RYANCHEFFERNAN.ORGRYAN C. HEFFERNAN
A Look Back on 2017's
THE 2016 TOURNAMENT WITH
VILLANOVA TAKING DOWN NORTH
CAROLINA ON A BUZZER-BEATING
EXPECTATIONS FOR THIS YEAR’S
NCAA MARCH MADNESS WERE
DISMANTLING MOST BRACKETS
After Villanova defeated Mount St.
Mary’s in their first tournament win,
they moved on to no. 8 seed
Wisconsin. Seeing as the Wildcats
were a no. 1 seed, very few could
have correctly picked the outcome
of this game. Wisconsin would hold
off Villanova’s explosive offense on
their way to a 65-62 victory,
effectively dismantling most of the
country’s March Madness brackets.
NO. 2 SEED DUKE, ANOTHER FAVORITE TO CLAIM THE
NCAA TITLE, WOULD BE STOPPED IN THEIR TRACKS BY
AN IMPRESSIVELY FORMIDABLE SOUTH CAROLINA
TEAM, WHOSE REIGN WOULD NOT END THERE.
THE GAMECOCKS MOVED ONTO THE NEXT ROUND TO
FACE BAYLOR; THE BEARS WERE SEEDED AT NO. 3, AND
WERE CONSIDERED FAVORITES IN THE MATCHUP.
SOUTH CAROLINA WON BY 20 POINTS, MOVING ON
AGAIN TO FACE AN INTIMIDATING FLORIDA TEAM,
WHO THEY ALSO DEFEATED UNTIL FINALLY FALLING
TO NO. 1 GONZAGA. THEIR EXTRAORDINARY WIN
STREAK WAS SOMETHING THAT WAS CERTAINLY
UNEXPECTED BY MANY.
GONZAGA VS. NORTH CAROLINA
The title game was very evenly matched throughout, with
both teams shooting around a 34% field goal average.
What seemed to plague Gonzaga however, was turnovers.
The Bulldogs would turn the ball over 14 times total in
the game, and the Tar Heels would take advantage.
Joel Berry II would lead his North Carolina team in points
with 22, making all four of the team’s only three-pointers.
His efforts and that of his teammates would secure the
71-65 victory, redeeming themselves from the
heartbreaking loss against Villanova just a year ago.
ryancheffernan.orgRyan C. Heffernan