The Most Wonderful Time of The Year


2017 Bracket

The Super Bowl, the World Series, and NBA Finals are all entertaining sporting events, but none of them have the word madness directly in their title. Because of the unknown excitement that comes with it, March Madness is the greatest sporting event in the world.

The March Madness Tournament starts with Selection Sunday when the brackets are announced. On that night the nation gets to watch college kids’ raw reactions to finding out whether or not their programs had been selected to play in the tournament. If the team is selected the kids are filled with smiles that display a mix of both joy and relief. If the program is not selected the TV screen is filled with tears and heartbreak that the best “Bachelor” writers couldn’t script.

The following morning, schools and workplaces alike are filled with energy and anticipations for who is going to win the tournament and wreak havoc amongst the traditional powerhouses like Kentucky and Duke.

Questions arise like, “Who will be this year’s Florida Gulf Coast?” In 2013, the 15-seed Florida Gulf Coast won over sports fans as the small school defeated teams like Georgetown and San Diego State, shocking viewers. The next question people ask is who will be the next Butler? For those who don’t watch college basketball, Butler, a school in Indiana with a student population of less than 5,000, went to back to back Final Fours in 2010 and 2011. In 2010, Butler came within 3 inches of defeating Duke in the Championship. Duke is triple the size with a basketball program that has 5 national titles to go along with 23 NBA Draft first-round picks.

From here, the next few days are spent filling out brackets deciding on which team will be the next David over Goliath story.

After the brackets are completed the games start to be played. This is a relief because this time of the year most of the country is making the transition from brutally cold winters to spring with no football on TV and the sound of wooden bats still a few weeks away. Because of this, March Madness helps sports fans with the transition to spring.

In the first two days of the tournament, we are treated with 32 games and another 16 in the following two days, accounting for 48 games within four days. Not only are these 48 games, they create defining moments that literally change lives. Players from small programs who may not have received national attention have the platform to display their talents.

Take Stephen Curry for an example. Often considered one of the best basketball players in the world, Curry played for Davidson College, a small private liberal arts college in North Carolina, taking them to an Elite 8 in which he scored 40 points against Gonzaga in 2008. Because of Curry’s performance in the tournament he received national attention from scouts and ended up being a first-round draft pick by the Golden State Warriors.

Last year Villanova upset North Carolina on a buzzer beater 3 by Kris Jenkins. This year, the top seeded Villanova Wildcats lost to the 8th seeded Wisconsin destroying many brackets as they lost 65-62. The change of events within a year shows how unpredictable the bracket can be.

By blending together the elements of timing, Cinderella stories, the unknown, and, of course, madness, fans are given the most entertaining sporting event in the world.