If the Super Bowl is the King of sporting events, then March Madness is the Queen. Of course that’s just my opinion. However, the way people fill out brackets and watch the tournament would suggest I’m not alone in my observation. Where else can you find a tournament like it? Sixty-four teams all looking to move on.
And if we’re going to be honest here, it’s one of the few sporting events in which there is never a clear-cut favorite. One bad night here, one great shooting night over there and a number one seed can fall to a lower a seed. It happens all the time. The Cinderella team as they are called.
Again, if we’re being honest, isn’t that why we watch the tournament? We want to see Goliath fall. We want the giant to fall. Take 2014 for example. The number 14 seeded Mercer Bears knocked off the three seed Duke Blue Devils in the first game of the tournament. Social media went crazy with that win by Mercer. Of course a lot of people were upset because the bracket they had filled out was literally busted at that point.
So what makes March so mad? I think there are a couple of reasons. First, you have the upsets. As mentioned earlier, you never know who or what team is going to step up and shine on any given day. This past Thursday it was Middle Tennessee State defeating Minnesota. Some people wouldn’t label that an upset since it was a 12 over a five. That happens every year. We did have three number 11 teams defeat a six seed in the first round. Xavier took down Maryland. USC knocked out SMU and Rhode Island ended Creighton’s season early.
The second reason, though, is the volume of games. The madness really starts earlier in the month with all the conference tournaments. Teams play for three and four straight days against other teams in the conference for the right to make the NCAA Tournament. Then, there is Selection Sunday. All the teams seedings and brackets are revealed during this time. Everyone knows where they will be playing. Then, the following Thursday, the games begin. By the end of the first weekend, you’ll be down to 16 teams. At the end of the second weekend, there will be four.
This is why we love March. This is why we love the tournament. This is why March Madness is the second best sporting event in this country. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got some games to watch.