Each March millions of fans of college basketball complete March Madness brackets and lament over unpredicted upsets and rejoice in perfect rounds. This year is no exception. Iconic performances by underdogs and the revelation of champions have shaped a love for March Madness around the nation and around campus.
A new year of competition is a chance to avenge last year’s losses, defend a bracket title or get involved for the first time. It is a chance to embrace the madness at any level. March Madness is a rare event that brings together the avid fan, the casual fan and the barley-a-fan that just fills out a bracket just because their friends are.
Josh Harley, junior business, finance and accounting major, said, “You don’t have to know anything about basketball to fill out a bracket because the tournament goes so unexpected. [This is] one of the few times that a person who has no interest in sports can compete against an avid sports fan and have a chance at winning.”
March Madness brings people together. Enjoying the crazy moments that define upsets can build community through shared experience.
Harley said, “I love upsets because you don’t know when there coming. That’s what makes March Madness so exciting. You truly don’t appreciate the tournament if you don’t like upsets. I know upsets happen. I expect my bracket not to be perfect.”
Upsets make the tournament the exciting and memorable. They also provide the intrigue in community bracket competitions.
Brooks Andersson, sophomore middle childhood education major, said, “When a team gets really far in the tournament and you have to look up that team on Google to see where there from or about them [is thrilling]. I love going, ‘who are they?’”
Upsets become talking points at work, in dorm rooms and in classrooms and draw people into the excitement of the tournament.
Robin Mussig, sophomore nursing major, said “Anytime you lose it’s disappointing but it’s still just a competition, but competition gave me more awareness of the sport itself, and doing it with friends makes for healthy competition. That’s a good thing. I don’t mind upsets. It makes it more interesting. Besides, I don’t follow sports.”
Mussig said, “Have fun with it. It’s ok if your bracket fails or if you’re afraid to do it, but don’t be afraid to do it with your friends. It’s worth it in the end.”
Seth Byrd is the Sports Editor for The Aviso