It’s the most wonderful tiiiiime of the yearrrrrr
Yes, yes it is. March Madness. It’s arguably the best annual sports tournament following the NFL & NBA Playoffs. It’s one of those times when you get to truly experience collegiate passion, and they make you realize how crappy your college team spirit was to make you look at your former Alma marter like, really? The states really does it better. Shoot, I know for a fact that no matter what the sport is, in Canada, I’ve failed to see at least HALF of the passion that the students have for their schools in all of their sporting events. It’s sad really, and people wonder why they label Canadians as uptight and conservative, but that’s another topic for another day, which may never come, so with THAT all being said, let me move on.
Going by its formal name, the NCAA Men’s Division I Basketball Championship Tournament (it’s quite a mouthful to say) has been happening since Jesus was in short pants. Okay, maybe not THAT long, but you get what I’m saying. It’s a long-standing tradition in the United States, and probably one of the best that there is to provide the average sports fanatic. You can be a hometown supporter or even somewhere from out of the country across the ocean, it brings people together, as do other sports, but a lot of people are not focused in on Collegiate athletics for the majority of the year, simply because they lack the time, commitment, energy, and patience to keep up with whichever team they’re rooting for.
It’s great that you can see the amount of people who are really committed to their college teams, it’s actually quite insane, because people who went to the schools that are represented in the tournament, are so proud, and they hold themselves ever-so loyal to their squads, that you can see their burning passionate fires beaming through their skeletal make. The rivalries are the best thing about sports, and in college sports the rivalries are so deep and tense, you need more than a butter knife to cut it; I mean, you may need a Hatori Hanzo steel blade to cut it, but it’s beautiful, because it’s all in the sport of great competition with a respected (or not) villain.
Now, that you know what the basis of March Madness is (the what & why), here comes all of the meat and potatoes of it all – BRACKETS!
Now…the term Bracketology isn’t a coined phrase for no reason; this is a science, it’s an art form, it’s something that requires DEEP THOUGHT, meditation, some prayer, a couple of shots of alcohol, and impeding stress. Every year I look at the brackets not knowing who’s good, who’s bad (well they can’t be all that bad if they made the tournament [tourney for short]), and who will be a sleeper pick. I’m not that deep and analytic about it, so it’s pretty much a guessing game, as it is for everyone. There are people who do some random equations and are stat freaks to determine their brackets, but let’s be real here…NO ONE! KNOWS! ANYTHING!
Now, since I’m pretty much writing this up for the people who don’t have the slightest clue as to what’s going on, pretty much, here’s how it goes (refer to the picture):
Area - There are 4 regions, that are not all essentially linked by geography, and 68 teams are qualified to play in venues determined by which region they are playing in, but as the rounds progress, and the amount of teams diminish, they all play in one venue for ‘The Final Four.’
Rounds - The First Four (only added last year to bring in 4 new teams based on the NCAA’s reformatted system of the tournament), The round of 64, the round of 32, Sweet 16, Elite Eight, Final Four, and ultimately, The National Championship Game. Simple enough to understand. You could always get more info from Wikipedia or whatever, but I know for a fact that a lot of people won’t do that, because they simply don’t care, which is completely understandable. Moving on.
There are always favourites & underdogs. Everyone loves an underdog, because it’s like David & Goliath and all of that crap, you know? So you want to see the little guys beat the oppressors. It’s evident every year that there’s some kind of massive upset that happens and leaves everyone like “Who the f…” and this year is no different, so here are 2 of the big shockers this year:
#15 Lehigh & #15 Norfolk State
Not going to lie, I had no idea who these people were, so I decided to do some research provided with the help of my dear friend Wikipedia
Private, co-educational university located in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, in the Lehigh Valley region of the United States. It was established in 1865 by Asa Packer as a four-year technical school, but has grown to include studies in a wide variety of disciplines.
- Robert Serber (BSEngineering Physics, 1930), physicist who participated in the Manhattan Project.
- Richard Hawley Tucker (BSCivil Eng., 1887), astronomer, Tucker Crater on the Moon is named after him.
- Richard Hayne (BAAnthropology 1969), co-founder Urban Outfitters, Anthropologie and Free People.
Norfolk State University (NSU) is a four-year, state-supported, coed, liberal arts, historically black university (Shout out to Black Colleges) located in Norfolk, Virginia. It is member school of the Thurgood Marshall Scholarship Fund and the Virginia High-Tech Partnership.
Pee Wee Kirkland & The Vincent Brothers
Like I said, there’s a lot more that you can research on (if you want to, that is), but I just thought I’d share a little bit of nuggets.
My brackets have been a mess since day 1, so I’m just watching for sheer entertainment at this point (not like I wasn’t before, but still). To those who weren’t formally aware of March Madness beforehand, I hope you learned something, and if not, then thanks for reading anyways.
Enjoy the games
That’s My Word & It STiXX