March Madness

Breaking down the two championship teams postseason run.

March+Madness

Mark Elliott , Editor-In-Chief

Another year of March Madness in full swing, chaos, heartbreak, and upsets always ensue. St. Peters University, a 15 seed who made the Elite 8 for the first time in bracket history, captured the hearts of everyone watching. Led by Junior, Doug Edert, who was averaging 15.5 points a game up until the Elite 8 loss to North Carolina. 

This year the seeding was a lot worse than it usually is, one and two seeds losing before the Elite 8 more than we’ve ever seen. As the name March Madness hints, there was a large amount of upsets, and crazy Cinderella stories. 

The teams in the Final Four are no stranger to this stage, Duke, North Carolina, Villanova, and Kansas. These four programs have debatably been the most dominant college basketball programs over the past 15 years. 

Kansas won the Midwest region of the tournament, making their 16th appearance in the Final Four, this being 5th all time. KU is largely led by senior guard Ochai Agbaji, and sophomore guard Christian Braun. 

On the season, Agbaji is averaging 18.9 points, 5.2 rebounds, and 1.6 assists a game. He is one of KU’s top scorers from any spot on the floor, and is a key player on defense. This Kansas roster has an insane amount of depth at each position, and with veteran leadership from Agbaji and Mitch Lightfoot, it’s no wonder they made a deep playoff run. 

The Jayhawks were able to defeat Villanova in the final four, by a commanding score of 81-65. KU took full advantage of Villanova missing star guard Justin Moore to an achilles tear just before tip off. The Jayhawks seemingly couldn’t miss this game, knocking down 13 three-pointers. This game tied for the highest number of 3-pointers made in a Final Four Matchup, but KU was much more dominant in every other aspect of the game.

This game punched KU’s ticket to the National Championship in New Orleans, making their 12th title appearance in program history. Head Coach, Bill Self, searching to become the first multi-champion head coach in KU history. 

KU’s opponent in the championship is also no stranger to the big stage. The North Carolina Tar Heels, a team who got incredibly hot at the perfect time, are in search of their 7th National Title in program history. They entered the tournament as an 8 seed, doubted by many. 

UNC is led by center Armando Bacot, and forward Brady Manek. On the season, Manek averages 15.1 points per game and 6.1 rebounds per game. Manek is a great scorer on every part of the floor. He made shots in the paint and from beyond the arc, this being really impressive from a 6’9” Forward. 

Bacot has been in the trenches every game, averaging 21.4 rebounds per game in March Madness. He has a chance at breaking the record for most rebounds in a tournament, thus being one of if not the most important player to this Tar Heel team.

It has been a very impressive run from UNC so far, upsetting one-seeded Baylor, ending St. Peters Cinderella story, and beating in-state rival Duke in the Final Four. They will look to cap off this impressive run and add to the trophy case in Chapel Hill.

This is a great opportunity for Kansas and Bill Self to capitalize and prove they can win more than just the BIg 12. It would also be great for Kansas fans around the area to have a champion after the heartbreak with the Chiefs in the AFC Championship. Kansas City fans can have a champion yet again.