Written by Cooper Turman
As I walk around campus during the month of March, I hear murmurs of one thing and one thing only. Not Spring Sing, not the WiFi and definitely not the return of soft serve ice cream in the Range Food Hall — but March Madness. It’s the most wonderful time of the year, where 64 of the best college basketball teams go head to head, battle each other for supremacy and the craziest things can happen.
March Madness has always been like Christmas to me and my family. Ever since the championship of 2008, where the University of Memphis Tigers infamously lost to the Kansas University Jayhawks, March Madness has been bigger than any sporting event to us. Every year since I have had the same curiosity. Why isn’t the March Madness tournament style being used in other sports post-season playoffs? The NCAA uses a bracket tournament style. Thirty-two teams are paired on two sides of the bracket and divided by geographical conferences throughout the tournament. In the middle of these two sides are the final four and the championship game.
March Madness also has teams organized into seeds based on probability of winning and overall success as a basketball program during the season. These seeds are 1-16, best to worst. The amazing thing about the NCAA tournament is no one ever knows what is going to happen. Just this year, brackets have been busted by teams considered “the worst” beating teams projected to win the whole tournament. Would this tournament style not be entertaining in other sports as well? Why not the NBA? Why not college football? Who wouldn’t want to see a tournament where there could be the tiniest opportunity for some no name teams to give top ranking football teams like Alabama, Georgia or Michigan a run for their money and maybe, just maybe, shock the world. We’ve seen it time and time again in the world of basketball. Even just this year, we have seen the worst teams in the tournament totally beat the odds and have everyone watching in total disbelief.
The final four in the NCAA tournament is considered to be one of the most watched sporting events in America, rivaled only by the Super Bowl. March Madness is a beautiful thing. I wonder if it could be applied to other sports, where we would see other teams fight their way to have their one shining moment.