A Look Back at the 2021 NCAA Tournament

Look Back at the 2021 NCAA Tournament

The 2021 NCAA Tournament was different from years past in a number of ways. One of the things that did not change was the excitement and drama that came with this event.

There is a reason the NCAA Tournament is dubbed “March Madness”, and that rang true in 2021. Most are already looking ahead to the 2022 tournament, but it’s important to take a look back.

These are some of the biggest memories from a great three weeks of college basketball.


UCLA-Gonzaga: Instant Classic

The most memorable game of the 2021 NCAA Tournament happened on the final weekend. Gonzaga outlasted UCLA in overtime to advance to the title game in an absolute thriller. The Bulldogs are currently the favorite next year on the live college basketball national championship odds.

The Bulldogs were the top overall seed, and they coasted all the way to the Final Four. Most expected a blowout win over 11th-seeded UCLA, but the Bruins played a nearly perfect game.

UCLA barely even made the tournament field and had to survive a First Four game against Michigan State. The Bruins rode that momentum all the way to the Final Four and gave Gonzaga all it could handle.

Of course, the game-winning shot from Jalen Suggs will be an NCAA Tournament moment that many won’t forget.

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Baylor Cream of the Crop

Even though Gonzaga was the betting favorite, it was the Baylor Bears that reigned supreme. Gonzaga-Baylor was the matchup everyone wanted to see, and it happened in the National Championship Game.

Baylor jumped out to a massive lead in the first half, and the Bears seemingly made every shot. Gonzaga made a few small runs, but the Bears always had an answer.

The Bears had just two losses all season long, and their guard play was the best in college basketball. Few teams play defense like Baylor, and that allowed it to shut down an explosive Gonzaga squad.

There was no doubt who the best team in college basketball was this season. 

Bad Look For Big Ten

The Big Ten Conference has traditionally struggled in the 2021 NCAA Tournament, and this year was no exception. There were nine Big Ten teams in the field, and only one of them advanced to the Sweet 16.

Illinois was a No. 1 seed, but the Fighting Illini were beaten handily by Loyola Chicago in the second round. Ohio State, a number two seed, suffered a massive upset loss in the first round.

Michigan still had a chance to get the Big Ten to the Final Four but came up just one game short.

Glass Slipper Fits for ORU

Once again, there were a number of Cinderella teams to emerge, but none was bigger than Oral Roberts. The Golden Eagles became just the second No. 15 seed in the history of the tournament to reach the Sweet 16.

Oral Roberts stunned Ohio State in the first round and did the same to Florida in the second round. The miracle run eventually came to an end, but this team gave fans a terrific and exciting ride.

Abilene Christian and North Texas also pulled off stunning upsets in the first round over big-time schools. These upsets are what make the tournament great and bust brackets throughout the country.