March Madness: Every basketball fan’s favorite time of year

permission to print image: Gale

With the months of March and April means the best time a year for a basketball fan: March Madness. With the season cancelled last year, players and fans hoped for an exciting tournament that can make up for the last year.

March Madness this year was held in Indianapolis, Indiana. Lots of fans are excited that the tournament is being held so close to Ohio, making the tournament feel more exciting. This time of year can mean a lot for many people, such as the intense focus on college basketball which can make a career for unknown college players. This time also means a lot for the fans who root for their own team and some teams they wouldn’t usually watch.

“March Madness is one of the best times of the year for me as a basketball player. I always look forward to March and it is one of the things I look forward to the most throughout the year,” sophomore basketball player Mikey McCollum said.

A common practice for fans of March Madness before the tournament starts is making their own bracket predicting who will win each game. These brackets can be put in competitions for money so many people take theirs very seriously.

“I made a bracket before the tournament and mine did pretty well but with all the upsets I was nowhere close to a perfect bracket,” McCollum said.

One of the hardest things to accomplish in making a March Madness bracket is a perfect bracket; a perfect bracket is one that has all the games completely right and no wrong game predictions.

“The odds of filling out a perfect March Madness bracket is 1 in 9,223,372,036,854,775,808 (9.2 quintillion), according to the NCAA.” Yet with the very low odds of this feat, many people just enjoy the thrill of making the bracket and rooting for the teams they wouldn’t usually root for.

One of the most exciting parts of this tournament is the upsets, so far in the tournament there have been many upsets that have shocked everyone.

“The upsets that shocked me the most this year were Oral Roberts beating OSU, Abilene Christian beating Texas, and Loyola beating Illinois. I really expected Illinois to go all the way this year, but I guess there were other plans,” McCollum said.

The tournament is historically known for its upsets as the lower seeds get to show their talent and truly perform. The most historically shocking upset was in 2018 when UMBC, a 16 seed, beat Virginia, a 1 seed, in the first round making it the only 16 to 1 upset ever in the history of the tournament.

While passionate players and fans are a great thing for teams and the players, sometimes the passion is taken too far. After a loss in the tournament, a player may receive hateful comments or death threats just because the team lost.

E.J. Liddell of the Ohio State Buckeyes received many threats on his life and hateful comments by fans who were upset over Ohio State losing to Oral Roberts in the first round of the March Madness 2021 tournament.

According to 10WBNS news, Ohio State head coach Chris Holtmann made a tweet saying, “Recent social media comments to EJ Liddell, while not from or representative of Ohio State fans, are vile, dangerous and reflect the worst of humanity.”

“I think this whole situation is wrong and he should just be treated like a human being,” sophomore William Butler said.