Where is the Madness?

By Ben Fields '15

In a tournament marked by the bizarre, the dynamic duo outlasting the rest is no surprise. The Cinderellas made a run, Florida Gulf Coast was so close, and Wichita State even closer, but at the end Michigan and Louisville emerged head and shoulders above the rest. There’s a reason they call this season March Madness, and this year’s NCAA men’s basketball tournament was no different. Whether it’s because of bracket pools or teams we’ve supported since we were little kids, our highs and lows through the tournament are determined by kids our own age and younger. When Louisville’s Kevin Ware snapped his shin in half, the entire country stopped and watched (as is evidenced by the number of YouTube views it has gotten), and he is only a sophomore.

The final four is always one of the most exciting events in the sporting world, but this year it was even better here in upstate New York with the addition of Syracuse to the fab four. Saturday night marked the end of the Orangemen’s run, but they went out with style. In a close game, Michigan eked out a win over the impressive Syracuse team. The loss hit home with many Hamilton students who had hometown ties to the school. The reactions were different for each fan, ranging from tears to screaming uncontrollably at the television. Some RAs had to deal with noise that came from angry basketball fans rather than uncontrollable parties.

For the past three weeks the sports world has watched as progressively every team has fallen until only one remains. The champion Cardinals entered into the tournament as the overall number one seed, and barring a challenging national semifinal matchup against Wichita State, they cruised to their third title in program history.

While sports fans across the nation watched with baited breath, there has seemed to be a certain apathy towards the NCAA tournament here on College Hill Road. Unlike the Super Bowl, which featured teams from Baltimore and San Francisco, there were no all-campus viewings of Syracuse games or even the national championship. This begs the question why not? Where was the excitement for a hometown team? Why no orange food in the dining halls, or parties with TexMex and assorted other goodies? Let’s have some parties Hamilton, we need to rally around the only decent major sports team near us. Syracuse basketball is perpetually on the rise, and next year when they make the tournament, paint this campus orange.

Meanwhile, on the women’s side of the bracket, Louisville is no less impressive, but all the more surprising. The fourth-seeded Lady Cardinals are in just their second final four, but it comes fast on the heels of their second place finish in 2009.

The final features the Cardinals and the University of Connecticut Huskies. The Huskies have been in seven finals and are undefeated, with their last final coming in 2010.   Although Louisville looked to be the first team since their competitors to win both the men’s and women’s tournaments, the UConn team proved too strong in the final. With a resounding 93-60 victory, the Huskies won their eight tournament title and continued their dominance in NCAA women’s basketball.


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