March Madness certainly lives up to its name this year. The tournament has featured one upset victory after another, and even the most skilled sports bettors are unlikely to predict who will triumph in the elite eight.
One upset most analysts and gambling enthusiasts never expected was Syracuse’s defeat of Indiana in last night’s matchup. Many betting brackets labeled Indiana as the March Madness champion or at least surviving to the final game. The number 1 seed was unable to maneuver against Syracuse’s top defensive plays, and instead resulted in numerous turnovers.
The upset victory was in many ways vindicating for Syracuse Head Coach Jim Boeheim, who lost to Indiana the last time these two teams faced off in March Madness. The previous battle ended on a last minute shot that gave Indiana victory, but Boeheim was thrilled to see his young players muster their defensive strengths to shake up the offense for his old rivals.
“Our perimeter defense was tremendous. This is one of our best defensive teams ever. They play it well.”
The game was an important test for Syracuse players, who now will face off against Marquette – which also won an upset match against number 2 seed Miami last night – for the East Division title on Saturday night. Wichita State and Ohio State will battle for the West Division alongside the East, while the South and Midwest divisions determine their final two teams in tonight’s matches.
In a tournament as surprising as this year’s March Madness, the fight for the Final Four is anyone’s bet.