By Matthew Bennett; a sophomore at Cedarville University.
March. Potentially the perfect month. It’s the month when the snow (hopefully) melts away and the weather is nice enough for shorts. It’s the month where you actually feel like going outside. It’s the month when you aren’t completely opposed to yard work. And it’s also the month that hosts quite possibly the greatest sporting event known to man.
March is the month of basketball. Between the high school tournaments and the NBA, I have had enough basketball to tide me over; but now, there is an addiction that only gets fed once a year. I’m talking about the NCAA tournament.
“March Madness.” The basketball lover’s dream. It’s name strikes excitement into our hearts. It brings us the joy of printing off a fresh, clean, crisp bracket and slowly and meticulously branding our picks onto the beautiful lines until there is only one team left. It provides the stress of not only trying to pick a winner of every game, and predict the stunning upsets.
“Will this be the year that a #1 seed loses to the #16?”
“How many #12 seeds do I need to pick over the #5? There is always at least one.”
Trying to fill out a bracket can be maddening, and the first ball of the tournament hasn’t been tipped.
Once the games start, the beast has been unleashed. Did anyone expect #10 seed Davidson, led by Stephen Curry (yes, THE Stephen Curry) to make a run to the Elite Eight in 2008? Or more recently, #15 Florida Gulf Coast’s exciting run to the Sweet Sixteen in 2013? Not only are there the “Cinderella stories” but also the unforeseen upsets, like #2 Duke losing to #15 Lehigh, or #14 Ohio University upsetting #3 Georgetown.
The whole experience of the NCAA tournament can be summed up by one word: madness. For the players, the madness occurs on the court. Each game is a win or go home, and after all of the work, the last thing you want to do is pack it up and head home. For those of us fortunate to watch from home, the madness occurs in the bracket selection. March Madness is the time when all of a sudden you have a rooting interest for teams you have never heard of, and nothing escalates this more than a family member or friend that picked the opposite team.
If you aren’t a basketball fan, baseball is on the on-deck circle and there should be enough football coverage (still) on ESPN to hold you over until kickoff. But for the month of March, we can all use just a little madness.