March Madness rages among students and staff

Texas+Tech+and+Michigan+State+battled+to+reach+the+Championship+game+in+2019%27s+final+four+matchup+in+Minneapolis.

Courtesy of Dan Juckniess

Texas Tech and Michigan State battled to reach the Championship game in 2019’s final four matchup in Minneapolis.

It’s that time of the year again, when average folks and sports fans alike around the globe begin prepping themselves for the month of March’s most exhilarating annually recurring event—March Madness.

With Selection Sunday already having been completed, the NCAA’s most advertised tournament stands right around the corner, and BSM students and faculty couldn’t be more excited. “March Madness is so fun! I love to watch all of the festivities!” senior Maddie Butner said.

After the NCAA decided to cancel last year’s March Madness Tournament due to the increased amount of Coronavirus cases and new regulations for stadium capacities, anticipation for this year’s tournament has grown tremendously. “I think everyone appreciates a little diversion at this time of year… so, it’s kind of fun to get involved with something that we don’t have to grade, lol,” history teacher and previous Bowler Bracket champ Ms. Kern said.

For making my brackets usually I’ll do one, and one of my kids will do another, so between our amazing brains we’re likely to come up with some good wins. This year is going to be tough though I got to admit… I haven’t been following the season as closely as I normally do so who knows, maybe I’ll let somebody else win this year.”

— Megan Kern

March madness is a very intricate tournament with many moving parts, so the brief explanation/description as to what the tournament is and who it may involve is as follows. Each spring 68 teams from the Division I sector of the NCAA Men’s Basketball association are selected to compete in the NCAA’s branded end-of-the season March Madness tournament. Teams are selected based off of their regular season successes and placements in post-season divisional tournaments. The tournament is single elimination starting from the round of 64, to the round of 32, to the sweet sixteen, to the elite eight, and then to the final four.

Something incredibly unique about March Madness is its ability to appeal to all types of people. Whether you watch the tourney because your favorite team made it, or you just want to dominate your friends in a friendly best-bracket-wins pool, the tournament does a great job meeting the entertainment needs of people across the nation and the world. Countless people become exceptionally invested in March Madness because of the prizes involved in their tournament pools. Ulterior motives do exist in the sense that bragging rights are always at stake. “All I want is for Fix to go down!” Kern said.

With the first games of March Madness scheduled to occur on Thursday, March 18th, 2021, the endless amounts of Bracketology and college hoop analytics are ramping up at an alarming scale on television networks, social media, and through the halls of Benilde St. Margaret’s. Students of BSM have begun sharing their college basketball insight for the countless pools they have joined. “I created a pool to give people an opportunity at excitement during these not so exciting times,” junior Ben James said.

Faculty and staff at BSM have also taken the liberty to create and join their own pools to see how accurate their predictions really are; many choose to join the same teacher bracket pool created by math teacher Mr. Bowler. “My favorite thing about Bowler’s running of the brackets is his ‘stream of consciousness.’ Each time he updates us he writes out a little play with good characters and evil characters and explains who is doing well, who is plotting, who is running away with it, etc. If someday he decides not to be a math teacher I think a screenwriter maybe for a short comedy show, maybe even SNL, is in his future,” Kern said.

When student or teacher based advice seems a bit sketchy you can always look to the analysts for Bracketology help. According to FanDuel sportsbooks, Gonzaga, Michigan, Baylor, and Illinois have the best odds at winning the tournaments, which makes sense due to their number one ranked seeding. According to college basketball’s most trusted analysts, undefeated Gonzaga has the best odds out of anyone to cut down the nets in Indianapolis at the end of March.