March Madness is finally here

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AP Photo/Paul Sancya

Illinois center Kofi Cockburn (21) is defended by Loyola Chicago center Cameron Krutwig, left, and Lucas Williamson, right, during the first half of a men’s college basketball game in the second round of the NCAA tournament at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, Sunday, March 21, 2021.

After 706 days of no March Madness, the time is finally here when brackets will be busted, Cinderella stories will be made and one team will be crowned the 2021 NCAA Men’s Basketball Division 1 champion. 

This is one of my favorite times of the year as 68 division one colleges from across the country will play against each other in a huge single elimination tournament. Basketball, basketball and basketball will be on TV for five straight weeks. Americans finally got one of the most touted sporting events back after the Coronavirus ruined the 2020 tournament. 

As “selection Sunday ” was held on March 14, fans across the world watched where and who their favorite university would play later this week, but a lot of people ask why is March Madness so hyped up?

The tournament is so hyped up for a whole slew of reasons: first, teams play against one another that never played each other before; second, small “mid-major” universities get their chance to be on national TV in front of millions and third it’s the biggest playoff in all of sports.

Along with the smaller universities getting the limelight for once legends are born in March as well. For instance, Sister Jean of Loyola-Chicago, the 101 year-old chaplain who predicted her team to upset Miami University in 2018 and then predicted that the Ramblers would advance to the Final Four.   

March is a special time of year for basketball fans. Ever since I was 12, I can remember waiting until March to fill out the bracket even though I was wrong every time. No one in the history of March Madness has been 100% correct on their bracket, ever. According to sports reporter Daniel Wilco, the odds of predicting a perfect bracket are 1 in 9.2 quintillion.

Columbus, Ohio native Gregg Nigl got the closest in 2019 as he predicted the first 49 games correctly. Unfortunately Nigl lost his streak at 50 games when number 2 seed Tennessee was defeated by Purdue in the 2019 Sweet Sixteen. 

As for the 2021 March Madness Tournament the longest streak stopped at 28 games as most people’s brackets were busted by either Oral Roberts or Abilene Christian University. My bracket was busted in the first couple hours as I predicted 14 seed Colgate to upset 3 seed Arkansas, I was close but the Razorbacks ended up edging out the Pirates 85-68 in the round of 64. 

Another crazy aspect of the March Madness tournament is Warren Buffett’s challenge to where if anyone predicts the whole tournament correctly they will earn 1 million dollars a year for the rest of his or her life. Imagine what you would do with 1 million dollars a year for the rest of your life. 

March will always be my favorite time of year as sports is at a frenzy and basketball is at its peak. We will probably never see a perfect March Madness bracket in our lifetime but let the madness continue.