Kansas Crowned Champions in March Madness Filled With Upsets

Twenty twenty-two has been a year of upsets for March Madness brackets. From number 12 ranked Richmond beating number 5 ranked Iowa, to the trip St. Peter’s took to the elite 8 upsetting Kentucky, Murray State, and Purdue along the way, nothing played out as expected

The St. Peter’s Peacocks relished the underdog role, gaining support as they took down more notable teams. They entered the tournament for only the fourth time in school history with a 18-10 record and as winners of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC). Their first upset was Kentucky (2). The two teams battled back and forth but in the fourth quarter St. Peter’s pulled ahead to secure their victory with fan favorite Doug Edert leading them to success.

Next up was a blowout win over Murray State (7). This victory surprised many invested fans. This tiny team from New Jersey had just defeated two very strong teams in the biggest tournament of the entire year. The Peacocks next faced Purdue (3), who they previously lost to during the first round in 2011. The entire game wavered back and forth. Fighting for the lead during each play, in the end, the Peacocks clutched free throws to secure the game. Ultimately, UNC pulled ahead early with a 20 point lead over St. Peter’s, bringing a record-breaking run to an end. Although St. Peter’s fought up until the final buzzer, UNC was the stronger team and won. Despite this loss, St Peter’s still became the first 15 seed in NCAA history to reach the Elite 8. Ethan Shin ’25 commented, “St. Peter’s Cinderella run is the greatest in the tournament’s history.”

The highly anticipated Final Four began on Saturday, April 1. For the first time in tournament history, heated rivals UNC and Duke would play with 16.3 million viewers streaming the intense match live. The ultimate rivalry was finally taking center stage in the Final Four and, on top of that, the end to Duke’s beloved Coach Krzyzewski’s career, who announced he would retire at the end of this season. With the end to his 41 seasons of coaching at Duke, many students gathered together in the Faculty Lounge knowing they had to watch. Juliet Kaufmann ’23 added, “It was so fun to watch it with all of my friends, the energy in the room was great! It was one of the best matchups in the whole tournament and the first time the teams have ever played each other in the final four, so it was a pretty historic game.” Duke ultimately fell to UNC, putting a bittersweet twist to Coach K’s farewell.

A few days later on Monday, April 4, the National Championship game was held. After Kansas’s victorious game against Villanova, UNC and Kansas were ready to fight it out until the final buzzer. UNC started the game strong, winning the first half, but Kansas made a 15 point comeback to win the second half, ultimately winning the game 72-69 with their guard, Ochai Agbaji, at the helm scoring 30 points. Kansas cut down the nets for the first time since 2008 making this their sixth national championship win in total.

This certainly was an exciting year for March Madness. From a gripping Cinderella story, to the final game of one of the best coaches in Basketball history, this year’s tournament had it all. Now, fans just have to wait 343 days until the next one!

St Peter’s guard Doug Edert jumps on the scorers’ table after upsetting Purdue, becoming the first 15-seed to reach the Elite 8.