Madness 2010

HEELLL NAWW!! That’s the thought that first went through my mind when I checked the score of the Kansas-Northern Iowa game at halftime. UNI is up by 8? How is this happening? I refreshed the webpage, just in case it was an error, but the score stayed the same. Crazy. In the second half of the game, however, Kansas started make a comeback, just like a number one overall seed should. But UNI had the answer, by the name of Ali Farokmanesh. With 36 seconds left and a one point lead, he got the ball open on the three point line. The smart play? Pull it out and run off the clock. But instead of this, Farokmanesh took his shot at history, and let it fly from the wing. Swoosh. At that moment, Kansas’ championship dreams went down the drain. "We worked so hard for this all year, and to have a team that is not better than us come out and beat us, it’s tough," said Kansas forward Marcus Morris. Most of the Jayhawks were so disappointed that they didn’t even make it to the locker room before they started crying. Instead, many of them just crumpled to the floor when the game ended, tears streaming down their faces. Of course, for all the sadness that Kansas went through, UNI had the same amount of happiness. "We just knocked off the best team in the country," UNI’s Johnny Moran said in a jubilant postgame locker room. "It feels great to share it with these guys." Students at Ames High were pretty happy about this too. "In my bracket, I had Kansas going pretty far, but I still rooted for UNI." sophomore Walter Woodruff said. "You’ve got to love the underdog, and they’re bringing pride to the state of Iowa." Unfortunately, UNI’s dream run ended in the next round, as they couldn’t make it past Michigan State to get to the Elite 8. UNI’s upset was the arguably the biggest in NCAA tournament history. But in addition to UNI taking down Kansas, this tournament has had more upsets than any tournament in recent history, causing many aspiring bracket makers to tear their brackets in half and throw them away. These bracket busting upsets started in the first round, when 13 seed Murray State hit a buzzer beater to stun 4 seed Vanderbilt. Later that day, 14 seed Ohio shocked 3 seed Georgetown, and 11 seed Washington beat 6 seed Marquette. 12 seed Cornell beat 5 seed Temple, and then continued it’s cinderella run when it knocked out 4 seed Wisconsin. 10 seed St. Mary’s also beat 2 seed Villanova. "We’ve seen the formula for success play out so far in this tournament. Mid-majors with seniors, shooters and one big man can play with the big boys." says analyst Pete Prisco. St Mary’s, Northern Iowa and Cornell all got to the Sweet 16 with that formula. Butler even got to the Final Four. "Butler is a team that reminded everyone that big schools with big money don’t have a monopoly on everything in big-time sports. More than any other recent tournament, this one has been dominated by lower seeds and mid-major schools," analyst Gregg Doyel said. This small school formula of Butler took them all the way to the championship game, where they came up one shot short of a national championship against Duke. "We just came up a bounce short," Butler coach Brad Stevens said. Duke won, Butler lost, and virtually every sports fan in the world not named Dicky Vitale experienced an almost suicidal level of depression. "It was tough to watch," sophomore Sebastian Barton said. "I think just about everyone was rooting for the underdog, so Duke winning was upsetting." "I’ve never seen so many white guys on a basketball court." sophomore Walter Woodruff remarked. Butler kept it close through the entire game; Duke never had more than a 6 point lead. "They (Butler) weren’t going to go away," Duke forward Kyle Singler said. "We needed every last minute of that game to get this win. It was a great game." For Duke, it culminated a nine year drought of championships. "Coach K and the team worked hard and really deserved it," said sophomore Duke fan Ryan Wengert. "It’s been a hard fought nine years, but the Dukies are back, baby." To the delight of some and the anger of many, the Dukies certainly are back, because of their hard work and perseverance. "I think that this just proves that if you keep with it, you keep your head down, keep working at it, I mean, good things will come,” said Duke forward Kyle Zoubek. "Good things happen if you work for them."