March Madness creates community

Crazy endings breed a great time for all   When Villanova’s Kris Jenkins’ shot went up in the air at the end of the NCAA Division I men’s basketball national championship, time stood still for a moment. Basketball fans around the nation watched the University of North Carolina’s hopes of winning a national title disappear as Jenkins’ shot was made to conclude March Madness. That game is the poster child for why March Madness is so loved. Luckily for fans on campus, the tournament is back again. Even for those who do not watch basketball during the regular season, filling out tournament brackets is fun and connects over 40 million Americans annually. “March Madness is a time where even if you don’t watch a lot of the regular season it really brings people together…Even up in the [cafeteria], you can just see March Madness explode and in a lot groups on campus,” said Jesse Sockman, senior zoo and wildlife biology major and Haviland Hall ARD. In the past, AVI has put up a projector in the cafeteria so students can watch the games and see how their bracket is doing while they are eating. The games can be seen on CBS, TNT, TruTV and TBS. There are also plenty of opportunities to watch online or on phones. “We always have [games] streaming on every TV in the building. I remember a couple of years ago we had five games going on at once in one room. They had two TVs, two laptops and one on a phone streaming it. I am sure we’re going to get one of those together,” said Sockman. Spectators at these gatherings include fanatics and tournament novices. March Madness has the potential to unite people from different areas on campus. “It legitimately brings everyone together. You get athletes from every different sport, guys from the band and I am [a zoo and wildlife biology major]. It’s a great thing that brings anyone in regardless of their background as a basketball fan,” said Sockman. AVI will once again celebrate March Madness through special activities in the dining all. “March Madness will act like another event in the dining hall,” said Adam Ligo, director of operations for AVI at Malone. “We can even try to do something special with the menu for March Madness.” Students with ideas of ways to enjoy March Madness in the cafeteria should leave comments in the comment box. “I love watching [the tournament],” said Ligo. “If everybody is watching it and having a good time, it’s a good environment in the dining hall.” The heart of this community is filling out brackets, which requires no prior basketball knowledge. “I enjoy entering a few bracket pools with my friends and family, which allows us to talk and joke in fun competition, which brings us closer together. I love how anyone can do it, since there are so many upsets and equal chances to win,” said junior community and public health major Sarah Rataiczak. To be able to joke with people and take the simple 50-50 chance is great, and the games end in a variety of ways. In summary, March Madness brings people into community through the simple purpose of filling out a bracket and the last second shots bring easy conversation starters. “I like the madness of [the bracket]. There’s a fast paced fun competition aspect of it. It allows everyone to participate even if they don’t keep up with sports,” said Rataiczak. Everyone has their own way of navigating the brackets which makes for interesting endings. “I picked teams by random and [a friend] yelled at me for asking her whether they were good or not. I figured I was doing the right thing. It’s fun being hyped together about it,” said Abby Suplee, senior nursing major. Seth Byrd is a staff writer for The Avsio. Print This Article Print This Article

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