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March Madness Around Pine Crest

Ben Schwartz

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[ot-caption title=”Joel Berry and North Carolina advanced through the first weekend of the NCAA tournament with wins over Arkansas and Texas Southern. (via Wyatt Mcnamara, The Daily Tar Heel)”][spacer height=”10px” id=”2″]

This year’s NCAA March Madness Tournament has been filled with surprising upsets, close games, and spectacular performances. After the first week, the field dwindled down to 16 teams, all hoping to get a shot at winning a national championship.[spacer height=”10px” id=”2″]

Millions of brackets were busted with teams like Villanova, Louisville, FSU, and Duke losing much earlier than expected. Xavier, a team that ended their season on a major cold streak, has emerged as this year’s Cinderella team after upsetting Maryland, FSU, and Arizona. The Musketeers faced off in the Elite Eight against the Gonzaga Bulldogs Saturday night, and their miracle run came to an end.  [spacer height=”10px” id=”2″]

Three one-seeds remained after Villanova’s loss at the hands of Wisconsin, a very talented squad led by experienced seniors Bronson Koenig and Nigel Hayes. Florida advanced to the second weekend of the tournament after demolishing a defensive-minded Virginia team that had no answer for the Gators explosive offensive power. The Tar Heels of North Carolina are still looking strong after fending off Arkansas and Butler in the Sweet 16. They advanced to the Final Four. The Kansas Jayhawks rolled throughout this tournament with very convincing wins, but fell to Oregon in the Elite Eight. [spacer height=”10px” id=”2″]

March Madness also has a sweeping effect across school. Most Pine Crest students filled out brackets, and there is always excitement in the Student Union at the beginning of the tournament when there are games on. [spacer height=”10px” id=”2″]

I went around school to hear some thoughts from Pine Crest seniors whose future colleges are competing in this year’s NCAA Basketball Tournament.[spacer height=”10px” id=”2″]

Joseph Murciano – University of Michigan [spacer height=”10px” id=”2″]

T1: What are your thoughts about how your team is doing in the tournament so far?[spacer height=”10px” id=”2″]

Joseph: I love the way Michigan has performed in this tournament. They have played with a lot of heart and that has given me a lot of school pride. [spacer height=”10px” id=”2″]

T1: What has been your favorite moment of the tournament so far? [spacer height=”10px” id=”2″]

Joseph: My favorite moment of the tournament was when Derrick Walton Jr. had a clutch layup at the end of the Louisville game to upset the Cardinals. [spacer height=”10px” id=”2″]

T1: If you could meet any college basketball player, who would it be? [spacer height=”10px” id=”2″]

Joseph: DJ Wilson. He plays with so much emotion. [spacer height=”20px”]

Michigan was ultimately eliminated by the Oregon Ducks in the Sweet 16, but the 7 seed shocked a lot of fans. [spacer height=”10px” id=”2″]

Michael Kennedy – University of Florida [spacer height=”10px” id=”2″]

T1: What are your thoughts about how your team is doing in the tournament so far? [spacer height=”10px” id=”2″]

Michael: There was a lot to love about watching the Gators make it as far as they did, and I’m just really happy to have seen them make it this far with some great wins against Wisconsin and Virginia. [spacer height=”10px” id=”2″]

T1: What has been your favorite moment of the tournament so far? [spacer height=”10px” id=”2″]

MichaelI loved the entirety of the Wisconsin game, but having the only buzzer beater so far in the tournament after a rough couple of possessions in OT was really entertaining basketball.[spacer height=”10px” id=”2″]

T1: If you could meet any college basketball player, who would it be? [spacer height=”10px” id=”2″]

MichaelLonzo Ball, regardless of all the drama with his dad and his NBA future, I feel like he really is one of the most intelligent guards I’ve seen in recent years. I feel like he’ll go on to make any NBA team better just with his presence.[spacer height=”20px”]

Marcus Haig – University of North Carolina [spacer height=”10px” id=”2″]

T1: What are your thoughts about how your team is doing in the tournament so far? [spacer height=”10px” id=”2″]

Marcus: Well, UNC had a very strong first game against Texas Southern, but we had a little bit of a scare against Arkansas in the Round of 32. I think if Joel Berry and Justin Jackson begin to perform how they did during the regular season, we’ll have a clear shot at the title.[spacer height=”10px” id=”2″]

T1: What has been your favorite moment of the tournament so far? [spacer height=”10px” id=”2″]

Marcus: My favorite moment of the tournament so far was when Duke lost to South Carolina. I’m very excited to join the North Carolina/Duke rivalry. [spacer height=”10px” id=”2″]

T1: If you could meet any college basketball player, who would it be? [spacer height=”10px” id=”2″]

Marcus: If I could meet any college basketball player, it would have to be Theo Pinson from UNC because he seems like a pretty cool, hip, and funny dude. [spacer height=”10px” id=”2″]

North Carolina will head to the Final Four In Arizona next weekend along with Oregon, Gonzaga, and South Carolina. [spacer height=”10px” id=”2″]

Also, keep checking how your bracket is doing in Type One‘s tournament. The winner will receive 20 student store cookies. Good luck to everyone participating and to the teams heading to the Final Four.[spacer height=”10px” id=”2″]

Sources: Bleacher Report[spacer height=”10px” id=”2″]

Photo Source: The Daily Tar Heel

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March Madness Around Pine Crest