The Student News Site of Westfield High School

Hi's Eye

The Student News Site of Westfield High School

Hi's Eye

The Student News Site of Westfield High School

Hi's Eye

Prepare for ‘Madness’: March is here


The best tournament in all of sports is here to free us from our seasonal depression and propel us into spring in the best way possible.

It’s March Madness, so you know something impossible or never seen before is going to happen. Which underdog will conquer expectations and become this year’s Cinderella story? How many buzzer-beating shots will be heard around the world?

The “Big Dance” is finally here, so let’s get the ball rolling. Please note that Hi’s Eye print deadline was on Wednesday, so if one of the big dogs falls on Thursday, we apologize for the confusion.

The 68-team field is set. This year’s one seeds are Connecticut, Houston, Purdue and North Carolina. These four teams will head into the tournament as the favorites to win the championship as 24 of the last 38 NCAA champions were number one seeds. The first four teams out of the tournament field this year were Oklahoma, Seton Hall, Indiana St. and Pittsburgh.

UConn, the reigning national champions, are the top-ranked team in the nation. They are led by senior guards Tristen Newton and Cam Spencer. With a record of 31-3 and five players averaging double-digit points per game, the Huskies have one of the best chances in recent memory to repeat as champions.

However, UConn will have plenty of competition to defend their title. Purdue returns with much of their team from last season, where they won the Big Ten tournament and earned a one seed before being toppled by 16-seed Fairleigh Dickinson in one of the biggest upsets of all time. Two-time national player of the year, Zach Edey, who stands at a whopping 7 ‘4 and first team all Big Ten guard Braden Smith lead an experienced squad that will undoubtedly be determined to finally make a March run.

Houston rolled through the Big 12, which is touted as the strongest conference in the country. They have won 10 of their last 11 games thanks to the best defense in the country and Big 12 Player of the Year Jamal Shead.

The other top seed is North Carolina. They have star seniors Armando Bacot and RJ Davis, both of whom started in the national championship game two years ago. Transfers Harrison Ingram and Cormac Ryan have taken them to another level which has already resulted in an ACC regular season title.

Other potential contenders include the likes of Tennessee, Arizona, Duke and Kentucky. Fan-favorite Saint Peters is also back in the dance after shocking the world with their run to the Elite 8 as a 15-seed two years ago.

The March Madness feeling has also made its way into WHS as students have been filling out their brackets. “My friends always do a big March Madness pool and I take it very seriously,” said senior Neil Weiss. “For me, the process of filling out a bracket starts at the beginning of the college basketball season.”

Games during school hours are usually broadcast in the cafeterias, so make sure you find another quiet spot to do your homework as there will certainly be cheering, or maybe even whining, as students watch their entire bracket go to shambles.

The NCAA tournament is upon us, and as always, it’s shaping up to be a good one.

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