March Madness is mesmerizing

Every year March Madness rolls around and is among the most, if not the most anticipated sporting event. Every year millions of people suddenly become college basketball experts and attempt to make the perfect bracket and every single one of them fail; most of them, miserably. The first two rounds fly by in just a week and then before you can even get over the fact that your favorite team lost we’re watching the National Championship game and in a blink of an eye it’s all over.

So why is this almost month-long event so entertaining? There are a few reasons. First is that 64 teams make the final bracket allowing for a huge amount of not just basketball fans but college sports fans to find at least one team that they want to watch.

Next, and I think this is something that has become more prominent recently, is that there are so many extremely talented basketball players in the country that there isn’t an enormous difference between the big Division One (D1) schools like Duke and Syracuse and smaller D1’s like, for example this year, Dayton. It also helps that basketball is the number one most played sport in all of the United States with 24.4 million people participating in some sort of organized basketball in 2010 according to the U.S. National Census. That doesn’t even count all the people who just play pick up for the fun of it and like the sport, and I think that also goes along with the idea that there are so many talented players to pick from for D1 schools because the pool that basketball coaches are picking from is much larger than any other sport.

Not only are millions of American children competing for a college basketball spot but so are children from European and African countries (as well as others) just like baseball gets a ton of potential recruits from South American and Caribbean children. Again, the reason the tournament becomes so popular is because unlike American football the sport itself is more popular worldwide. It’s so enticing to the younger crowd as well because every child believes that one day they’ll be playing there so they watch and dream about themselves being on that huge stage.

Once a year, millions of Americans and others worldwide get to live their dreams through college basketball games or use the opportunity to try to make money. For many, it flies by way too quickly even though it’s a month long event. Maybe it’s the risk of the money or the adrenaline of the upsets or watching your team play, but regardless, it’s undeniable that March Madness is one of the most eagerly awaited sports events of the year.

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Mason Hayes

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