Moving the madness from the classroom to the courts

Hey you, yes you! We know you want a chance to have bragging rights over your classmates, and if you’re sitting there thinking to yourself, yes, you guys are SO right I do want bragging rights, well stop right here and we’ll tell you how. On Sunday, Mar 15, 2020, the highly anticipated March Madness tournament is back again for year number 81. It is an unpredictable competition between the 68 best basketball teams in the National Collegiate Athletics Association, or the NCAA for short, and this year Dulaney, we have an opportunity for you. There is going to be a schoolwide bracket that anyone can take part in, to predict who the last team standing will be. Even if you don’t know anything about basketball, don’t worry! We’re here to give you all the tips you need to know about how to have a successful bracket.

The first thing you need to know are the basics on what March Madness actually is. The 68-team single-elimination tournament holds 67 games over 21 days, giving viewers plenty of games to keep them entertained. March Madness brings an agglomeration of publicity to the NCAA and college basketball, approximating 8.6 million viewers during the 2019 tournament. There are a total of 68 men’s teams and 64 women’s teams in the NCAA tournament. On Selection Sunday, 32 teams gain automatic entry into the tournament due to winning their conference’s championships. The remaining teams rely on a selection committee to be granted entry into the tournament. From the 32 teams that make it past Selection Sunday, you can start to make predictions.

Your bracket will predict what teams will be successful throughout the five rounds of the tournament. After the round of 32 (which don’t forget is where you come in), comes the Sweet Sixteen, followed by the Elite Eight, and then the Final Four, ultimately leaving just two teams in the tournament for the championship.

One of the most challenging parts of working a March Madness bracket is the rise of the underdogs. Low seeded teams making it far, beating highly ranked teams. That’s why the NCAA emphasizes “Madness” when referencing the tournament. Its important that you don’t count out the teams that don’t have a great of a record. Pay attention to the statistics as a whole team, but also those of individual players because it is VERY common for a low ranked teams to challenge the top dog. Let’s look back to the 2019 tournament for example. Oregan, ranked number 12, made it to the Sweet Sixteen, taking out Wisconsin, the fifth seed, on their way. Try making predictions that most others might not, that’s the best way to come put on top.

Some of the best “Cinderella stories” in recent history have been a young Steph Curry leading 10 seeded Dayton to the Elite Eight and nine seeded Wichita State reaching the Final Four. Perhaps the most exciting part about these Cinderella stories is seeing the players that no one talked about lead their teams past some of the most prestigious teams in the country. Once they get to the biggest stage, they perform and get their team wins, showing NBA coaches that they have what it takes to play at the next level. All the more proof that sometimes the underdogs come out on top, and end up making history, and what’s even more exciting is that you can be part of making history too.

Who will rise to the occasion this year? Who will come out victorious? Questions no one will know until the tournament of madness begins. You won’t regret keeping up with the madness, so be sure to lookout for the Dulaney bracket!