UVA wins March Madness


Creative commons photo courtesy of Rikster2

(pictured: Kyle Guy) The University of Virginia beat out Texas Tech to win the title. (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)]

Emma Barofsky

For basketball players and watchers alike, the month of March isn’t complete without a bracket. Each year, fans unite as they eagerly await the start of an annual tradition: March Madness. This phenomenon, also known as the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Tournament, is a single-elimination tournament comprised of 68 teams that determines the national champions of collegiate basketball. The championship team must win at least six games in a row to claim the coveted title.

As for the spectators, millions of individuals partake in this three-week long event. From the middle of March to the beginning of April, fans bet on which teams will make it to the Final Four, which ultimately determines which two teams will compete in the championship.

According to ESPN, there were an estimated 70 million brackets and $10.4 billion spent on bets in 2017. Sophomore Faith Williams of Eatontown is just one of these millions of March Madness fans.

“I personally like March Madness more than NBA Playoffs. I love to watch college basketball just because I think that it is more exciting,” Williams said.

During the tournament, Williams, like other fans, completed a bracket that she predicted will mirror that of the championship. According to the NCAA, there has never been a perfect bracket in the history of the tournament. In fact, the odds are 1 in 9.2 quintillion.

Junior Matt Emery of Howell said the March Madness brackets bring a chance to win money.

“I make like 25 brackets every year,” Emery said.

The attendance at these collegiate games is often much higher than even the NBA. Since the start of the national championship game in 1939, attendance continues to skyrocket year after year. A total of 67,831 people made an appearance at last year’s NCAA national championship game, while the first game of the NBA Finals Series had an attendance of 19,596 people.

This annual tradition is truly the greatest phenomenon of the year, Williams said.

“Each and every single one of these games is exciting for me.  I never want these three weeks to end,” Williams said.

To conclude the tournament, number one seed, University of Virginia, defeated number three seed, Texas Tech 85 to 77 to win the NCAA Championship.