Photo Courtesy: USA Today

Cinderellas showing up in the NCAA tournament

Loyola Chicago, K-State, FSU Advance to Elite Eight

March 23, 2018 - 11:39 am

By Austin Medina

Every March, fans of college basketball await Cinderella to break their brackets in the NCAA Tournament. Of all years, 2018 has proven to be the year of multiple Cinderella’s.

After the first night of the Sweet-Sixteen, three teams ranked worse than ninth have advanced. #9 Kansas State, #9 Florida State and #11 Loyola Chicago has shocked the world and are now waiting to learn of their Elite-8 matchup.

Teams like Virginia, Arizona, Xavier and Gonzaga were expected to secure spots. The madness continued Thursday night as Loyola Chicago defeated Nevada. Nine-seeds Florida State and Kansas State defeated blue-blood programs in Gonzaga and Kentucky respectively.

None of these teams have had an easy path, upsetting teams’ game-by-game. This Friday, there appears to be just one Cinderella left to punch a ticket to the Elite-8 and that would be Syracuse. Though Syracuse is an iconic program they needed to win a play-in game just to get into the NCAA Tournament and as the #11 seed, the Orange will need to knock off #2 Duke.

Teams like #16 UMBC and #13 Buffalo, who eliminated Virginia and Arizona respectively, may not have advanced to the Sweet Sixteen but that’s not to say their efforts will go unnoticed. If it weren’t for these teams, the Cinderella’s still alive may not have lasted this long.

Whether it’s the greatest upset in tournament history with UMBC knocking off #1 Virginia or Loyola Chicago defeating #6 Miami, #2 Tennessee, and #7 Nevada, the Cinderella story continues.

If the slipper fits, keep the upsets coming!