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Why March Madness is the best sports tourney ever

By Jane HaglFebruary 26, 2017

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Josh Hart #3 of the Villanova Wildcats dunks against the Iowa Hawkeyes in the first half. Al Bello/Getty Images

Selection Sunday is officially two weeks away, making March Madness two weeks and two days from today. The NFL and MLB are in the off-season. The NBA is a little past the halfway mark in the season, so we’re not at the fist clenching period of the season. So at this point in the year, you might be suffering from an emotional sports dry spell. I am. There’s the Daytona 500, which had a spectacular crash of sorts— but otherwise, there hasn't been much to watch. Fortunately for all of mankind, that period between the Super Bowl and the NBA championships is graced with the best sports tourney— March Madness.

Getting into the tourney is a big deal. Unlike other sports where you can watch who gets into the playoff throughout the season, NCAA fans get to wait in front of the T.V. on a Sunday to be told what presents they can expect to get. It’s a holiday. Some teams predictably in the tourney. When an AP Top 25 team is expected to be seeded doesn’t, man there is a collective “Oh no they didn’t” concurrently with couch experts saying “Duh.” The 2014 Selection Sunday when SMU didn’t make the tourney is a prime example.

 

A loss hurts a little more when a senior loses his last chance at a title and a win taste a little sweeter when an underdog climbs to the top.

The only thing I remember my 10th grade World History teacher saying that made any sense was that college ball tends to be more exciting simply because the stakes are higher. A loss hurts a little more when a senior loses his last chance at a title and a win taste a little sweeter when an underdog climbs to the top.

With 68 teams in the tourney in a packed few weeks, one team’s bad night can cause a significant change in March Madness. The sheer amount of games and energy increase the probability of a spectacular Big Dance. It’s really a tango instead of a two-step. It’s how three top-seeded teams get knocked out of the Elite Eight or how the six-seed Kansas Jayhawks can win an entire championship in 1988. Everyone loves a Cinderella story and March Madness is rife with fairytales. And there's the added bonus of watching your friend's brackets bust after your bracket is demolished by an unexpected dark horse.

 

Everyone loves a Cinderella story and March Madness is rife with fairytales.

College basketball players may play with less skill but they play with more intensity. They’re playing for next shot in life. Comparing some lanky kid, who hasn’t fully filled-out, to some of the biggest basketball stars, incites excitement of what is to come. Remember when Buddy Hield dropped 37 points in the Oklahoma versus Villanova Elite Eight game? He prompted a Kobe Bryant salute and was drafted by the New Orleans Pelicans. Then Sacramento picked him in a multi-player trade midway during the season. Kings won that trade. Hield dropped 16 points in 26 minutes at his debut game as a King. Think about what he can do in with a few years under his belt. That’s is just one player. Watching March Madness is getting a preview of future NBA elites, unlike the Super Bowl where how old the quarterback is a record breaker in itself.

The basketball ides of March are on their way. March 13, to be precise. Be ready.