A student shot a basketball into the hoop at the Martinsville High School gym. (Emma Allen)
A student shot a basketball into the hoop at the Martinsville High School gym.

Emma Allen

The March Madness Bracket

March 10, 2020

Not only is March the beginning of Spring, but it is also an important month for college basketball fans as well!  March Madness, the college basketball tournament, is an event that captivates a national audience.  

Fans from every NCAA Division 1 college team all over the country spend countless hours making brackets over and over for the possibility of winning one million dollars every year, but, what are the odds that someone actually wins?

A study done by Jonathan Mattingly, a math professor at Duke University, said the odds are very, very low… as low as 1 in 9,223,372,036,854,775,808.  To put that into perspective, the odds of winning the Powerball (a popular lottery) is 1 in 292,200,000. 

The bracket layout is a 64 team win or go home tournament.  With seeding based on how well the teams did during the regular season, the number one seeds are usually the favorite and the ones fans expect to win it all.  

However, over the years, there have been major upsets.  For example, in 2018, the Virginia Cavaliers and the UMBC Retrievers played as the first and sixteenth seed, respectively.  The Retrievers beat the Cavaliers, making them the first team ever to knock a number one seed out in the first round. 

Another huge part of March Madness is improving college players’ draft stocks.  Many players who have competed well in the tournament have turned into superstars because of their performance.  

The tournament is also filled with crazy buzzer-beater shots that always leave the audience in shock; multiple YouTube videos can be found when searching “shots heard around the world.”  

Another huge thing about March Madness is the advertisements.  Many food companies receive an extreme boost through the month of March.  There was a study done that every March pizza sales go up about nineteen percent.  

This will be the tournament’s 81st year, and it is still going strong. To sum it up, March Madness is full of many awesome experiences that both the players and the fans will never forget.

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    Chad SuterMar 10, 2020 at 2:38 pm

    Good Writing son your Mammaw Bette would be proud!