Cinderella teams still left in the tournament

Low-seeded teams won some big upsets and busted a lot of brackets.

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Colin Zavacky, Sports Editor

Ohio State was one of the highest ranked teams coming into the men’s NCAA tournament after an unfortunate loss to Illinois in the Big 10 Championship. They were high favorites to win their first round game against number 15 seed Oral Roberts University who were fresh off a Summit League Conference championship win against North Dakota State. 

ORU, although being a 15 seed, has the leading scorer in the nation, Max Abmas, averaging 24.5 points per game and standing at just 6’1”. Even though 6’1” seems tall, compared to everyone else on a D1 basketball court, that’s pretty small. Despite his size, Abmas has been tearing it up this year and the team was excited to get a chance in March.

They most definitely made their mark as they took down number two seed Ohio State in the first round, 75-72, and despite this amazing win, ORU knew they weren’t done and their mission was not complete. They kept the same energy and fight into their second round game against Florida where they held on to win 81-78 as Abmas yet again showed up and had himself 26 points. 

Their Cinderella run came to an end on Saturday as they fell to Arkansas 70-72; Abmas had a good look at the game winning shot at the buzzer but came just short. 

Some other notable teams still making a run in the tournament are 12 seed Oregon State. Them, along with a couple other PAC 12 schools, are making a run deep into March and have fought their way into the elite eight. 

As for Oregon State, all three of their tournament wins have been upsets against number five seed Tennessee, four seed Oklahoma State, and most recently number 8 seed Loyola Chicago. The beavers were on a hot streak until they suffered a heartbreaking loss to Houston in the elite eight.

The PAC 12 might be the most surprising conference in the tournament this year as they have three teams in the elite eight: Oregon State, USC, and UCLA. USC was somewhat expected to make it as far as they have, but lost in the elite eight to Gonzaga. UCLA on the other hand, has proved a lot of people wrong and busted countless brackets. 

With two of their four tournament wins coming in overtime, the Bruins are used to the pressure and being the underdogs. They are hot off an upset win over two seed Alabama and just recently came up with a huge win over one seed Michigan to catapult them into the final four.