March Madness is a fever. Many people contract this madness during the annual March National Collegiate Athletic Association basketball tournament when 64 teams have the opportunity to win a national championship. Known for wild upsets and buzzer-beater finishes, this tournament attracts all types of viewers; from die-hard college fans to gamblers trying to win some money.
Ten percent of the American population creates at least one bracket every year. These brackets try and predict the outcome of each game for every round. The odds of making a perfect bracket are quite slim (1 in 9.2 quintillion if you were curious); you actually have a much better chance at winning the lottery than creating the perfect bracket (175 million to
one, according to thebalance.com, if you were curious again)
I personally am a fan of the tournament, but don’t like making brackets. I made one a
few years ago and how bad my bracket turned out embarrassed me. I guessed fewer than
30 perfect of the winners. This result was not something I wanted on my “ultimate sports fan resume”. I do, however, love watching the games. These matchups are some of the most exciting sporting events I ever watch. There’s something about the fact that nothing is guaranteed that attracts my attention.
In the National Basketball Association, the playoffs are played in series (best out of seven). This helps guarantee that one bad game wouldn’t ruin an otherwise fantastic season. This format does take the excitement away from
the games, so having every game be an all or northing format makes each second feel like the final shot of a game 7 in the NBA.
This year was the first time in tournament history that a 16th seed (University of Maryland Baltimore County) upset a first seed (University of Virginia) in the opening round. This upset busted about 16.8 million brackets. There is
no rhyme or reason to the tournament, and no one can predict the outcomes even the most astute NCAA basketball fans. I believe the most exciting part about the tournament is the young athletes playing in the most important games of their lives. For some of them, it might be the first time they get to play on national television.
Normally, however, through all the madness, the best team comes out on top.
This year Villanova University proved that it
will be a force to be reckoned with for a long time in the tournament by securing it’s second championship in three years in a victory over the University of Michigan.
Whether you have a severe case of the fever, a mild one or no fever altogether, the NCAA tournament is always an entertaining sporting event, and I suggest you pay some attention to it one day.
Story by Michelle Mankoff