The student news site of Greater Latrobe High School

The High Post

The student news site of Greater Latrobe High School

The High Post

The student news site of Greater Latrobe High School

The High Post

Pittsburgh Plays Big Role in 2024 March Madness Tournament

Brock Mears
A unique look at PPG paints, a usual hockey arena, with a basketball court being featured

The 2024 March Madness tournament kicked off on Thursday march 21st with a bang. Many big games and early upsets ruined brackets around the world. Some of these games are tied back to our host city for the tournament, Pittsburgh. The Duquesne Dukes are a small college out of Pittsburgh and were given an 11 seed in the tournament. The Dukes were responsible for the first big upset of the tournament as they defeated BYU in the opening round. Pittsburgh was also treated with 4 first-round games at PPG Paints arena, and in these games, there was no shortage of action. 


One of the big, if not biggest upsets of the tournament, was when the 14 seeded Oakland Golden Grizzlies topped the 3 seeded Kentucky Wildcats by a score of 80-76. This was one of the four first-round games to be held in Pittsburgh. The atmosphere in the building was electric. Pittsburgh does not have an NBA team, so this is the best basketball the city sees every few years. This led to the stadium being nearly sold out. 

A look at Gohlke draining one of his 10 three-point shots vs. Kentucky (Matt Freed )

The big story for Oakland was graduate senior Jack Gohlke. Gohlke scored 32 points in the win over Kentucky, draining 10 three-point shots. PPG Paints arena lit up when he touched the ball. It seemed as if he never missed a shot. Chants of “Gohlke” went around the stadium after his ninth three-point shot gave Oakland the lead. It was a heartbreaking defeat for Kentucky as they had such a great season, and did not expect to lose in the first round. Brackets around the world also did not expect them to lose in the first round as a lot of people lost their pick to win it all in this game. 


In the second round, despite another six threes and 22 points from Gohlke, Oakland lost to 11-seeded NC State 79-73 in overtime. The city of Pittsburgh got to see upsets in three of their four first-round games. NC State and Oregon were two 11 seeds to win, and 14-seeded Oakland’s win rounded off 3 big upsets all to take place in PPG Paints Arena. 


NC State had a magical run this tournament going all the way to the Final Four. Their big story was the center, D.J. Burns. Burns averaged 18 points in their 4 games leading up to the Final Four. NC State’s prize for getting here was going up against the one-seeded Purdue Boilermakers in the Final Four. 


Purdue was dominant all the way to the Final Four thanks to their center Zach Edey. Edey was the top scorer in the nation this regular season, and he showed it in this tournament. Edey averaged 3o points a game in the tournament, making Purdue one of the most dominant teams in the tournament. 


On the other side of the bracket, another big story was the 4 seeded Alabama Crimson Tide, who pushed their way to the Final Four. Alabama’s first-round game was against the College of Charleston. Latrobe Alum Bryce Butler is a guard for the Charleston Cougars. Butler and Charleston put up 96 points on Alabama thanks to 10 points, 8 rebounds, and 3 assists, from

Bryce. Although, the Crimson Tide have the top-scoring offense in the nation and put up 109 points to pull off the victory. It was very special to see a Latrobe Alum play in such a big tournament and be able to put up solid numbers like he did against such a good team. 


Alabama continued their march to the Final Four thanks to great play from guard Mark Sears. Sears averaged 24 points a game, thanks to his huge 30-point night in the third round. That performance led the Tide into the Final Four. Very few brackets predicted Alabama to go to the final four, but one bracket that did very well was Junior at Greater Latrobe Sam Enfinger. He picked Alabama to go to the national championship game, leaving him in the top five of our school’s bracket challenge. “I did not put too much thought into my picks, but I heard that Alabama scores a lot so I decided to put them In my finals,” said Sam. 


The last Final Four team might be the best of them all, as the defending champions the Uconn Huskies were the first defending champions to reach the Final Four since the 2007 Florida Gators. The Huskies have had no problems getting here as they averaged 81 points a game in the tournament with a +111-point differential over their four games leading up to the Final Four. All four of these teams being so good led to some great games to finish off the tournament. “I can’t wait to see how Alabama does in the semi-final, it will be really fun to watch,” said Enfinger. 


In the Final Four, another great performance from Edey and Purdue led them past NC State and into the national championship game. Their opponent would be the defending champs, the Uconn Huskies. The offense for Alabama just wasn’t enough as the system that Uconn plays with is so hard to score against. Uconn won the game by a score of 86-72 and advanced to their second straight national championship game. 


In the national championship, Edey was excellent once again, but he couldn’t do everything. The Huskies continued to play their style and it was too much for Purdue to match up against. Uconn was in control of this game the whole time and became the first repeat national champion since the 2006-2007 Florida Gators. The final score of the game was 75-60, Uconn. This win for UConn had them finish the tournament with a record-breaking +140 point differential in the tournament, making them one of the most dominant match-madness teams of all time. 


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About the Contributor
Ryan Baughman
Ryan Baughman, Staff Writer
Ryan Baughman is a junior at Greater Latrobe highschool. He is 16 years old and is part of the Highpost team at Latrobe. Ryan is a huge sports fan and is able to contribute to the highpost team with many posts about the sporting events going on at school. Ryan is also apart of the Golf team here at Latrobe and is able to write and post about matches and other news regarding the team. Ryan plans on going to a college after highschool to major in journalism and hopes to later on in life continue to write about sports for a bigger audience like he does now for the high post team. This is Ryan’s first year on the high post team and is very excited to learn the ways to write good stories and learn his place on this talented high post team. Ryan works outside of school at Giannilli’s restaurant, he started working there just a few weeks ago. Ryan enjoys golfing for fun outside of school as well and spends most of his nights at the course trying to improve for school matches. He also enjoys spending time with family and friends on the weekends and sitting down to watch college football and NFL games. His favorite teams are the Penn state Nittany Lions and the Pittsburgh Steelers. Ryan can’t wait to get this year started and share all of his work throughout the next few months. 

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