The season of March comes with many exciting changes. Not only is the weather slowly transitioning from winter to spring, but fourth quarter begins for McNicholas High School, symbolizing the last stretch of education for the 2011-2012 school year. Amidst all of this excitement, there’s a whole other kind of excitement going on in the National College Athletic Association, with the men’s basketball tournament known as “March Madness.”
Over 140 million people literally go “mad” at their televisions every March over one of the nation’s biggest sporting events. The 68 teams are announced and placed into the bracket on selection Sunday, which is March 11.
Even their favorite team isn’t entered in a major bracket competition, many are still anxious to see the outcome and have created family traditions for the tournament. “My family gets involved with my dad’s [competition at] work. All of the coworkers involved put in twenty bucks, so the winner can get a huge amount of money, like a couple hundred dollars. Filling out the brackets always involves heated debates. It’s all about luck and good predictions,” senior B.D. Burton said.
Others have more creative prizes, “We get a lot of my family involved, including some aunts, uncles, and cousins. Everyone predicts their brackets and it’s fun because some of us have no idea what we’re doing. The winner gets milkshakes from all of the other participants. We don’t know why we chose milkshakes, but that’s what we’ve always done. Winning is sweet, and the milkshakes make it ten times sweeter,” senior Haley Stultz said.
Some base their predictions off random choices, and come out on top. “One year I based my bracket off of the teams and their colors. I picked my favorite color, which was North Carolina Tarheel blue, as the winner and that year they won, and I got a bunch of money,” senior Jenna Hebeler said.
Whether it’s a bracket submission for a huge contest or just a friendly competition among friends, the March Madness tournament brings excitement on and off the court.