Alyssa Wilson ~ Editor-in-Chief
March Madness 2023, the annual NCAA men’s basketball tournament, has been one of the most surprising tournaments in NCAA history, with zero one seed teams making it to the Final Four.
The tournament started nearly two weeks ago and in its first round of 64 teams there were six upsets from schools including Fairleigh Dickinson, 16 seed and Furman, 13th seed upsetting University of Virginia, fourth seed.
Schools like Duke University and University of Alabama are well-known for their athletics, having made a name for themselves over the years. However, these two schools were bested by schools with little known athletic programs.
The University of Lynchburg is a Division III school, and while its athletics teams have earned several ODAC championships, the school and its athletic programs may not be a household name like the schools mentioned above.
For example, Florida Atlantic University who is a ninth seed in this year’s tournament upset Kansas State and University of Tennessee, two schools that are well-known for their athletics, and has made it all the way to the Final Four.
Cam Savage, member of the Lynchburg men’s basketball team, has been watching March Madness since he can remember and says this is the best tournament he’s ever seen due to how many upsets there have been.
Seeing smaller schools who are unexpectedly beating historically great teams are putting the importance of these institutions in the limelight.
“It’s inspiring because it shows that there’s talent everywhere regardless of the school that you go to. It makes me proud to go and play for my small school,” says Savage.
Much like FAU who was not slated to upset University of Tennessee, Lynchburg’s softball team recently upset Salisbury University in Maryland.
“It was a huge win for us,” says fifth-year Olivia Herman. After the win, the team felt that they could beat anyone in the country, giving them the confidence boost they needed.
Herman continued, “We were locked in as a team the whole game and played as one the whole time… we could compete with anyone on any day, if we played together as a team.”
The unexpected outcome of this season’s NCAA men’s tournament is making people across the country turn to small schools and cheer on the little guys, as well as helping players at small schools realize how important they are, no matter their size.