March Madness bracket excitement at McNicholas

March Madness is an annual college basketball tournament that began in 1939 where teams fight for the title of “National Champions.” Since then, people have invented bracket pools where they can predict the outcome of March Madness and enter their brackets to compete against others. 

An example of a blank March Madness pool. 

Many people make brackets, including students and teachers at McNicholas. In a survey, 45% of responders have one bracket, while 27% claimed to have more than five. Most Rockets said that their brackets included their friends, and 24% of responders are in bracket pools with their families. 

This year, many brackets were devastated by unexpected upsets, including Fairleigh Dickinson University (16 seed) defeating Purdue (1 seed) first- round. Another notable upset was when Princeton (15 seed) beat University of Arizona (2 seed). Many Rockets answered that these two games were the most surprising to them. However, two Rockets did claim to have predicted Purdue’s loss to FDU. 

When asked how their brackets were doing, the results were somewhat even. Many Rockets said their brackets were doing better than expected, while many felt indifferent or the opposite. About 44% of responders claimed to be winning at least one of their bracket pools, while two Rockets even claimed to be winning 3 or more of their bracket pools. 

While many bracket pools don’t have incentives for winners, some have rewards. These range from bragging rights to cash prizes. 

Sophomore Kennedy Kramer said,” Yes, we get a picture of ourselves hung up in Mr. Young’s room for the rest of his teaching career.” 

When asked why they created a bracket, many Rockets said they made one for fun. Several said they made a bracket because they love March Madness and college basketball, while some do bracket pools with their families annually. 

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