Students celebrate March Madness with their brackets

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Patrick Gallaher

BSM students fill out March Madness bracket in hopes of success.

Patrick Gallaher, Staff Writer

Following Selection Sunday on March 11, people all over the country—BSM students among them—have spent time all week scouring the tournament field of 64 teams in hopes of filling out the perfect bracket, something that’s never been done before. The one-seeded Virginia Cavaliers, Villanova Wildcats, Xavier Musketeers, and Kansas Jayhawks stand out as obvious favorites, but if there’s anything March Madness is notorious for, it’s the bracket busters that take place every year. College basketball is crazy and unpredictable during March.

This year’s BSM bracket competition—an annual tradition managed by seniors Eric Weber, Michael Hunter, and Henry Wolfe—features nearly 100 students, primarily seniors, who pay $10 for a single entry in hopes of winning the overall pot of almost $1000. The fact that the school bracket contest consists of a relatively small pool of contestants appeals to students, since they actually have a chance at winning the money. Unlike the national ESPN challenge with millions of brackets, winning the school bracket doesn’t require an impeccable bracket, as having two or three of the Final Four teams and the champion should be sufficient, and a small entry of $10 can end up netting the winner almost 10,000%.

My strategy is pretty aggressive since I try to make my bracket different from what most people usually do. ”

— Joe Dunn

Senior Joe Dunn is always excited for March Madness, and he chose a Final Four that includes Virginia, Villanova, North Carolina, and Michigan State. His biggest upset pick is 10-seed Texas, who he has going to the Elite Eight, among a slew of early upsets. “My strategy is pretty aggressive since I try to make my bracket different from what most people usually do. I like to pick a lot of upsets right away in the first and second rounds when I think a top seed is likely to lose early, and play it safer down the stretch with,” Dunn said.

Senior Dustin Dallman considers March Madness to be the most exciting time for sports all year. His bracket certainly includes some contrarian picks, as he has tournament favorite Virginia losing to Arizona in the Sweet Sixteen. “I make sure to have some upsets but also stick to my guns. It doesn’t feel right to have all one seeds in the Final Four, and I like to pick some outcomes that very few people have, which is why I have Arizona beating Virginia,” Dallman said.