The madness of March: Why basketball takes over a whole month

April 6, 2015

Brandon Applehans
bappleha@uccs.edu

There’s a void in your life if you refused to make a bracket in March.

Every year, NCAA division one basketball holds a tournament of the top 64 teams in the nation. “Bracketology,” as sport fanatics call it, comes around once a year, with the hope that someone will pick all the matchups correctly.

So why did millions of people make a bracket this year? March Madness has become an event primed for social gatherings and water-cooler talk.

College basketball drives people insane.

The odds of making a completely perfect bracket are somewhere over 9-qunitillion-to 1. People in the 21st century live for upsets, and the dethroning of top division one schools backed by more funding.

So we play, and wait and see what happens both in the tournament, and to our bracket.

Every year, there are four schools that earn a number one seed in the bracket. This year Villanova, Wisconsin, Duke and Kentucky received the highest rankings. All but Villanova still stood going into the Final Four.

But what makes the tournament so unique, and leads so many to play, is the madness. This is only the fifth time in NCAA history that at least three top-ranked teams have made it to the Final Four.

Whether you are a basketball fan or not, remember that the President of the United States joins in the madness by making a bracket. Barack Obama picked Kentucky to win it all this year.

Oh, and don’t forget that billions of dollars are gambled away each year during this event.

So why is the madness all around picking the winner before it happens? Other than conforming, it’s about the thrill. There are multiple online brackets that deal out money, prizes or just strictly bragging rights.

If you are looking to get in on the action next year, here’s a bit of advice: there is no skill, no strategy, no principles in March Madness.

This year, only one individual picked a perfect bracket through the first 32 games.

His bracket was busted in the second round, where he picked the upset of Ohio State beating Arizona that didn’t happen. And so the madness won again.

For those crazy enough to make a bracket next year, or just for those non-sports fans who want to get in the action, best of luck to you.

The odds will never be in your favor.