March Madness is Here

March Madness is upon us, are you ready to make your picks?

If you are a sports fan, or just enjoy something entertaining to watch, then March is the month for you. March Madness kicks off in just about a week, with selection Sunday March 12th, and the first tipoff of the men’s tournament being on March 14th, while it lasts through the month of March, ending with the championship game on April 1st.

Zach shoots around in the gym, getting into basketball spirit for march madness.

The real madness begins today, with each conference tournament being underway. The BIG-10, PAC-12, BIG-12, ACC, and BIG East tournaments all start rather today or tomorrow. These tournaments are a big factor in the large NCAA tournament, because the winner of each conference gets an automatic bid to the 64-team bracket. Many Cinderella stories begin this week, as some teams have their season on the line, with others having absolutely nothing to play for, if they dominated the regular season.

Many experts try to predict how the brackets will come out, and what seed each team will be. The NCAA men’s bracket is broken into 4 sections, the South, East, West, and Midwest. Each region has 16 seeds, and the winner of each region meets in the Final 4 at the end of March, while the winners will play against each other in the national championship. The most prominent bracket expert is ESPN’s Joe Lunardi, who every week of the season, comes out with a new projected bracket. As of now, Lunardi’s projected number one seeds are Kansas, Alabama, Houston, and UCLA. Lunardi also makes predictions for the teams he thinks will squeeze into the last spots on the bracket, and he currently has those teams being Mississippi State, Utah State, Nevada, and the Rutgers.

Vivi attempts to correctly fill out a March Madness bracket, but knows she will only fail.

One of the 4 one seeds, Alabama, has quite some controversy around the locker room. On January 15th, there was a shootout outside a bar in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, with one person being killed. Later that evening Alabama Basketball player Darius Miles and a friend of his were arrested for the killing. Once the story developed even more, it got even worse, 2 more players from the team were known to be on the scene, Jaden Bradley and Brandon Miller. This left the locker room for a possible number one overall seed in the tournament in shambles. Brandon Miller is one of the top players in the country, as he leads Alabama in scoring and even was a national player of the year candidate. Even worse for Miller, it was later revealed that Miller received a text from the killer, asking him to bring the gun to the crime scene. Miller did this, and it ended up being a murder weapon. Many critics believe Miller should not be allowed to play the rest of the season, but he never got punished, and has continued to give Alabama a much-needed push the past month of the season.

A neutral site in the men’s tournament, waiting to be played on by men’s teams.

Last March, there were clear cut teams that dominated the field, such as 1 seed Gonzaga and Kansas. This year there really isn’t that one team that sticks out in the bracket, and nobody feels as if there is one team that will dominate the others. Last season, many fans and experts projected the winner of the tournament to be 1 seed Gonzaga, or 1 seed Kansas. The results were promising, as Kansas took down 8 seed UNC, for the national championship. With that elite championship run from UNC, they got the number one overall ranking going into this season, but that quickly went away as they started off this season terribly, and now find themselves unranked and just praying to be picked to be in the field of 64 this March.

#1 seed Purdues home court, waiting for their team to compete in the tournament.

These next few weeks are promised to be thrilling and filled with plenty of College Basketball action, as fans of sports and many others make brackets to compete in bracket challenges for their work, school, and other groups of friends. March also brings in the most sports gambling money of any other month, and it all comes from betting on the 65 Men’s games, along with betting on brackets.