March Madness Cinderella Stories
April 2, 2021
March Madness is a single-elimination NCAA tournament, played every spring season in the United States. It’s a Division I college basketball tournament including a total of 68 teams, starting with the “First Four” then going into the round of 32. Every year in these tournaments there’s a couple teams that can be seen as “Cinderella stories”, meaning they greatly exceed their expectations, going on to beat higher-seeded teams. Here’s a look at some of the greatest Cinderella stories of all-time:
Steph Curry led this time to an unbelievable story in the 2008 tournament. He averaged 34.3 points, 3.7 assists, and 4 steals during the tournament. The Wildcats were a 10 seed, but seemed like a much better team than the seed it displayed. They went on to beat 7 seed Gonzaga behind Curry’s 40 points. In the Sweet 16, Davidson played No. 3 seed Wisconsin, blowing them out of the water. They won 73-56 behind Curry’s 33 points. Sadly, Curry and Davidson’s run came to an end in the Elite Eight when No.1 seed Kansas barely got the win. They won 59-57. Who knows what Davidson could’ve ended up doing if they just made that last shot.
Villanova was an 8 seed who won the National Championship. They’re the lowest seeded team to ever win a National Championship to this day. They had a very average record going into the tournament at 19-10, but they shocked everyone. In the first round, they beat 9 seed Dayton 51-49. In the second round, they beat 1 seed Michigan, which came as a shock to everyone watching. They then went on to beat 5 seed Maryland, 2 seed UNC, and 2 seed Memphis State. Finally, they beat 1 seed Georgetown in the National Championship. This is a story that everyone will remember.
Florida Gulf Coast was a 15 seed going into the 2013 NCAA tournament. They went on to reach the Sweet 16, being the first ever 15 seed to do so. This team earned the nickname of “Dunk City” as this team was way ahead of its time. FGCU beat No. 2 Georgetown in the first round by 10, beating one of the best teams in the entire tournament. They went on to beat 7 seed SDSU by 10 in the second round, but their run came to an end in the Sweet 16. They lost by 12 to 3 seed Florida, but that doesn’t take anything away from what this team accomplished in 2013.
2018 Loyola Chicago
This is a Cinderella story that everyone from our generation will remember. The Ramblers were just the latest 11 seed to reach the Final Four, but the way they did it was something to remember. Sister Jean will forever be an icon to the March Madness tournament, as she willed her Ramblers to incredible victories. Loyola beat No.6 Miami in the first round with a game-winning shot from Donte Ingram. In the second round, they beat 3 seed Tennessee by just one point. Then, they beat 7 seed Nevada by just one point. In the Elite Eight, they beat 9 seed Kansas State in a blowout. Unfortunately, their run came to an end when they fell to 3 seed Michigan in the Final Four. Sister Jean and the Ramblers will always be remembered.