The 2023 MNCAA March Madness Tournament: An Unforeseen Final Four


The UConn Huskies’ Adama Sanogo.

Lucie Geist '25, Staff Writer

Each year, millions of passionate fans create brackets and excitedly prepare for the NCAA men’s “March Madness” tournament. However, no one could have predicted this year’s Final Four.

The University of Alabama, the University of Houston, the University of Kansas, and Purdue University claimed the No. 1 seed. However, not a single one of these powerhouse schools advanced past the second round. For the first time in tournament history, no No. 1 seed reached the Elite Eight.

The unexpected game results have created a notable Final Four, set to play this Saturday. The competing teams are San Diego State University (SDSU), the University of Miami (UMiami), Florida Atlantic University (FAU), and the University of Connecticut (UConn). This is the first year that no No. 1, No. 2, or No. 3 seed remains. Additionally, SDSU, UMiami, and FAU have never advanced to the Final Four until this year.

FAU is a No. 9 seed team and the biggest underdog. Including this 2023 season, the FAU Owls have only made it to the NCAA tournament twice. Winning it all would make FAU one of the most unexpected champions in college basketball history.

Also, this year marks the first time that Florida has two teams competing in the same Final Four. UMiami, a No. 5 seed, has been a fierce contender this postseason. With elite defense and determination, the team upset the Texas Bevo, a No. 2 seed, to reach the Final Four for the first time.

SDSU is a No. 5 seed team. To advance to the Elite Eight, the San Diego Aztecs took out the dominant University of Alabama, who was predicted to win in many people’s brackets – including my own. This win made history for the Aztecs, who had never before made it past the Sweet Sixteen.

UConn, a No. 4 seed, has a high chance of bringing home the National Championship trophy to our home state of Connecticut. Prior to this season, the team has won four titles and advanced to the final four seven times. Although they statistically have a higher chance of winning, you can never be too certain given the upsets thus far.

On Fox Sports, UMiami head coach Jim Larrañaga said, “This Final Four demonstrates the parity in college basketball.” He added, “Right now, in this sport, anybody can beat anybody.”

This year’s NCAA tournament has definitely earned its name “March Madness.” The thrilling overtime games, quality of matchups, and shocking upsets have made this year especially exciting. This Saturday’s Final Four and the championship truly are anyone’s game.