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March Madness

Because you’re a girl, March is the time you start to panic; panic that your skin is closer to Piglet’s than Pocahontas’, panic that you don’t have the best bikini for your bust size, or that you simply don’t have the best body for a bikini. You spend the next four weeks jogging, jumping, and crash dieting to properly prepare for spring break. While you’re consumed in this whirlwind of stress and starvation, you probably have not even noticed the world of alliterations and anxiety that engulfs the males in your life. To them, March Madness has nothing to do with bathing suits and everything to do with basketball. It is the pinnacle month for college NCAA (pronounced “N” “C” “double A”) fans; it is chock full of tournament games and rivalries. 68 teams are selected for the prestigious NCAA Division 1 Men’s Basketball tournament, and three weeks of single elimination play determine the champion. In the first week alone, 52 games are played, dwindling the participants from 68 to 16.

If you advance through the first weekend, it is called making the Sweet 16. From there the winners move onto the Elite Eight, then the Final Four, and finally the championship game.

Simultaneously, the National Invitational Tournament takes place, otherwise known as the NIT. While the name sounds distinguished, the tournament is not – it features the next best 32 teams that didn’t make the NCAA. It’s sort of like Jason Wu… for Target. Most fans prefer to consider NIT an acronym for “Not In Tournament.

So, since the NIT is irrelevant and fake like non-dairy creamer, lets get back to the NCAA. Before you kick back and watch boys, whose heights you wouldn’t match if you were wearing 3 pairs of Louboutins, chase around a ball, there are a couple terms/concepts you need to know:

Mid Major: refers to teams (Schools) that do not play in one of the five Major Conferences- ACC, SEC, Big Ten, Pac 12 and Big 12. Mid Major teams are typically lower seeds (ranked at the bottom), but def the most exciting to watch because like who doesn’t love an underdog. Anyways, recently, some Mid Majors have done like realllly well – George Mason, VCU and Wichita State have all made it to the Final Four! Butler even made it to the championship game losing to Duke only when a last second shot went in and then out of the basket (soooo bitchy).

Brackets: Throughout the month, you may see boys filling out charts in class; don’t be confused, they are not doing some form of chemistry homework. Those charts are brackets, and they are used to predict who will win the tournament. Brackets used to be divided by parts of the country (East, West, Midwest, and South), but because everyone hates geography (or like maybe it was because the sides were unbalanced and some sides had significantly better teams than others), they had to change the system. Now, the brackets are made with balance being the primary goal – playing in a region close to the school secondary; think athletic feng shui.

Seeds: Like I was saying, there are 4 regions and each has 16 teams that are ranked from 1-16.  Each numerical ranking is called a seed. The best teams get the “highest seed” which is really the lowest number and vice versa. So like, the #1 seed is the highest seed and the best team. Because there are 4 regions, there are 4 different #1 seeds,  #2 seeds etc. The games are matched by playing the highest seed against the lowest seed, which seems totally unfair.

Upsets: These are the curveball games where a lower seed beats a higher seed; like if a mid major team beats a major conference team. The first week of 52 games is usually packed with them. The tournament is notorious for upsets, buzzer beater games (when a team wins at the last second), and overtimes; that is where the term March Madness comes from.

Before you get too excited and locate the nearest (above) bracket because obvi this article has been soooo informative, you should know the teams haven’t been officially chosen yet. Conference Tournaments will be played this weekend and they usually have some effect on NCAA seeds. There’s obvi some speculation about which teams are best, and if I (my dad) had to guess, I would say the #1 seeds will probably be 4 of these teams: Florida, Wichita St, Villanova, Arizona, Louisville, Duke and Virginia. However, that is not to say these will be the only fun games to watch. I have complied a list of a few other things to look out for during this year’s tournament:

Wichita State is like the Cady Heron of the NCAA Tournament. They’re like not quite in The Plastics (a major conference), but they’re like really good/cool anyway. Last year, they made the Final Four and led at halftime, but like Cady never truly overtakes Regina, Wichita State eventually lost to Tournament Champion, Louisville. However, there’s hope: this year, they are 34-0 as they head into the NCAA Tournament and will surely be a #1 seed.



VCU will be another competitive Mid Major to watch for.

University of Virginia finished, in an upset, in first place in the ACC this regular season (ahead of Duke, North Carolina and Syracuse.)

Southern Methodist University (SMU) will be making the NCAA Tourney for the first time since 1993!  And, their coach, Larry Brown is like old enough to have worn leggings the first time they were cool… He’s 73! He’s also kinda slutty when it comes to Basketball teams; this is the 13th team he has coached. Brown is probably most well known for leading Danny Manning and the University of Kansas Jayhawks to the 1988 NCAA championship (“Danny and the Miracles”) or leading Allen Iverson and the Philadelphia 76ers (woo go sixers!) to the 2001 NBA Finals…. where they lost to the Lakers.

If by now you’re like, “okaaaaay I guess I can watch, I mean I liked One Tree Hill,” but you have no idea where you’re going to watch it (what do you mean there are channels besides Lifetime, E!, and MTV?!?!?!?!?!), I’ll give you a hint: its on CBS. Also, if you’re looking for an incentive to watch ‘till the end (because its not like the outcome means anything to you), CBS always plays something similar to a Bat Mitzvah Montage right after the game ends. “One Shining Moment” is a collection of video images from the tournament with main focus on the champion team…. A tear jerker for sure.



Let ze games begin!


I am a senior Strategic Communications major and Painting minor and Elon University.
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