By Edric Brillantes
The biggest sports tournament of the year is just around the corner. March Madness is the national college basketball tournament, which pits the best college teams from all over the country for a chance to win the NCAA Basketball Championship. A mainstay of the tournament has been the bracket that has a total of 68 teams and has been notorious for being nearly impossible to be 100% perfect.
The odds of getting a perfect March Madness bracket is 1 in 120.2 billion. To put that into perspective, one would have better chances of winning the following things: a lottery’s max jackpot, becoming a professional basketball player, getting struck by lightning or becoming President of the United States. Despite the very high odds, millions of fans fill out their brackets every year.
“I don’t watch basketball, I just like making brackets with friends. It’s fun seeing if I can guess what the outcome will be and compare it to my friends,” said Mt. Hebron senior Mia Ramsay.
Reasons for filling a bracket can range from naturally being a college basketball fan to just by going off a team’s mascot. Fans have even had their own strategies when filling up a March Madness bracket like basketball fan Khalid Jawhar.
“I pick a couple underdogs but take calculated gambles, not risks. I also choose a lot of ten over seven seeds and twelve over five seeds upsets,” said Jawhar.
But other fans have their own unique reasons when it comes to March Madness.
“I choose to do whatever logo is cooler,” said the avid March Madness fan Connor Heinlein.
“I don’t follow basketball so I rank the teams by whoever has the best names,” said Ramsay.
With March Madness comes many teams fighting for a national championship. Of course, there are favorites in the tournament. This year’s favorite is the #1 seed Gonzaga Bulldogs, who have wins over ranked teams like UCLA, Texas and Texas Tech. There are other contenders like the #2 ranked Auburn Tigers, who have an impressive 27-4 record and are undefeated at home.
“In my opinion, I got Kentucky all the way. They’re the best team in college basketball in my eyes,” stated Jawhar.
Unfortunately, March Madness is famously known for its upsets and underdogs in the tournament. For example, the 2018 tournament featured #16 UMBC beating #1 Virginia in the first round, the only time that has occurred in tournament history. In the same year, 11th seed and small school Loyola-Chicago ran the gauntlet, beating the best teams in college basketball that year, and made the Final Four. As you can see, anything can happen in March.