Basketball madness consumes March

The ball sails over the court, just barely tipping over into the hoop as the buzzer goes off, causing the crowd to go mad. These excitement-filled moments are regular in the NCAA Division I men’s and women’s basketball championship tournaments, otherwise known as March Madness. A single elimination tournament, it consists of 68 teams and started on March 14.

While the games are the main events, another integral part of the tournaments are the brackets that many fans make. These brackets have the fan place a loser and a winner for every round until they eventually reach the winner of the whole tournament. Adi Chattopadhyay, senior, created his own bracket after extensive research into matchup predictions. However, he picked the winner of the tournament based on personal preference. “I predicted UCLA to win because they have my favorite player, Jaime Jacquez Jr,” Chattopadhyay said. “He’s a really good defender and a hustle player…He just gives a lot of effort.”

Even with all of the expert predictions and the stats on the teams, it is extremely difficult to predict who will make the final four of the tournament and win. Aaron Cantu, senior and basketball enthusiast, used many different resources to make his bracket. “I used the stats [the different teams] had and how many points they let up every game and their standings in previous seasons,” Cantu said. He predicted the final four to be Marquette, Texas, Gonzaga and UCLA. However, none of these teams advanced to the final four.

The teams that did make the final four were UCONN, SDSU, FAU and Miami University. This final four was very unexpected, and most likely messed up a lot of brackets. Charlie Muir, senior, was shocked at the results of the tournament. “This year’s final four is one of the most interesting ones I’ve ever seen. No number 1 or 2 seeds are in the final four, which surprised me,” Muir said.

The schools who did make the final four are widely celebrating their greatly unexpected advancement. “I have some friends who go to SDSU and all these schools are just so invested because it’s so rare for them. Everyone is really supporting their team and coming together,” Chattopadhyay said.
The unpredictability of the tournament appeals to many audiences, making it a fan favorite. “Anyone really has a chance at any moment to be kind of a champion. It’s also really cool because it gives a lot of media attention to less known teams,” Chattopadhyay said.