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A look back at the 2018 NCAA tournament

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A look back at the 2018 NCAA tournament

The Villanova Wildcats men’s basketball team celebrate their third national title in school history on April 2, 2018, when they beat the Michigan Wolverines 79-62.

The Villanova Wildcats men’s basketball team celebrate their third national title in school history on April 2, 2018, when they beat the Michigan Wolverines 79-62.

Used with permission/ Steven M. Falk/ Tribune News Service

The Villanova Wildcats men’s basketball team celebrate their third national title in school history on April 2, 2018, when they beat the Michigan Wolverines 79-62.

Used with permission/ Steven M. Falk/ Tribune News Service

Used with permission/ Steven M. Falk/ Tribune News Service

The Villanova Wildcats men’s basketball team celebrate their third national title in school history on April 2, 2018, when they beat the Michigan Wolverines 79-62.

Joe Collins, Reporter

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This year was one of the craziest in all of the tournament’s history since it was expanded to include 64 teams in 1985. It ended with the Villanova Wildcats winning their third national championship overall and their second in three years. They did it by beating the Michigan Wolverines, 79-62. Donte DiVincenzo was voted Most Outstanding Player. That was just one moment from this year’s tournament. Here are all the shocking moments from this year’s tournament.

The craziness started in the first round when the South region’s 16 seed, the University of Maryland Baltimore County Retrievers, upset the title favorite; No. 1 seed Virginia 74 to 54, becoming the first 16 seed to ever beat a one seed in the men’s tournament. Also in the South region, the fourth seed, the Arizona Wildcats and the second most popular pick from that region, was upset by Buffalo, 89-68. The craziest from the South by far, was the 11th seed, Loyola University Chicago. They started by upsetting the University of Miami, Tennessee, Nevada and Kansas State to reach the Final Four. The South as a whole was full of upsets. For the first time ever, none of the one, two, three or four seeds from the south made it to the Sweet Sixteen. The Elite Eight matchup between 9-seeded Kansas State, and the 11 seed, Loyola Chicago, was the highest seeded Elite Eight matchup in tournament history.

The West region was also notable for its upsets. The No. 1 seed in the region, the Xavier Musketeers, were knocked out in the round of 32 by the nine seeded Florida State Seminoles, who would ride the upset train all the way to the Elite Eight before falling to the No. 3 seed, the Michigan Wolverines.

The East region was more relaxed as the No. 1 seed and eventual national champions, Villanova, ran through all their opponents to capture the East region when they beat the Texas Tech Red Raiders, 71-59, which was the closest score Villanova had in the tournament.

The Midwest region was run by two teams. No. 1-seeded Kansas and No. 2-seeded Duke met in the Elite Eight and played a classic, which Kansas won in overtime, 85-81.

The first Final Four matchup was between the Cinderella story team, the Loyola Chicago Ramblers and the Michigan Wolverines. Michigan used a big second half led my Moritz Wagner to put away the Ramblers and end their remarkable run, 69 to 57. In the other game, Villanova, led by NCAA player of the year, Jalen Bronson, took an early lead and never looked back, winning 95-79. They also set an Final Four record by making 18 three-pointers in the game.

The national championship was between Villanova and Michigan. Sophomore Donte DiVincenzo had a remarkable game by scoring 31 points and leading the Wildcats to their second championship in three years.

The Wildcats dominated all their opponents, winning each game by an average of 18 points. The group is losing their two best players to the NBA draft, those being Jalen Bronson and junior Mikal Bridges, but will be returning the rest of their starters like Dante DiVincenzo and freshman phenom Connor Gillespie. The Wildcats look to capture their third title in four years next year, but watch out for the Duke Blue Devils, who signed the top three players in the recruiting class of 2018.

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A look back at the 2018 NCAA tournament