March Madness 101 with Mike

So what’s up with all of the hype over March Madness? I’m here to bring some testosterone back to the pages of TwentyTweets… And to enlighten all of you readers who might not understand what exactly makes the month of March so amazing.

March is a month that brings enjoyment and excitement in many ways to a variety of different people.  You have your spring lovers, your spring-break partiers, and the people like me: your sports fanatics.  All of these things are all well and good, but where does all the madness come in? It comes from putting together 68 of the best college basketball teams in the nation into one expertly built bracket. These so-called “experts” are sometimes referred to as bracketologists.

Every year, these bracket-makers include a variety of different types of teams. First, you will find your Duke’s, North Carolina’s, Kentucky’s… or those teams that are expected to win and do well because of the highly skilled recruits that they bring in year after year.  Then you have your George Mason’s and Virginia Commonwealth’s.  These are the schools that most average people have never even heard of until one of them becomes a modern day “Cinderella.”  Cinderella teams are the heart of the tournament and are, in my opinion, what really bring out the madness.  (If you’re not sure exactly what I mean, think of accelerated stardom and success of players such as Tim Tebow and Jeremy Lin.) Cinderella teams are schools that come out of nowhere, probably not expected to even make it out of the first round of most peoples’ brackets, and almost always become America’s favorite team. Who wouldn’t want to see the underdogs come out on top? These Cinderella teams are also sometimes referred to as bracket busters, or the teams that unfortunately end up ruining your perfect (or so you thought) bracket.

Another huge factor that adds to the “madness” is the timing of the entire tournament. You can find yourself watching games all day, which can lead to a variety of mixed emotions. One of the match-ups could leave you feeling over-joyed, but then the next bout could be a bracket buster… Leaving you very upset. (Sorry ladies…This is an inevitable but part-time emotional roller coaster, so please bear with us.) The earlier games can really affect college students… Especially when you’re sitting in class trying to pay attention. In reality, you’re following the constantly updated play-by-play or live stream of the game on your laptop and/or smart phone. (Talk about multi-tasking!) If your school is in the tournament, forget about it. That can really cause some madness when you see your grade at the end of the semester.

Like I mentioned earlier, there are 68 teams, so every round the number of teams that progress to the next portion of the tourney dwindles lower and lower. After 68, there are 32 teams, then 16 which is called “The Sweet Sixteen,” then eight which is called “The Elite Eight,” then 4 which is “The Final Four,” and then of course The National Championship game, which is when the 68 is chopped down to the final two.  If you’ve kept a good bracket with predicted teams present, you can expect the madness to be at an all-time high.  After all the long days of watching buzzer beaters and blow outs, it all comes down to the last 40 minutes of a nail biting basketball tournament to decide it all.  At the end of the night, you’ll either have your head in your hands possibly shedding a tear or two (or a million), or jumping around with your friends while watching the winning team cut down net to bring back to their school.

So whether you’re a sport fanatic or just someone who enjoys filling out a bracket for fun, be prepared for a lot of hair pulling moments throughout the month of March. Let the madness ensue!

Who do you guys have your money on? Tweet your March Madness picks to @20sTweet. Happy March!

~M

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