March Madness Preview


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March Madness is a good time to make brackets and bet on teams with your friends

Matthew Cornfield, Sentry Staff Reporter

68 teams make the tournament and only one comes out on top. A college basketball tradition that is beloved by the American people due to the intense and exciting games, many of which end with an upset. Each year brackets are made to try and predict every single game that is played. Mathematically speaking, to create a perfect bracket one has a 1 in 9,223,372,036,854,775,808 chance. There is no documentation of anyone ever creating a perfect bracket, but still every year people attempt the gigantic feat even upping the odds by betting money on the NCAA March Madness Tournament.

College basketball is unpredictable, therefore many fans chose their favorite team to win it all. It is an easy way of making such a tough decision and sometimes it pays off.

Freshman Chris Rita is an avid fan of the University of North Carolina’s (UNC) basketball team.

“My favorite men’s college basketball team is UNC. I am an overly optimistic fan and if they are in the tournament you can always count on me choosing the Tar Heels to win the national championship,” Rita said.

Sophomore Dustin Goodwin roots for an ACC team.

“My favorite team is the University of Miami, I usually do not chose the right team, but two or three years ago when I chose a random second seed I ended up choosing the correct team,” Goodwin said.

Unlike Rita and Goodwin, sophomore Sam Ellison adores an oddball team from the midwest.

“My favorite men’s college basketball team is Wichita State. I don’t always choose them to win because they are very unreliable. I have made many good brackets before, but only picked the winner once, in 2015, when I chose Duke to win it all,” Ellison said.

Many people feel choosing an upset can be extremely risky. Generally, people who feel this way about underdogs go the route of choosing games based on the rankings that are provided on the bracket. This is the choice of many who have not followed the particular season in close detail.

“Rankings are somewhat important, but It doesn’t tell the whole story, for example, not all four seeds are equivalent in talent. For my picks, I like to choose the teams who have their talent spread throughout the team and not just through one player because these teams usually prevail,” Rita said.

“I have somewhat of a gift when choosing the winning team, and I trust that gift in allowing me to choose the winners. I usually go with my gut when I chose my brackets, and don’t let the media affect me. After I make my bracket I don’t change it. I usually pick a good mix games with upsets, and games where the better ranked team wins,” Ellison said.

The excitement of choosing teams helps keep everyone intrigued even if one do not have a passion for basketball. Nothing feels better than predicting multiple March Madness games.

“I haven’t been watching college basketball that much this year but I think Kentucky might win it all. I try to watch as many games as possible, but usually it ends up just being the big ones,” Goodwin said.

This year is going to be a particularly hard year to call games because the playing field is so even. In other words, there is not a single team that seems to be leaps and bounds ahead of any other. Rankings can only go so far to help choose teams. Almost every year there is one team known as the “Cinderella team” because it seems like a fairy tale on how far they have gone in the tournament. This is one of the hardest, but most fun challenges of making a bracket: choosing a Cinderella team.

“I think the Cinderella team usually goes to a team with great three point shooting and a lot of experience.  Virginia tech is in a phenomenal conference, having to play a title contender nearly every night, and with veteran leadership, good coaching, and incredibly shooting capability the next Cinderella story could feature a team close to home,” Rita said.

“I’m thinking Miami will be a Cinderella team because we have upset a bunch of ranked teams and have only lost by a little against Louisville and Syracuse,” Goodwin said.

March Madness is named appropriately and is one of the greatest organized sports tournament ever created. This year we can count on unpredictable games and exciting endings because of the widely spread out talent. It is all going to come down to who gets on a hot streak at the right time. During this third quarter, students may have trouble concentrating because brackets come out, research is done and eyes are glued to the television.