One shining moment: The craziness that is March Madness


Seth Clausen

College student Creighton Clausen and senior Lily Barrett watch the NCAA tournament during the sweet 16 round.

Seth Clausen, Photo Manager

Beavers, Sister Jean and how to pronounce the name “Abmas”. These three things have been some of the most talked about topics in the early weeks of the March Madness tournament.

After being projected to finish last in the PAC-12 conference, the Oregon State Beavers upset Tennessee, Oklahoma State and Loyola in the first three rounds of this year’s tournament. While many folks love rooting for the underdog, others are outraged. 

Senior and basketball fan Michael VanDerSchaaf was not fond of the Beaver’s run. “I had the fifth seed Tennessee beating Oregon State in the first round and they ended up losing. I was furious, I had money on the line,” he said.

As for Sister Jean, the Nun and biggest fan of the Loyola University of Chicago Men’s Basketball team, breaking brackets is nothing new. Back in 2018 her Loyola Ramblers made it to the final four, shocking the world.

This year Loyola didn’t quite make it to final four, but they still did their fair share of bracket busting. In the second round of the tournament they beat the University of Illinois, a favorite of many to win the big dance outright.

Once again VanDerSchaaf found himself aggravated over lost bets. “I should have known better than to bet against Sister Jean, she’s got God on her side. I was down abysmal in my bracket challenge, but the Ramblers were the nail in the coffin,” he said.

The Ramblers may have had a tournament upset that will go down in history, but not nearly as much as that of Oral Roberts University.

Led by the nation’s leading scorer, Max Abmas, the Golden Eagles gained the support of millions throughout their run. The fifteen seed made it to the round of 16, something that has only been accomplished one other time in history. 

Former Pleasant Valley Basketball Coach Brant Clausen loved analyzing how Abmas played. “His shots never stopped falling. I am pretty sure all of America was on the edge of their seats rooting for that kid to win a national championship,” he stated. 

Although the only team left of the three is Oregon State, Loyola and Oral Roberts certainly made this year one to remember. Fans can start the marking their calendars in anticipation of next year’s March Madness, as after this year the sky’s the limit.