky did not look like themselves. The Wildcats gave up too many jump shots and could not stop Wisconsin center Frank Kaminsky. Wisconsin won the game 71-64, leaving the Wildcats and the country in shock and earning a date with the Duke Blue Devils for the national championship. Hats off to the Kentucky Wildcats for a tremendous 38-1 season.

The championship game was everything fans wanted and more. Wisconsin and Duke put on a memorable performance and had fans on their feet the entire way. Throughout the game Duke’s star player, Jahlil Okafor, could not defend Frank Kaminsky and got into early foul trouble. Duke was forced to rely on their bench and other stars to win the game. Freshman guards Grayson Allen and Tyus Jones stepped up and led Duke to a 68-63 win. This Blue Devil victory proved that there is no “I” in the word “team.”

“I was shocked that Duke won it all,” said BHS senior Timmy Charles. “I thought they shouldn’t have been a one-seed in the first place but they proved me wrong.”

Aside from Kentucky, the Final Four consisted of four legendary coaches: Tom Izzo of Michigan State, Bo Ryan of Wisconsin, Mike Krzyzewski of Duke, and John Calipari of Kentucky. All of these coaches are hall of fame coaches except Bo Ryan who will be in the future. The Final Four was the ultimate test to see who is the best coach in modern college basketball, and Mike Krzyzewski came out on top. Now the only question that remains: is Coach K is the greatest of all time?