March Madness: Round of 64 Moments

March is not only for Leprechauns and McDonald’s Shamrock Shakes. It is home to the greatest sporting event of the year. Each March, sixty-four (68 if you include the play-in games) teams are selected to claw their way to becoming Nation Champions. Nothing is promised which allows the tensions to remain high and bring the madness to each game.

Here are some of the best moments from the Round of 64:

UMBC

History was made Friday night thanks to the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. UMBC became the first #16 seed to beat a #1 seed. It was not just any old beating, they did it without needing a buzzer-beater and instead ousting Virginia by 20 points. This Virginia team entered not only as the top seed of South region but also were ranked #1 in many end of the season polls.

UMBC was led by the efforts of senior guard, Jairus Lyles. Lyles finished the game with 28 points (team-high), 4 rebounds, and 3 assists. His parents were in attendance to not only watch their son but also watch a beatdown on their alma mater.

“It’s funny, we were talking about, if we win, we’re going to get a 30 For 30 in a couple years,” said Lyles after the game.

Loyola Ramblers

The state of Illinois has been known for their abundance of basketball talent. The sad thing is most instate schools rarely offer scholarships to those kids and they find themselves heading to Duke, Kansas, or anywhere not in Illinois.

It is rare to see an Illinois team make the NCAA Tournament. Last season, Northwestern made their first-ever appearance while Loyola became the lone Illinois school this time around.

Chicago native and Simeon alum, Donte Ingram stepped up when needed. Ingram scored 3 of his 13 points on a buzzer-beater to walk away with the win over #6 Miami Hurricanes.

This was the Rambler’s first NCAA Tournament appearance and win since 1985.

The Ramblers are looking to continue making there way through the tournament with a win over Tennessee Saturday night. They will look upon the long-time fan and team chaplain, Sister Jean for guidance.

Zhaire Smith

When insane physics meets basketball it makes for some very enjoyable viewing content. Texas Tech’s Zhaire Smith caught a pass from his teammate mid-air and chose to just go for it.

Smith caught the pass then continued to do a 360 degree spin dunk to give the Texas Tech Raiders an early lead.

If that angle did not serve justice, check out another.

Not even Smith thought that was possible.

Gonzaga Bulldogs

Gonzaga is one of those top-ranked teams that people do not feel that they belong every year for some odd reason. Thursday afternoon, Gonzaga was in a tight game with UNC Greensboro with under 30 seconds and tied at 64. Freshman Zachary Norvell came up big with a three to give them the lead. The Norvell and the Zags never looked back.

Hopefully, the next rounds can live up to the level of this one.

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