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The Madness of March

March Madness Is a Tournament Like No Other as Millions of Americans Fill out Brackets

Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

Every year as March rolls around, sports fans and millions of American citizens await for Selection Sunday. In the event, 68 college basketball teams complete each year’s bracket, and fans scramble to fill out their bracket with the chance of achieving perfection. From believing this is the year of perfection to watching brackets getting busted with astonishing upsets, March is truly filled with madness.

The chances of filling out a perfect bracket is one in 9.2 quintillion. This chance is lower than becoming a president or winning the lottery. However, people every year fill out their bracket trying to be the first lucky person ever to have a perfect bracket. Over 60 million Americans fill out a bracket every year, but none have succeeded. 

“I pick the teams that I like to do well and teams that are doing good at the time,” junior Adam Bailey said. “I also choose some upsets that I like too.”

The nearly impossible feat of creating a perfect bracket was almost surmounted after an Ohio man correctly predicted 49 straight games in a row. He predicted every match in the round of 64, round of 32 and into the sweet 16, and no one has even come close to his long run yet.

“I normally just pick which teams I have heard about the most during the season,” junior Gray Burleson said. “Then, it is the luck of the draw.”

While filling out brackets has become a yearly tradition for American households, sports gambling apps have had a substantial increase for March Madness in the past couple years. Over 68 million Americans bet on games and $15.5 billion is wagered.

Fans tend to choose the favorite to win most games, so upsets ruin peoples’ brackets. From watching one seeds lose in the first round to eleven seeds making the final four, fans tune in to each game, praying their champion does not lose in the first round. In 2018, Virginia became the first one seed to lose to a 16 seed, and in 2023, Purdue became the second one seed to lose to a 16 seed after their stunning defeat to Fairleigh Dickinson.

Cinderella teams have presented many unforgettable moments. One of which, 2018 Loyalo Chicago led by Sister Jean marched all the way to the final four after three straight buzzer beaters in the round of 64, the round of 32 and sweet 16. Also, St. Peters led by phenom Doug Edert became the lowest seed to ever make the elite eight as a 15 seed. St. Peters would pull an upset of the century after defeating two seeded Purdue in the round of 64. But the miraculous run would eventually end after a heartbreaking defeat to eventual runner up, North Carolina.

The action packed four weeks of March Madness have Americans sitting on their couch all day, sweating out their bracket predictions. March Madness has become a tradition like no other where Americans can witness one of the greatest athletic tournaments in the world.


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Andy Poll

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