INDIANAPOLIS — The cancelation of the 2020 men’s NCAA Tournament put life into perspective for college basketball players, coaches and fans. The COVID-19 pandemic-stricken reality and health and safety of the nation took precedence. That didn’t mean that there wasn’t heartbreak. Gonzaga coach Mark Few said the loss of March Madness was “traumatizing” for his players.
Over a year later, the 2021 NCAA Tournament has been played — minus Monday’s national championship game between Baylor and Gonzaga.
It’s undoubtedly been a March Madness to remember. And that’s not just because college hoops fans missed all the bracket-busting mayhem last year. It’s been historically epic.
A look at eight reasons this year’s NCAA Tournament has been arguably the best ever:
After winning instant classic, Gonzaga sets up NCAA championship showdown vs. Baylor
UCLA’s near-upset of No. 1 Gonzaga was the thrill ride that will go down in the history books. Jalen Suggs’ buzzer-beating banked three-pointer in overtime will be the highlight of the One Shining Moment montage. But it was the entire game that turned out to be an unexpected masterpiece, from a controversial charge call to force the first overtime to the No. 11 seeded Bruins rising to the occasion against an undefeated Goliath in the Zags.
“What a great college basketball game,” Few said after the win. “And to do it on the biggest stage is just awesome. I know we had a lucky half-courter at the end. But both teams…