Webbies choose their predictions on who will win the 2021 March Madness Tournament

This year’s March Madness tournament has been everything but predictable, ranging from teams advancing without playing a single time, to teams playing against each other for the first time in 25 years. 

Since the start of the tournament, only four of the Pac-12 teams have made it to the sweet 16 team. The USC Trojans (24-7) and the Oregan Ducks (21-6) face off on March 28th, 2021 at 6:45 p.m. PST in Indianapolis at the Bankers Life Fieldhouse. 

The Trojans have eased their way through the tournament so far, taking down Drake 72-56 and vanquishing Kansas 85-51. Surprisingly, the Trojans have been able to hold their opponents to a 38.7% shooting throughout the season. Kansas shooting percentage is the fourth lowest in the nation. 

The Trojans also average 5.3 blocks per game, which is ranked fifth in the nation. 

Although the Trojans seem to have high odds of winning the tournament, the Oregan Ducks are defiantly a worthy opponent.   

When Oregon first entered the tournament. They were given a free advance due to Virginia Commonwealth University being disqualified due to speculation of players testing positive for COVID-19. 

The Ducks went on to defeat the #2 seed Iowa 95-80 in the second round of March Madness. They played an amazing game, shooting 55.9% from the field and hitting 11 threes. Their shooting made the Ducks the best three-point shooting team this season.  

On the other side of the bracket, the No. 1 seed Gonzaga battled the #5 seed Creighton.  

“My bracket certainly took some hits…but Gonzaga still in it,” said Mr. Duque, WSC Dean of Students and coach of the WSC basketball team. 

In less than seven minutes, Gonzaga was able to create a double-digit lead, which became a 10-point lead by halftime. The score then creeped up to a 27-point lead by the end of the game. In the last six tournaments, Gonzaga has clinched a final eight spot four times.  

Many believe that Gonzaga will win the tournament after having a 29-0 record to finish the season. 

On the southern side of the bracket, #3 Arkansas and #1 Baylor will meet on Monday, March 29thbattling for a spot to play in the final four.  

Saturday, March 27th #3 Arkansas barley sealed the win against #15 Oral Robets University. Despite the ranking difference, many fans believed ORU would be able to win the game. The last time these two teams had played each other was in 1991. To put that into perspective, no current player on Baylor’s basketball team was alive in 1991.  

Now the two teams will face off in the South Regional final during their 25-year reunion. 

I had Ohio state in the finals, but they lost about three hours into the tournament beginning,” Jake Baiz (‘21) said. It was very fun watching the games with Jay Akpengbe (‘22) and rooting for the upsets, but this was a very frustrating year.”  

Every year March Madness has been enjoyable to watch, but during this years season, unpredictability is the new standard. Like Mr. Duque said, “it has been MADNESS…buzzer beaters…major upsets.” 

You can follow the NCAA March Madness tournament here at the NCAA Official Website.