Every March, millions of Americans brace themselves for the greatness that is the NCAA basketball tournament. This year was no exception as the tournament now features 68 teams, and after last weekend only 16 remain.
March Madness has lived up to its hype this year as six of the 16 remaining teams have pulled upsets to get this far in the tourney including four double-digit seeds. In one of the craziest tournaments in recent history, for many people after the first weekend, their bracket is already busted.
“My bracket is in the hole right now, but I have Duke and Kansas in the finals with Kansas winning it all so there is still a chance there,” ACU sophomore Cade Girod said.
Girod has been filling out brackets since he was in middle school. He said he and his family always fill out a bracket together.
“I do one with my family every year and its fun because it sparks interest in tournament games that you wouldn’t normally have, but because you picked them you are interested.”
Girod also set up a pool with his friends in club. Girod offered the winner a $20 cash prize as an incentive to join.
“I set up the pool for anyone to be able to fill out a bracket and have fun with it,” Girod said. “I offered 20 bucks to get people interested. If you get people interested in the brackets more people will fill them out and get excited about the games. That’s the main reason I did it, was to get others excited about the NCAA tournament.”
For Girod and many others, the greatest part of watching the NCAA tournament is trying to correctly guess who is going to win what game. Entering in a pool and going against your friends allows you to not only root for your team, but it also gives you someone to root for in games that you would not normally have a major interest in.
I have filled out brackets for as long as I can remember and the second weekend of March has become one of my favorites every year. There is no greater feeling than correctly predicting a huge first-round matchup when everyone else in your pool got it wrong. Sometimes your bracket gets busted early, but it’s okay because you love and hate March for the same reason. From the love of winning your pool, or to the anguish of your team losing on a controversial call in the final 15 seconds of a game, it all happens because of March Madness.