March Madness brings excitement, research

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Cole Basnight, sport editor

Each March brings a time of change. The season changes from winter to spring. The clocks move forward one hour. The off-season of baseball ends. And most importantly, the regular season of college basketball ends and March Madness begins.

“March Madness is awesome because you never know who is going to win,” junior Chandler France said. “It seems like anyone in the tournament can win the championship every year.”

What is March Madness? March Madness is when Division I college basketball has its largest tournament of the year. Sixty-eight of the best teams from the season are hand-picked based on their rankings and conference tournaments. Some teams receive automatic bids to the tournament while others are ranked accordingly. Once teams are placed by the NCAA Division 1 Selection Committee, the schedule is released and brackets are completed.

A lot of conversation surrounds the 68 teams, as people become upset by a team left out or excited by a team included.

“I think the selection process is good. Obviously, the conference champs should make it no matter what their record is,” senior Richard Fisher said. “ Also the strength of your schedule should play a big role because you could play a much more harder schedule then a team that may have a better record than you. So, yes, it should stay the same.”

Every year there is a “bracket buster,” or a high ranked team that is projected to go far into the tournament that loses to a team that isn’t projected to win. The excitement of these upsets come from an underdog beating a top ranked team. This year, Michigan State became a bracket buster after being knocked off by Mid Tennessee State.

“Well my bracket buster was Michigan State. I had everything set up for the Final Four and just it was a drastic disbelief when Michigan State lost and it basically tore my whole bracket up,” ISS coordinator Timmy Charity said.

There has never been a perfect bracket in the history of March Madness. So maybe that is what drives the madness that March brings. People want to be the first person to have the perfect bracket. Although, it could be for the money payout if a person does wind up with the perfect bracket.

“Well I think I’d be pretty rich ‘cause ain’t it worth a billion dollars? So, yeah,it’d be pretty cool,” senior John Day said.

The tournament also affects college choices for incoming freshmen. Many high school seniors want to go to a school known for its sports teams. They want to participate in the excitement of a big win and follow a team through its tournament journey.

“When I was accepted to UNC in January, I knew that was where I wanted to go. Sports have always been such a huge part of my life and Carolina was the perfect package for me considering the basketball legacy and the job opportunity I was offered [with the football team],” senior Alex White said.

During tournament time, the games can be caught around the school in the library and the cafeteria.

“I mean, we live in North Carolina. During March Madness you go to any other business on the Outer Banks, what do you think they’re doing while the games are on. I think we could hold off on the reading in the library for an hour or two while the games go,” technology coordinator Mike Phelan said.

This year, college counselor Seth Rose challenged all students and faculty to participate in March Madness with a school-wide bracket tournament. Freshmen, sophomores and juniors must complete college research and a bracket while seniors must complete their FAFSA and a bracket. Teachers must decorate their door with a NCAA team in the tournament and do a bracket. Brackets were completed online through ESPN prior to March 16, and prizes will be awarded to the winning brackets if prerequisites were completed.

“It’s like when you are a kid and you didn’t like vegetables so your mom slipped spinach into a nasty dish. You didn’t know it was healthy, so you ate it. I am slipping something that can be tedious, researching colleges, into something fun, creating a bracket for the NCAA tournament. Underclassmen might think it is too early to start thinking about colleges, but now is exactly the time to do it. Hopefully this challenge will jump-start the process,” said college advisor Seth Rose.

The championship game is scheduled for Monday, April 4, and it until then it’s anyone’s game.