NCAA March Madness fever induces basketball hysteria


Many students at the high school participate in March Madness bracket competitions. Louie Goldsmith / Sagamore Staff

Kayla McKeon, Staff Writer

One of the most revered annual sporting events has once again come and gone: March Madness.

Starting on March 13, college basketball teams around the country were pitted against each other, all hoping to win the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship.

People all around America, including those at the high school, get excited for the annual tournament, putting in hard work and effort to ensure they have a successful bracket.

Sophomore Jacob Cohen said he has participated in March Madness with his family for the past three years.

“Everybody in my family has made separate brackets on one of the many websites for organizing leagues for doing so, and whoever gets the most outcomes of games right wins our league,” Cohen said.

Junior Franny DiRice participates in the madness with classmates instead.

“Every year, my third grade math teacher would make the third, fourth and fifth graders choose a random basketball team,” DiRice said. “We would write them all down on a whiteboard, and every day we would come in and we would say ‘Whose team lost. Whose team won?’ And whoever’s team made it the farthest would get a five pound hershey bar. Of course my team never made it past the first game.”

While some participate in smaller activities such as simply following the teams and forming individual brackets, others are involved in larger scale brackets.  

Senior Matt Weinstein organized a knockout pool consisting of 105 people. He has devoted time to ensuring he and his friend run a successful pool.

“So basically you pick two teams the first two rounds each day, and if one of those teams loses you get knocked out, and you can’t reuse that team later on in the pool,” Weinstein said. “The last person remaining wins.”

According to Weinstein, many people get pumped to follow and be a part of the non-stop games during the NCAA’s competition.

“I feel like the hype is more interesting than the actual game because everyone is so certain that their bracket is going to do the best and that they are going to win money,”  Weinstein said. In reality everyone’s bracket always sucks.”

According to Cohen, many people get wrapped up in the publicity that is so often given to March Madness.

“I get the hype because it’s just so much sports consolidated into a small amount of time. All of it has provided some pretty spectacular moments and feats over the years,” Cohen said. “Making brackets also provides fun competition outside of the actual games. And since so many teams play, there’s also always someone to root for or against.”

According to Weinstein, March Madness is unique and high-paced.

“The fact that there are 16 games in the first two days is unparalleled with any other sporting event ever,” Weinstein said. “There’s a game finishing every half an hour, and every game can be a close game with a crazy upset, so you always have to be in tune to it.”