Irish one of top stories of March Madness

Graves leads first Ben Davis bracket challenge

Is your bracket busted?

It was crazy, it was heartbreaking, it was March Madness.

We’re only one weekend into this years’ NCAA men’s basketball tournament and it has been arguably the truest example of “Madness” in years. Thursday saw the most games decided by one point in a day in tournament history — five. Two of those five resulted in three-seeded Baylor and Iowa State going down, much to the disappointment of many brackets.

Soon after, the first Indiana team was up to bat. Butler, who, seed-wise, was favored to beat Texas, but many saw Texas as a likely upset. Butler silenced those critics, however, defeating the Longhorns 56-48.

Later that night, Purdue didn’t share the same fortune. In a devastating overtime loss, the Boilermakers ended their season against the Cincinnati Bearcats by a score of 66-65.

Two more Indiana teams would go down the next day. Valparaiso, a thirteen-seed not expected to make waves, gave Maryland a scare. Still, however, the Crusaders lost 65-62. The Indiana University Hoosiers were a ten-seed also not favored to win, and did fall to Wichita State, 81-76.

Notre Dame, with a three-seed, the lowest out of the Indiana teams, escaped a first round upset Friday by narrowly beating Northeastern 69-65. The way the bracket was set up, this caused doom for any Indiana basketball fan.

Butler vs. Notre Dame.

And boy, was it a showdown. Already dubbed as possibly the best game in the tournament so far, the two Indiana teams battled it out and needed overtime to settle the score. To the dismay of Butler fans, Notre Dame was victorious, 67-64. And now, heading into next week, Notre Dame is the only Indiana team left.

After that thrilling win over Butler, Notre Dame coach Mike Brey announced that his mother had passed away earlier that day.

The Fighting Irish were widely expected to be facing the Kansas Jayhawks in the Sweet 16, but the aforementioned Wichita State disrupted those plans. The Shockers shocked second-seeded Kansas and punched a ticket to the Sweet Sixteen on Sunday. The two will face off for an Elite Eight berth on Thursday.

As far as our own Tournament Challenge on ESPN goes, it’s been about as crazy as the tournament. All of the upsets have led to many busted brackets and many changes in the leaderboard. As it stands today, Senior Dontre Graves is in the lead with 500 points. But don’t fret, there is still a lot of basketball to be played, and each round the stakes get higher.

The Sweet 16 begins on Thursday, with the Notre Dame-Wichita State game beginning at 7:15 pm. Watch the madness of March continue.