What to Expect From March Madness



A photo of the 2022 bracket for March Madness created by the Selection Committee as well as the NCAA.

Anvi Bhagavatula, Photojournalist

March Madness, an NCAA basketball tournament held every year in March, gathers millions of viewers each year as the tension slowly builds from brackets of many NCAA basketball teams to the sweet 16 teams, to the elite 8, then the final four, and then finally, the championships. The games are an outlet for NBA recruitment, so for the players, years and years of hard work are on the line. The tournament began quite a long time ago, all the way back in 1939. At that time, the tournament only featured 8 teams, rather than the 68 right now.


The tournament starts with selection Sunday, which encompasses the selection committee choosing the brackets and seeds for the tournament. The opening round of the tournament eliminates four teams, leaving the bracket with 64 for the first round. The “seed” is the ranking of a team after they’ve split into four regions of 16 teams each. 


Sports analysts from around the country have been paying close attention to the teams that won their conference championships as well as those who’ve generally been playing very well. Gonzaga University and Arizona State University, are both number 1 in their respective West and south brackets. been neck and neck with the favors of analysts and fans alike.


Many analysts and reporters have created algorithms and formulas to calculate the likely winner of the tournament, for example, SportsLine created an algorithm that discusses the Cinderella teams, which are essentially the unexpectedly good teams, and their likelihood of winning. 


The talk of what specific players will win for their teams is also looming. Jabari Smith and Chet Holmgren as well as Keegan Murray and Paolo Banchero. Each player is from a different university and brings a different skill set to the court that many believe the NBA is looking for.


In the past, the team that’s won the most March Madness titles is UCLA. They’ve produced multiple NBA players from Kareem Abdul-Jabar to Russel Westbrook. Although they’re a talented school, analysts still believe the title might be leaning towards Gonzaga, who has also produced a large number of NBA players including Killian Tille and the recently drafted Jalen Suggs. This number of popular players adds to the popularity of the tournament as it gathers fans from all around the country, both avid and novel, Nikita Gupta (10) comes from the latter portion of fans, saying, “I don’t usually watch a lot of basketball but I remember watching Zion Williamson from Duke when he played in March Madness a few years ago. I mainly only heard about him through social media.”


Going into March Madness, since COVID canceled so many games, the records of certain teams are not reflective of their abilities. This means that March Madness will allow for many teams that couldn’t play as hard as they wanted to, to push their limits in this crucial tournament.