With March comes one of my favorite events of the year: March Madness. March Madness is the postseason tournament for college basketball where 68 teams compete for a chance to be crowned the “National Champion” of that year. The teams are split into 4 smaller brackets (West, Midwest, South, and East) where the teams are seeded from 1-16. The number 1 seed plays the number 16 seed in the first round, the number 2 seed plays the number 15 seed in the first round, and so on. You might be thinking to yourself, “What is so special about March Madness? Isn’t it like every other sports postseason?’ No. No it is not.
One thing that sets March Madness apart is the absolute obsession with filling out a bracket. Filling out a bracket consist of trying to correctly guess the outcome of every game, in every round. This probably sounds like a difficult task to accomplish, and that’s because it is. After doing some research, I discovered that the odds of having a perfect bracket are 1-in-9,223,372,036,854,775,808. As you can see, that is an absolute staggering number. The website I looked this information up on actually states that some people believe that is close to the number of insects on Earth.
So, it really is only a matter of time until your bracket crumbles and instead of a masterpiece, you are left with nothing more than evidence of crushed dreams. But fear not! This is when one of the best aspects of March Madness comes into play: Cinderella teams. Every year there is typically a team that comes out of absolutely nowhere and starts winning games that they have no business winning. For instance, this years Cinderella team is Florida Gulf Coast University, a number 15 seed. When they were matched up against number 2 Georgetown, few people who were not students at the university likely gave them a serious chance of pulling off the upset of the tournament. But lo and behold, they did just that. That would have been a big enough moment in the spotlight for the players, coaches, students, and university in itself, however they decided they were not done yet. For their next game, they had the opportunity to play number 7 seed San Diego State University. Sure, they won their first game, but the story has to end here, right? Wrong. Florida Gulf Coast University decided that they wanted to play at least one more game, and pulled off another unlikely upset. They are scheduled to play Florida later this week, and again will be the heavy underdogs.
Before I go off on too big of a tangent, the point that I am trying to make is that upsets happen all of the time in March Madness. With the way the tournament is designed, teams play each other once. Every game is a win or go home game. With that type of environment, any team can beat another on a given night. That’s why I love March Madness. David beats Goliath again and again. Anything can happen on any given night.
I think that this post will be a short one for me. I fear that my excitement for March Madness will bore many and my readers will lose interest rather quickly (if you haven’t already). So, instead of rambling on for a few more paragraphs, I think I will leave you with a link of memorable moments from March Madness. This countdown covers the “Top 10 Memorable March Madness Moments”, but a quick Google search will reveal that there are numerous lists of memorable moments. Instead of blabbering on, I’ll encourage you to take a few minutes to look at these clips. These clips show passion, sorrow, upsets, champions, heartbreak, and pure joy. The tournament picks back up on Thursday night. If you haven’t watched it yet this year, grab a beer, grab a buddy, and grab a seat. I know I’ll be doing that.