March Madness 2023 Recap

UCONN remains dominant in championship game versus San Diego State


Paul Brady, Section editor

The buzz around the 2023 NCAA Men’s basketball tournament has started to die down after the championship game on the night of Monday, April 3rd.  Your national champs are none other than the Huskies of the University of Connecticut! Coach Dan Hurley captured that elusive first tournament title with a group of players who did not falter once in their majestic run. While the road to the Final Four in Houston never appeared easy, UCONN steamrolled past each team that stood in their way. Remarkably, the Huskies defeated Iona, St. Mary’s, Arkansas, Gonzaga, Miami, and San Diego State by at least 13 points. What’s even more impressive about their season is that they went 17-0 against out-of-conference opponents. In my Big East basketball update on January 17, I made note of UCONN’s 7-0 out-of-conference record, so it’s outstanding how that stat held true up until the final game. According to the NCAA, 2.08% of brackets picked UCONN to take the cake. Even the experts doubted the Huskies as they spent a whopping number of zero weeks in the AP #1 spot. Another interesting fact is that Dan Hurley’s team is the first to win a championship with a seed lower than #3 since 2014. In regards to personal honors, Jordan Hawkins, Tristen Newton, and Adama Sanogo earned NCAA All-tournament honors. Many around college basketball have speculated that with the return of Donovan Clingan, UCONN will continue its dominance in the 2023-24 season. 

I am pleased with how my bracket fared this March. I finished with 91.2% accuracy, and I joined 0.34 % of the population with five of eight Elite Eight picks correct. Unfortunately, I second-guessed myself and replaced San Diego St. and UCONN with Creighton and Kansas respectively in my Final Four. I had Texas winning it all, but they let Miami creep back in the game during their “Elite Eight” showdown and ultimately choked in crunch time. The biggest Cinderella teams that nobody saw coming included the No. 16 seed FDU and the No. 9 seed FAU who marched all the way to Houston for the Final Four.