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Beware the madness of March


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The month of March is a time for lent and St. Patrick’s Day, but the NCAA Tournament also kicks off in March. The tournament keeps viewers all over the world glued to their TVs and cell phones.

March Madness is full of both Cinderella and powerhouse teams. Every year, some non-Power five schools make some noise in the tournament, but the phenomenon that really makes some unwanted noise is the bracket challenge.

Millions of people create brackets and join groups to create the perfect scenario. It seems though, that year after year the brackets fail. Don’t put your trust, time and money into the bracket challenge. A lower seed usually upsets a higher seed every year.

While the bracket challenge may seem like a fun experience, banking on the top seeds advancing in each game is highly illogical. Let’s look at the tournament’s history of upsets. In 2001, 15- seed Hampton upset two-seed Iowa State, and in the 2016 NCAA tournament, we saw some upsets from the 12, 13, 14 and 15 seed teams. We even saw Lehigh defeat Duke in the 2012 tournament.

This is exactly why the tournament has at least a million viewers every year. The action, intensity and emotion are what make the NCAA tournament so special.

The art of making the perfect bracket is dead, and there is no accurate documentation that someone has created the perfect bracket. It’s just impossible to do.

There has been a document of a bracket being perfect through the first 25 games, but that dream quickly ended. Why do we indulge in such a head-scratching game? Just like gambling, we put our trust in things we know will never happen, but we always have that glimmer of hope. Defying the odds is a lost art for the entire population.

If you look at this year’s tournament, we already have some bracket buster teams. The 12 seed Middle Tennessee team is no stranger to defeating a higher seed. Middle Tennessee proved this in their defeat of Minnesota which is a five seeded team. Xavier, who basically makes the tournament every year, came in as the 11 seed as they defeated six seeded Maryland.

This Tournament hasn’t had that marquee upset that everyone is looking for, but the tournament never fails to shine every year. Just to fill out the bracket for fun, you should add Michigan, Oregon and Michigan State as the teams to watch going forward.

The sleeper teams are Rhode Island and Cincinnati. As a champion for your bracket, there are always number one seeds involved such as Villanova, Kansas and North Carolina.

Why are we so quick to say that a No. 1 seed will prevail when we know there are some tough lower seeded teams that can definitely shake up the field.

Forget being serious about making a bracket, do it for fun. Investing in such a mysterious game is quite frustrating.

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The Student News Site of University of Louisiana Monroe
Beware the madness of March