The Calm Before the Storm: March Madness

Teams such as Duke, UNC, Gonzaga and Virginia will all be in the running to take the national title. The odds of picking the winner of the tournament is in no one’s favor. (Photo courtesy of Matt Wiener)

From November to February, the international College Basketball fan base mostly keep to themselves. Although trash talking is a near constant phenomena on social media, but for the most part, fans are relaxed while watching their favorite team in the regular season.

When the clock strikes midnight and the calendar turns to March 1, all hell breaks loose. Why such a strong word, you ask? The madness begins to pulse through people’s bodies. The madness slowly overtakes even the most casual of fans. Even if it goes unnoticed at first, the madness sinks into the atmosphere, and becomes the only thing fans are able to breathe.

It all starts with an innocent conference tournament. Just a competition to find out who the best in their division is, right? Wrong. The conference championships are the key cause to the spread of the craziness that is March Madness. Locally, the ACC (Atlantic Coast Conference) Tournament pits all of the teams within the conference against each other for the chance of higher seeding in the NCAA tournament.

Tensions begin to break inside of Leesville Road High School. The three most recognizable schools students tend to cheer for tournament season are North Carolina State (NCSU), Duke University, and University of North Carolina (UNC). Though the tournament is only a smaller event than the big extravaganza which takes place later in the month, no love is lost between students.

After the minor tournaments close, March Madness officially enters the mind of each college basketball fan ready to witness some incredible basketball. 68 teams, 67 games, and only a few weeks to contain all the action.

Millions of blank brackets become filled within minutes as fans make their best, educated guesses to determine who they believe will win the tournament. Prizes and bragging rights are on the line for such bracket competitions, but mainly for those who dare to encounter the madness with fans of other teams.

No one in history ever recorded a perfect bracket. With over 9 quintillion combinations available to all fans to fill out, it’s obvious the odds of perfecting such a bracket are very difficult to achieve. According to, the odds of any one person picking a perfect bracket is the slim chance of 1 in 128 billion.

Sure, bracket filling could be for fun or leisure, but the underlying reason for the filling of the brackets is competition. Striving to be the last one standing is what it’s all about.

Among the madness and chaos, the 68 teams were selected on March 17.


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