UCLA guard Jaime Jaquez Jr. passes the ball while sitting during the Bruins’ 79-76 loss to Gonzaga in the Sweet 16 of the NCAA tournament. For the second time in three years, the Bruins lost to Gonzaga. (Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)


Opinion: Looking back on March Madness

A college level basketball tournament has gained increased popularity over the years due to unpredictability and unforgettable moments.
<a href="https://highschool.latimes.com/author/jaytsuei/" target="_self">Jay Tsuei</a>

Jay Tsuei

July 12, 2023

March Madness is a college basketball tournament featuring many of the nation’s best colleges. March Madness is a single elimination bracket, consisting of 68 teams and seven rounds. It started in 1939 and has since grown into one of the most popular sporting events in the nation. Over 10.7 million people in the United States watch the games every year, with only the Super Bowl beating it in popularity.

But why is it so popular? As a college level basketball tournament, wouldn’t professional tournaments be just as if not more popular? There are a plethora of reasons, including the upsets, drama, office pools, and just supporting the college people graduated from. The amount of surprises in every single tournament with the upsets and incredible moments add thrill to watching every single game. The name itself perfectly describes the games, madness and craze in every single game. The large and diverse group of contestants garner large crowds to watch, with plenty of games to watch. 

In addition, being a single elimination tournament, means any team has a chance. There are no second chances or do-overs. The short, quick one game match can allow anything to happen. The weakest teams can beat the greatest enemies. The sixteenth seeded team is able to beat the first seeded team with countless examples from past tournaments. There is unpredictability, drama, and unforgettable moments. The pressure in each game causes intense competition with each team trying their best to win. Upsets and surprising runs add to the excitement of the tournament, watching lower seeded teams make their way further and further into the tournament. These teams add excitement and drama, watching them go on their magical run. 

The unpredictable nature adds interest in viewers creating brackets, trying to create the perfect bracket. With the constantly changing games, one small mistake can cause brackets to go off. The upsets that happen can greatly change the landscape of all brackets. The unpredictableness of any team in the tournament means any team could win, and make the bracket different. Teams that were never supposed to be in the Final Four have made their way through sheer determination and skill. The unpredictable nature of March Madness is truly shown with the fact that there has never been a perfect bracket in the history of the tournament. 

Fans of college sports and college students themselves add to the interest of this tournament. Their passion for their team is what makes it so interesting. The results that come can leave players and fans screaming in joy, or crying in despair. Being a fan and following your team until they win a championship has a very rewarding and satisfying feeling of loyalty and accomplishment. There are always special moments that happen in games, buzzer beaters, game winners, and Cinderella stories. The amount of tension, excitement, and unpredictably makes March Madness so exciting, creating one of the most entertaining sports events in the United States.

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