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The Inkwell

The Student News Site of Jewish Leadership Academy

The Inkwell

March Madness
April 1, 2024
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March Madness

Every March the best 64 college basketball teams in the country come together and create one amazing tournament called March Madness. One bad game, one missed shot, one missed call and an entire season of hard work, blood, sweat, and tears just vanishes. That’s the pressure each team and each player is facing twenty four seven for the next month. Cinderella stories will happen, upsets will be shocking, and brackets will be filled out, and this year it has some storylines like no other. 

The best thing about March Madness are the Cinderella stories…like that one team that you would never expect to go far that rallies around something and pulls off some impossible victories. Two teams that I think are going to make it far are the teams that have something to rally about, and those are the teams playing for their coaches. Duquesne coach Keith Dambrot announced on Monday that he will be retiring. Dambrot has lots of ties to the school his dad played at for three seasons, so he grew up rooting for the school. Dambrot is a players coach and I’m sure that his team will rally around him and make it to at least the sweet 16. 

Another team that is playing for their coach is Long Beach, who are a fifteen seed.  Long Beach already fired their coach effective at the end of the season but when the team started to get hot they rattled off 11 straight wins and won the Big West tournament to punch their ticket to the tournament. They play Arizona who has looked a little shaky as of late so maybe we’ll have a little Long Beach Miracle. 

The tournament has some obvious favorites, the number one being the reigning champs UConn. Coming into their national championship UConn has not slowed down going 31-3, winning the big east, and scoring a one sided win in the tournament. Despite dominating all year long, the committee who decides the bracket for the tournament put them in a hard region with two teams who were in the final four last year. UConn has the experience to go all the way, but another team in their way will be Houston. The Houston Cougars who went 30-4 this year has also been at the top of the NCAA all year long. Despite losing in the finals of Big 12 to Iowa State they still have the skill to make a deep run. One thing that critics will point to is the field goal percentage of the Cougars. They have the lowest field goal percentage of any of the first seed, ranking 93rd in field goal percentage, 189th in three point percentage and 117th in free throw percentage. Despite the low percentages one thing the Cougars don’t have trouble doing is taking shots finishing 16th in shot attempts. So if the Cougars can get hot for a few games and make some shots they will be a force to reckon with. 

One team that I’m putting on major upset alert are the Tennessee Volunteers. Tennessee has the number two seed and are playing Saint Peters, a quality team. Tennessee on the other hand cannot shoot the ball to save their lives. They are 255th in field goal percentage, 255th in three point percentage, and 220th in free throw percentage. Saint Peters has a history of being a Cinderella story, and if Tennessee gets too cocky and has a bad day shooting this could easily go down south for the Volunteers.

March Madness is already in full swing and the craziness will ensue. We have underdogs favorites and upsets alerts. Hope that the madness doesn’t get to you too much and that your brackets stay true. 

 

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About the Contributor
Brandon Berger
Brandon Berger is a 6th grader who writes for The Inkwell. He enjoys fishing, playing sports, and writing about pretty much anything.  

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