Cinderella Story

Last week in my entry, Let the Madness Begin, I wrote about the players that so many people will be buying into March Madness to watch over the next month and a half. Those players are the known within the tournament this year, but every year the unknown and the upsets that take place within the tournament madness captivate the world. The Cinderella stories of teams that weren’t ever even supposed to be in the tournament, but because of their conference championship received an automatic bid. Over the last couple of years we have seen teams each and every year upset the Dukes and North Carolinas of the NCAA. These teams are the teams that become the crowd favorites and drawl the whole world in to see them ball.

In 2013 we saw Dunk City take over the NCAA tournament. Florida Gulf Coast University became the team that everyone was watching as they dunked all over No. 2 seed Georgetown. As a No. 15 seed FGCU was supposed to get blown out by Georgetown, but from the beginning FGCU had the upper hand. They then went on to beat San Diego State in the round of 32 to head to the Sweet Sixteen. Their astonishing dunks and alley-oops became the talk of the tourney and they went from a lowly team to the team everyone loved. The most unreal part of their run was the fact that they did all this in only their second year of tournament eligibility.

In 2013 No. 9 seed Wichita State murdered brackets on their way to a final Four run. Wichita had a rough road to the final four, but they made it look easy. The Shockers beat 1-seed Gonzaga and 2-seed Ohio State before falling to the eventually champion Louisville Cardinals. The Shockers, Cleanthony Early, become the star of the tournament putting up huge numbers, while freshmen Ron Baker and Fred VanVleet showed signs of the future to come.

The baby faced assassin was hitting shots and taking numbers during his Elite 8 run with Davidson. At the time Stephen Curry was only a lanky sophomore, but his golden shot and slick moves stole hearts all throughout the tourney. His Wildcats pulled out close victories all tournament against teams like Wisconsin, Gonzaga, and Georgetown. Their run ended when the eventually lost to eventually champion Kansas by a bucket.

These are only a few of the runs that have taken place over the last couple of years, but they have provided the tournament with more drama than ever could have been imagined. It only leaves you to wonder what team will provide the inspiration and drama as a Cinderella this year. Will it be a team like Iona or Charleston that have already claimed their automatic bid? Or will it be a team that hasn’t claimed their rights to the tournament yet. You can bet that whoever it is will shake up the bracket and captivate the hearts of basketball fans across America.

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