Inside The Stats (w/ Kishan Vahalia): The March to March Madness Victories and Upsets

The key takeaways from this year’s NCAA March Madness tournament.

by Kishan Vahalia, Reporter

You fill out your National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) March Madness (MM) bracket, carefully deciding the upsets and victories that will happen in the tournament. Then, you witness the madness spark up.

What is March Madness?

March Madness is a college basketball tournament, hosting the top-ranked 68 college teams in the nation. Each exhibition game is played until only one college team remains.

Facts about this year’s tournaments (according to

  • More than 20 million brackets were created for this year’s tournament.
  • This year’s men’s Final Four and National Championship were held at the Houston Astrodome in Houston, TX.
  • This year’s women’s Final Four and National Championship were held at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, TX.
  • Only six of the submitted brackets picked a perfect final four for the men’s tournament (that’s a .0002% chance of picking all four correctly).
  • Every perfect men’s bracket was busted after Fairleigh Dickinson University (16th seed) defeated Purdue University (first seed).
  • Houston University, Alabama University, Kansas University, and Gonzaga University were the top universities voted by fans to win the 2023 NCAA men’s tournament. Yet, all of those prospect teams got eliminated before the Final Four.

Memorable moments from both tournaments:


  • The University of Connecticut Huskies won the Division I Men’s National Championship April 3, beating the San Diego State University Aztecs 76-59 and winning their fifth championship.
  • University of Connecticut Huskies, San Diego State University Aztecs, University of Miami Hurricanes, and Florida Atlantic University Owls were in the Final Four,
  • Fairleigh Dickinson University became the second 16th-seed team to defeat a first-seed team in the first round of March Madness by defeating  Purdue University, 63-58.
  • San Diego State University (SDSU) hit a buzzer-beater win 72-71 against Florida Atlantic University (FAU) in the Final Four, advancing to the National Championship (April 1, 2023).
  • Princeton University (15th seed) defeated Arizona University (second seed), making this the third-straight year in MM history that a 15th seed team upset a second seed team.


  • The Louisiana State University (LSU) Tigers won the Division I Women’s National Championship April 2, beating the Iowa University (IU) Hawkeyes 102-85 and winning their first championship.
  • Louisiana State University Tigers, Iowa University Hawkeyes, University of South Carolina Gamecocks, and Virginia Tech University Hokies were in the Final Four.
  • Caitlin Clark from the Iowa Hawkeyes scored two 40+ point games, becoming the first NCAA women’s tournament player to record back-to-back 40-point games.
  • Angel Reese from the LSU Tigers set the record for the most “double-doubles” in a single season, with 34.
  • The undefeated South Carolina Gamecocks fell to the Iowa Hawkeyes in the Final Four 77-73 L, making this an upset in the tournament.

Sources:, CBS Sports

My Take:

This year’s tournament was exciting and overwhelming to watch. My women’s bracket did really well, however, my men’s bracket didn’t go as expected.

My bracket for the women’s tournament went really well. I picked the South Carolina Gamecocks to win the championship, and I had LSU, Iowa University, and Tennessee University in the Final Four of the tournament, meaning that my predictions weren’t completely wrong.

My favorite moment from this tournament was the Championship game, because two of the best players in women’s D1 basketball, Angel Reese (LSU) faced off against Caitlin Clark (IU), making it a worthwhile game to watch.

As for my men’s bracket, I picked the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) Bruins to win the championship, which, unfortunately, didn’t happen. My final four included UCLA, Houston University, Alabama University, and Purdue University.

This all went downhill for me once I approached the Elite Eight since none of my picks were present in the Final Four. However, my favorite moment from the tournament was the Gonzaga vs. UCLA Sweet Sixteen game because of both teams’ high-strung performances. Gonzaga won 79-76.

Jags’ Take:

Shea Thompson ‘25:

“Some of my favorite games [from the men’s bracket] were the Texas Christian University (TCU) vs Arizona State University (ASU) game since I watched it in person, and the SDSU vs FAU game, because of the intense final seconds,” Thompson said. “For the women’s tournament, I felt the officiating crew for the championship game wasn’t good at all.”

Dawson Hunt ‘23:

“I had Purdue winning, which was funny considering they got knocked out in the first round by a 16th-seed team,” Hunt said. “However, the rest of my bracket did pretty well.”

Jack Benson ‘24: 

“I had Indiana winning it all [in the tournament],” Benson said. “My favorite moment was when Fairleigh Dickinson University beat Purdue in the first round.”

Nidhay Somanchi ‘25: 

“I had Purdue winning the tournament because I thought they had a higher chance, being the number one seed,” Somanchi said. “Purdue losing in the first round screwed it up [my bracket] a little.”