The Madness of March

Photo Courtesy of NCAA: March Madness is about to begin with 68 teams hoping to capture the title.

Photo Courtesy of NCAA: March Madness is about to begin with 68 teams hoping to capture the title.

Brooke Gagnon, Photojournalist

Let the Madness begin! The beginning of March Madness has arrived for basketball fans. It will kick off on March 14th and will conclude with the championship game on April 3rd.

March Madness is the NCAA Division 1 single-elimination tournament to crown a champion. The tournament begins with sixty-eight teams who play in a total of sixty-seven games. Eight teams must play in play-in games in order to be apart of the bracket of sixty-four teams (NCAA).

Each year, fans take excitement in this tournament due to the brackets. Fans have the ability to bet on games, but also create the perfect bracket. This is no simple task of correctly predicting the results of sixty-seven games. Fans will begin creating their brackets following Selection Sunday, which occurs on March 12th. On this day, a ten-member basketball selection committee, made up of athletic directors and conference commissioners throughout Division I men’s basketball, announce their selection for the teams that qualify along with the seeding. Every year, more than 40 million individuals fill out over 70 million brackets and bet in total over 42 million. The average bet is around $30 (Dispatch). Even though many brackets are drafted, none of them are able to predict all of the games. Last year, the longest perfect bracket lasted 34 games, which is about half (NCAA). Many students at Yorba Linda High School are looking forward to this big tournament and of filling out brackets. Ravi Patel (12) said, “I am excited to fill out my bracket soon. My friends and I will all be filling one out to see who can best predict the results. Although I know I will not get all of the games right, I still have fun selecting my favorites for each game. By creating a bracket, I am more compelled to follow the tournament closely because I want to beat all of my friends. This year I feel like it’s going to be a great year for UCLA with Lonzo Ball. He has been amazing to watch out on the court.”

Although it can quickly change, at the moment Kansas, Gonzaga, Villanova (last year’s champion for men’s basketball), and Duke are the favorites to win. Due to the unpredictable behavior of this tournament, fans will be closely watching until the very end. The selections on Sunday can greatly effect how far a team will go. Time can only tell who will truly prevail. For now, let the madness of March begin.