Updated: Apr 6, 2022
It’s the most wonderful time of the year for college basketball fans, and sports fans in general. It’s March people! It's time to fill out your bracket, or if you’re like me, fill out 25. March Madness is my personal favorite postseason in any sport, because of the sheer opportunity for chaos that it presents. It’s a glorious three weeks where legends are made, Cinderella stories are told, and at the end, a new champion is crowned.
I have only ever been to one March Madness game, and when I walked into the arena on March 16th, 2018, I had no idea that I was going to witness history. That night, the 16 seed UMBC Retrievers beat number 1 seeded Virginia, the first upset of its kind. As the game went on, the whole crowd was going nuts, even my friend’s family who are huge UVA fans were cheering for UMBC. It was an insane experience, and it perfectly encapsulates what makes March Madness so special.
College basketball is the perfect sport for a one-loss elimination tournament that spans over just about 3 weeks because most of the time, many of these teams haven’t played one another, and they have limited time to prepare in between games. This leads to a clash of styles, high energy, nail-biter games, and of course, the upsets! The fucking upsets.
In 2016, I watched as Isaiah Taylor hit a tough floater to tie the game against Northern Iowa with 2.7 seconds left. Pumped full of pee and excitement, I decided to use the bathroom so I didn’t miss a second of overtime. Unfortunately, Paul Jesperson made sure there would be no overtime that night with a half court buzzer beater that I’m forced to watch on every March Madness highlight tape thinking what could have been. That wouldn’t be the last time a Shaka Smart Texas team disappointed me in the tournament either. Nevertheless, the upsets are still a huge part of why I love March Madness.
March Madness not only breeds upsets, it also creates legends and moments that nobody can forget. Everyone remembers Loyola-Chicago’s famous final four run, and Kris Jenkins became a household name after his legendary buzzer-beater for Villanova in the national championship. Go back even further and you have iconic sports moments like Jim Valvano running up and down the court as NC State stunned Houston or Christian Laettner hitting “the shot” on Kentucky. These are images that are ingrained in fans’ minds, and there are new ones every year.
As a basketball fan, there is nothing better than March Madness, and I would argue that it’s the best few weeks on the sports calendar. But what about you? Where does March Madness rank on your list? What are your favorite upsets, Cinderella stories, and players from the tournament? Let us know down in the comments!
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