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March, a month of madness


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March, a time when winter melts away and spring blossoms (or so we hear), a time for new beginnings, a time for warm sunny days, and bonfires on the weekend, but for some people March is a time for madness.

Every year in March, NCAA men’s basketball comes to an end and begins the championship playoffs.  The term March Madness first began being used by fans around the 1980s, and ever since then fans can’t seem to get enough of it. Fans love March Madness for all kinds of reasons.

“I love watching all the different teams playing their hearts out to try and win the championship. I especially like to root for the underdogs” said sophomore Alex Fruth.

For some fans it’s the uncertainty, “I love the unpredictability of March Madness. You never know when a Cinderella team is going to make a deep run into the playoffs” said sophomore Eric Lemay.

On campus there are multiple March Madness events going on that students can attend, for example the Recreational and Athletic Center along with Resident Housing Association held their own March Madness tournament.

Each year fans are glued to their televisions so they don’t miss a single game. For decades fans have been creating brackets to see if they could predict the outcome of every game and who the champion will be. Some fans do it for fun while some fans place bets to see who can be the most accurate with their predictions. Predicting the playoffs has become a national pastime for sports fans all across the country.

Some die-hard fans will base their predictions on statistics and online information while some fans will base their predictions on other things like team colors, mascots and names. Fruth picks his teams by gut decisions but he watches the teams year round.  He places a strong emphasis on team defense.

“I base my picks off of how I’ve seen them play throughout the season and also how they’re seeded. Usually low seeds are better than the higher seeds, but that’s not always the case,” Lemay said.

There are different scoring systems for correctly making predictions but the simplest is by awarding points predicting wins.  However, they make their predictions or keep score for accurate predictions, fans still have fun making brackets and watching the games to see what happens.

One problem a lot of students face during this time is keeping up with school work. “I try to balance my homework and watch the games, but my quality of work may slip slightly,” admitted Fruth.

“I tend to neglect my homework to watch the games, but my grades don’t usually suffer,” Lemay said.

This year Fruth would like to see Kansas win the tournament; however, he also stated “after watching all of the games I think any team can win no matter what rank.”  Lemay also believes that it is anyone’s game for the championship.

The next set of games to decide who will go to the final four will be Friday, March 29. For more information and to see the official NCAA bracket you can go to the NCAA website online.

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Award winning, student run, weekly campus newspaper of the University of Illinois, Springfield..
March, a month of madness