The NCAA basketball tournament is knocking on the door
By Connor Racey ’16, and Nathan Junk ’19
As the pen rolls across the Smartboard and the teacher’s voice echoes throughout the room, the lesson plan resonates with none in the classroom.
It’s mid-March, spring has come and so has the season of college basketball. Students have their ph ones propped in the hitch of the seats in front of them. Under yesterday’s math homework is the current March Madness bracket, filled out and ready for any competition. Senior Skylar Rogers is not immune to the lure of the tourney.
“My attention starts to stray with the tournament and all,” Rogers said. “With a long break from football and nothing in between, I get pumped for an entire month of constant action and exciting basketball.”
Rogers is a classic example of what most sports enthusiasts will do throughout the month of March, constantly checking scores and having a front row seat to the game in the middle of calculus.
The Super Bowl landed on Feb. 7 this year, and like always left, a bittersweet taste in many sports fans mouths.
The excitement of the game is like no other, but it also means the end to the long football spell so many have been under for months. As senior Sean Ryan puts away his football mind for the season, he starts to build anticipation for the heat of the college basketball season.
“After football ends, I shift my focus to college basketball,” Ryan said. “It’ll include going to Buckeye games with some friends and keeping up with the current Top 25.”
There is a wide variety of things people do for the tournament. Some will put money into a large pot and hope their brackets will stay clear by the end of the month. Some will check every couple weeks just to see if their hometown team is still in it.
“Others will take March Madness more seriously than others, and some won’t care at all. I’m in it for the win,” Rogers said.
Many will even take it to the extremes, as March Madness will start to take over the time of homework and actually paying attention in class.
Senior Gabe Murray actually finds it as a way to get through long classes.
“Especially in the more boring classes, or the ones I don’t have to try as hard in, I’ll tune out and just watch some ball,” Murray said.
With all this build up comes the predictions, and this year seems to be giving a lot of students trouble of nailing down one champion. Predicting the first 32 games is a task deemed impossible, yet participants do their best to predict the so-called unpredictable first round.
“When it comes down to it, the playing field is so even this year. With players like Simmons and Hield, any team or player will be able to take over the tournament,” Ryan said.“For me, it will be hard this year, Ohio State hasn’t had the best of years and is too inconsistent to go deep. Being a diehard Buckeye fan, it is a struggle,” Ryan said.
As well as coming off of a season of Optimist basketball, many students are going to be wishing they were still in season. The preparation and attention to the tournament is viewed as a perfect transition from school to break. Students will use March Madness as a way to keep up and entertained with something other than baseball, and hopefully win some cash.
Photo courtesy of WPRI.com