Nick McAdam, Staff Writer
March Madness has turned its attention to the Sweet 16.
Top-seeded teams such as Kansas, Villanova and Michigan still find themselves in the tournament. On the other hand, upsets have seen underdogs Loyola-Chicago and Syracuse take the next step towards a coveted spot in the Final Four.
The Syracuse Orange knocked off Michigan State in a close contest that ended 55-53 as Tyus Battle finished with 17 points while Oshae Brissett grabbed nine rebounds.
The Orange’s unexpected run in the competition makes fans like freshman Brittany Wilcox happy.
“Even though my bracket is destroyed, it still is exciting to see Syracuse in March Madness still,” Wilcox said. “I see them having a really hard time with Duke, though.”
The Duke Blue Devils have won five NCAA Championships, including one recently in 2015.
Regardless of Wilcox’s fandom for the Orange, she still believes other teams, including Duke, have a good chance of winning another title.
“I like the looks of Purdue, Michigan and Villanova,” Wilcox said. “They’re all really high-seeded teams that could follow through with a title win.”
Wilcox added that she “likes to root for the underdog in Loyola-Chicago.”
“They might not win the whole thing,” she said. “But the fact that they have made it this far is a good accomplishment.”
Chicago pulled off two upset victories in a row over the likes of the Miami Hurricanes and Tennessee.
Utica basketball player Hunter Remley hopes the Elite Eight can save his bracket.
“My bracket is looking pretty banged up,” Remely said. “I have Duke winning the title, and their championship hopes are still alive. Virginia messed up everyone’s brackets, including mine, as I had them losing in the championship game.”
Remley says he will be looking out for games that will be played in Boston for the Sweet 16. Villanova and West Virginia will square off, while Texas Tech will try to knock off Purdue.
“From the past two games, I think Villanova probably has the best chance to win it all,” Remely said. “They have one of the easier roads to the Final Four with Purdue’s big man, Isaac Haas, going out with a broken elbow on the number two seed team in the region.”
Some teams have already packed their bags from March Madness. UC freshman Donovan Felder reflected on his favorite North Carolina Tar Heels following their loss to Texas A&M.
“Pretty disappointing that they not only went out, but the fashion they lost in is embarrassing,” Felder said. “I couldn’t believe they lost by over 20 points to a team that’s lower in rank than them.”
UNC has won six tournaments including last year’s run.
“The worst part is that Duke is still in it, and they likely have an easy shot at the Final Four by playing Syracuse,” Felder added. “Hopefully, Kansas or Clemson can come up big.”
Sophomore Kassidy Krenzer notes the status of her bracket after all of the upsets.
“I’m now at the point where I’m just watching the games and it will have no impact on my bracket,” she said. “I always knew the odds were stacked against me, but I still tried to make a bracket anyway.”
According to professor Jeff Bergan at the University of DePaul, the chances of making a perfect bracket are one to 128 billion. Others believe it lands as low as one to 9.2 quintillion.