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Sweet and Elite: My Experience Covering the NCAA Tournament


While March Madness has had its share of upsets, the top two seeds in the West Region prevailed to meet in the Elite Eight. The top-seeded Oregon Ducks met the No. 2 seed Oklahoma Sooners on Saturday at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California. They battled it out in a game that would decide which team would advance to the Final Four. The Sooners, who had an impressive shooting performance, defeated Oregon 80–68. Here is what I learned while covering the game as a Kid Reporter.

Oklahoma is more than just a football school.

The University of Oklahoma is well known for its football program — the Sooners have won seven NCAA football titles — but their basketball program is strong too. Senior guard Buddy Hield scored 37 points, which accounted for almost half of his team’s total. Even though Hield’s performance stood out, it was a team effort, as guards Isaiah Cousins and Jordan Woodard also scored in the double digits.

It was especially neat to watch the post-game celebration. The Oklahoma team received the West Region championship trophy on a stage set up in the middle of the court. The players were dancing throughout the entire ceremony, and they took a team photo with Hield holding the trophy high. Afterward, each player and coach climbed a ladder and cut a piece of the basketball net down. When head coach Lon Kruger cut the final loop off the rim and waved the net to the crowd, the Oklahoma fans roared.


Photos: Harry How/Getty Images (Oklahoma), Sarah Liu (locker room, press box)