"It's a crazy world, so sports and athletics and music can be a form of escapism."
― Eddie Vedder
From The Editor: Nothing But Madness
By Zach Wargo '20
Over the past few years of watching this tournament, watching the first round games during class, and staying up late during the first and second rounds is one of my favorite things to do during the NCAA Tournament, due to unbelievable comebacks, major upsets, amazing dunks, and outright just being a sports lover and enjoying what will be remembered from this year's tournament.
There are several reasons the NCAA tournament overshadows all other sporting events in March. It is because of the unpredictability and upsets that colleges that we have never heard of create. Millions of people fill out brackets on ESPN, CBS sports, Yahoo, and on many other websites that allow people to fill out online brackets for free. Another big winner in March would be the city of Las Vegas, with millions of people betting on the games, and betting who will win the tournament, with people betting on the favorites, their favorite team, or placing a bet on a cinderella favorite. The main reason why people will be talking about this tournament for a few years will be the upsets, and the unexpected cinderella.
The Loyola-Chicago Ramblers, an unknown team in the tournament to most of the country has suddenly become the new sweethearts to America, with 98 year old Sister Jean by the team's side every game, got to finally see the team make the first NCAA Tournament in 30 years. The Ramblers, also known as the Gryffindors were a popular pick to pull off the upset against Miami, but not to make this unrealistic run to the Final Four. The Ramblers had only won their first three games by an average margin of 1.3 points per game, as going into the elite eight, they later claimed there spot as a cinderella after pulling off upsets against No. 6 Miami, No.3 Tennessee, No. 7 Nevada. Loyola wasn’t even supposed to make it this far, the only people who believed in them would be their fans. Sister Jean, and themselves. Loyola is now a final four team now, as an No.11 seed, the fourth in NCAA History to make it to the big stage.
Virginia, the heavy favorite to win it all, going into the tournament with an ACC title, and the regular season title. They finished the season with 31 wins, and only 2 losses. It seemed it would’ve been a layup to get past No. 16 seed UMBC. Well think again, with 16 seeds being 0-135 in NCAA Tournament history, had changed on the night of March 16th, in Charlotte. UMBC, a 22 points underdog in vegas, had no reason to even be close with the overall number one seed, UMBC was the 63rd ranked team in the tournament, out of 64 teams. Virginia was known for one of the best teams defensively during the season, as no one put up more than 70 points on the Cavaliers. UMBC held Virginia to 22 points, while the game was tied at the half. What happened next would shock the entire country, as they didn’t care about their bracket no more, the sports fans and the entire country was watching history right before their eyes. UMBC went on to rout the overall No.1 seed 74-54, putting up 53 points in one entire half. CBS Sports commentator Jim Nantz said during the broadcast, “The NCAA Tournament has been turned upside down”. The is the type of upset that happens once in a lifetime, this upset will be remembered forever, as it is regarded as the greatest of all time, with the Miracle on Ice in 1980, or the 1982 Virginia losing to a D-II team, or Buster Douglas knocking out Mike tyson. UMBC captured our hearts for one night, shocked the world, and will be remembered forever as the greatest upset in NCAA tournament history, and as the ultimate upset.
The NCAA tournament has been a tradition for a number of years, and will continue to be with amazing buzzer beaters, major upsets, and of course, nothing but madness which is what we all love as sport fans, and every day people that love to fill out a bracket every year.
Bengal Girl Dance Team Places 3rd at State
By Lucia Kezele '18
While everyone in Gallup was enjoying their spring break, with their entire week off, a group of talented dancers took their own talents to Albuquerque once again to try to win another state title for Gallup High School. The dancers had worked hard all season, with multiple practices during the day, throughout the school year, showing off their talents during football games, and for most basketball games.
During the spring break, the dancers had been practicing all week on two routines, to see if they could be able to steal state from Roswell. The dancers have placed in state for the past six of the seven years since taking the state title in 2011. Since that 2011 state title the Bengal girls Dance Team had came close to winning state again, with 2nd place finishes, and 3rd place finishes by very narrow margins. This year the dancers took Albuquerque in the well known venue of The Pit, mostly famous for hosting the State basketball tournament, and Lobo games every year.
On March 23rd, and the 24th, the state dance competition was held, with schools competing across the state. On the first day of competition the Bengal Girls were in 2nd place, with a respectable score of 85.6, as they were only 8 points behind Roswell, who has taken state every year since 2012, was looking to repeat as champion once again, for the sixth straight year. The score that the Bengals were given still gave them hope for a state title or state runner up, as they were one point ahead of St. Pius, and only four tenths ahead of Los Lunas going into the 2nd day.
On the second day, the Bengal Dance girls would dance early in the morning, as they would be one of the first 5A teams to hit the dance floor, they knew that had to get a near perfect score to defeat Roswell. After the routine, they would wait all day to see which place they would come in, they did end up getting the third best score out of all the 5A teams on the second day, with scoring a 85.5 out of 100. The score would later bring them to a total of 171.1, as it would later be good enough for 3rd place at state, only to come one points short of being a state runner up. This would be the 4th time in 6 years that the Bengal Girls would take 3rd place at a state competition. The Bengal Girls have placed at state 6 of the past 7 years, either taking home a blue, red, or green trophy, as it has been nothing but success for the dancers and the program.
Picture & Video Credit: Lucia Kezele
Bengal Softball Off to A Strong Start to the Season
By Zach wargo '20
Since the season started a little more than a month ago, Bengal softball started off to a very good start. Softball started their season off on March 3rd against Belen with a 7-5 victory. The Bengal softball team later went on to play in a tournament in Phoenix, facing against plenty of good talent for the entire weekend. For the weekend in Phoenix, they had gone 3-1, with dominating wins over the course of the weekend. With that the Lady Bengals would be 4-1 going back to New Mexico to play in another tournament.
The Lady Bengals have plenty of talent, and only have one senior on the varsity team this season. They also have five 8th graders on the varsity team as they have plenty of youth, and lots of talent at the high school level. The Bengal softball team already has more wins as it did last year, and is ranked 4th in class 5A, and ranked 15th in the entire state. This year, the lady Bengals are looking for a deep run into state and to remain confident in themselves during the entire year.
The Bengals are 10-3, with their three losses, which were very close, as they came against a 6A team Cleveland, and a 5A team Valencia. What has been so dominant for this year’s team is that they have outscored opposing teams 109-38, and not allowing many runs during each game.
The Lady Bengals start district play on April 6th against cross-town rival Miyamura, while their next game is April 3rd in a doubleheader against Window Rock to try to move to 12-3 for the season.