The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

NCAA matchups descend on Downtown Sac amid green beer, shamrocks; Faithful crowds cheer college basketball teams during tournament
Day one of NCAA basketball tournament being played at the Golden One Center. March 17th, 2017 Jason Pierce | [email protected]

Roland Armstrong

Staff Writer | [email protected]

It was St. Patrick’s Day weekend, when folks like to drink booze. Would the luck of the Irish prevail or not? Half the teams won, and half the teams lost, and round after round, they called it March Madness.

The NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament kicked off March 17 at Sacramento’s Golden 1 Center. The new Downtown arena played host to a handful of first- and second-round matchups over St. Patrick’s Day weekend.

With such a high profile event in town, paired with what has become a busy social night for college students, City College locals were able to see first-hand how the arena brought business to the Downtown area.

Austin Carrington-Scott, 20, studies communication at City College. He told of the busy streets in Sactown’s center.

“When I went down there, I was actually doing Postmates, because I thought it would be busy,” says Carrington-Scott. “It was pretty lively, much livelier than it usually is in downtown Sacramento.”

Friday’s first-round games at the Golden 1 Center  ended with victories for Oregon over Iona, 93-77; Rhode Island over Creighton, 84-72; Cincinnati defeating Kansas State, 75- 61; and UCLA beating Kent State, 97-80.
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Kaelyn Paprock, 21, is also a communication major at City College. She talked about her experience attending a matchup, featuring Lonzo Ball and the Bruins.

“Everyone was just super excited every time UCLA or the other team made any type of shot,” says Paprock. “Everyone was just standing up, getting crazy, cheering and having lots of fun.”

The second-round matchups resulted in Oregon over Rhode Island, 75-72; and UCLA besting Cincinnati, 79-67, with both teams punching their tickets to the Sweet 16. UCLA would suffer a loss in that round to a two-seed Kentucky, while Oregon would make a splash in the Final Four before suffering a crushing one point defeat to the eventual national champion, the University of North Carolina.

Nick Pecoraro, 35, is a City College journalism major. He spoke of some of the unexpected outcomes in a couple of the matchups.

“I was kind of surprised to see how far Oregon went, because I know they had a pretty significant injury on their team,” Pecoraro says. “I was kind of surprised by the Northwestern-Gonzaga game. There was a little bit of controversy in that game. Had they gotten that call right, that could have gone either way.”

Played directly after the men’s tournament and through April 2, but not in Sacramento, the NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament didn’t disappoint with surprising finishes either. The women players at the University of Connecticut can attest to that.

After winning a record 111 consecutive games, UConn fell to Mississippi State, 66-64, on an overtime buzzer beater in the Final Four. South Carolina beat Mississippi State, 67-55, to win the women’s championship.

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