After the long winter months, “March Madness” is a time when sports fans can unite over one of the nation’s most watched sports tournaments! Week one of the tournament did not disappoint. Two of the biggest upsets were Duke and Villanova, who many thought were capable of winning it all, instead were eliminated in dramatic fashion spoiling many fan’s brackets along the way. With those two teams out of the running, the trophy is now very much up for grabs! One of the biggest long shots is No. 11 ranked Xavier. A No. 11 ranked team has never won the trophy and has only made it to the Final Four three times in the history of the tournament. For those of you rooting for the underdog, look no further than the Xavier Musketeers.
Looking forward to week two of the tournament, the matchup everyone will be looking forward to will be No. 2 Kentucky vs No. 3 UCLA. The Wildcats have history in their iconic coach on their side. Coach Calipari, who will be hunting for his second title with Kentucky, is 50-16 in the NCAA tournament with 6 Final Fours and a national title.
The hottest team in the tournament right now is the Michigan Wolverines who have outplayed their No. 7 ranking. They have been firing on all cylinders and showed up to beat the No. 2 seeded Louisville and look poised to beat No. 3 seeded Oregon on Thursday.
March Madness has earned its name over the years with unforeseen losses followed by upset victories. Mode of transportation, be it plane or bus, may have a small role to play, as NCAA rules state that a team must travel by bus if the distance is within 350mi of the school.
We’ve all traveled and experienced first-hand how long journeys can change us physically and mentally. How, then does it affect the athletes traveling under these conditions?
Compared to the top 4 seeded teams, the lower teams travel approximately 435mi further! This may contribute to the outcome of the games as their chances of winning reduced to 33% when facing a team traveling closer to home. When teams travel West to East they have a 38% chance of winning. Conversely, teams traveling East to West have a 55% chance of winning.
The stress and fatigue of travel affects us all, even the best athletes. Adding on to that fatigue, the stress of playing in the most important tournament of the season and under the bright lights can certainly cause anyone to go a little mad.
Week two of March Madness starts Today!
Let us know who you’re rooting for!