Marching into Madness


March is known as the most exciting time of the year for college basketball fans, and as one of those fans, I will say it’s true. During this wonderful time of the year, the regular season of college basketball ends, and the post season begins.

It starts with tournaments to crown a champion in each of the conferences. After conference champions have been crowned, the tournament for the NCAA championship begins. This tournament, referred to as the “big dance,” contains 68 teams and goes until there is just one team left standing.

One of my favorite parts of March Madness is filling out a bracket, or in my case, twenty-five brackets, to predict a winner. These brackets are filled in by millions of people with the same intention: try to predict every winner. No one has ever been able to make a perfect bracket, simply because of the unpredictability of the tournament.

That is exactly what I tried to remember when making my bracket. I tried to pick the highest seeded teams to win the first round, but then remembered that the lower seeded teams could pull an upset. I researched the teams I didn’t really know much about to see how strong of a team they had. I did everything I knew to do so I could be prepared to fill out my bracket.

After several days of making my bracket, changing my bracket, and changing my bracket again, I finally was content with my picks and was ready for the tournament to begin.

I was ready and determined, just like I am every year, that this was going to be the year I make a bracket that lasts past the first round of games.

Not only was I wrong, but my bracket I spent all of that time creating was busted after the very first game.

The tenth seeded team in the east division, Minnesota, beat the seventh seeded Louisville. I picked Louisville to win and was disappointed that my bracket didn’t even last one game.

Not having a perfect bracket is something I am used to, so that was not the source of my frustration. The thing that irritates me is the suddenness of my bracket’s demise.

After I accepted my bracket’s fate of not being perfect, I finally realized the reason why I love March Madness. It is the emotion that it brings out of people, whether it is the devoted fans who are hoping to see their team make it all the way to the championship or the fans who are sitting at the edge of their seat hoping that their bracket will stay intact.

I finally concluded that I was happy that my bracket was busted so early. I was glad I no longer have to continually check to see if all my predictions are still correct. I was able to sit back and just enjoy the next couple of days filled with basketball. At the end of the day, that is what I think the purpose is behind making brackets. It is supposed to get you invested in the teams both mentally and emotionally, but they ultimately remind you how great this time of year really is.