In our house there is one sport my husband and I both really enjoy watching, college basketball. I’m also a huge gymnastics fan but he is also a huge football and baseball fan. While I enjoy those sports in person, I have a hard time sitting down and watching them on TV. College basketball on the other hand, bring it on. Every year in March the favorites list is set on our TV and for three weeks our TV is all basketball, all of them. We LOVE March Madness.
Here is the fun thing, March and college basketball isn’t just for people who are huge fans of college basketball. Yes, most people have that one team they would like to see go all the way, but there is more to it than just the basketball games. If you haven’t had a chance to see what March Madness is all about, here are a few reasons you should.
So here are 5 reasons to get into March basketball even if you don’t like basketball
1. Cinderella Teams
Being a student at Valpo meant knowing the story of Bryce Drew and “the shot” from 1998. You didn’t have to be a basketball fan (Newsflash: I wasn’t at the time) to get excited about the fact that Bryce returned to Valpo my freshman year as the assistant coach. Now the head coach, there isn’t a broadcast that goes by where the announcers don’t mention the year that Valpo was the Cinderella team of the tournament.
What is a Cinderella team? A Cinderella team is that team that no one expected to get past the first game. Suddenly they’re in the Sweet Sixteen or in Butler’s case a few years ago the NCAA Championship. A Cinderella team is a team like Florida Gulf Coast University who was only in their second season of NCAA eligibility when they made an appearance in the tournament simply because they won their conference. The next thing you know the entire country had jumped on their bandwagon as they rolled into the Sweet Sixteen.
If you watch in March for anything, watch for these teams. They might suddenly become your new favorite.
2. The Stories
March means that basketball gets a lot more coverage than normal. For the month of March (starting with conference tournaments and ending the first week of April with the championship game) channels like ESPN and CBS sports cover A LOT of basketball. You start to see stories about senior nights and stories like Max Hooper’s father who was able to make it to his senior night and surprise him, a story that made its way around the country only to have a heartbreaking ending just a week later.
Two years ago everyone fell in love with the story of Princess Lacey and her friendship with Adreian Payne. You see joyful stories like senior night proposals. March brings out joyful stories like players who have been fighting to earn respect all year finally earn it. Plus, there are stories of coaches friendships, players supporting other teams in their conference even if they don’t move on, the list goes on.
3. The Upsets
The Cinderella teams aren’t the only teams who bring along an upset. One of my favorite parts about March is the upsets. The first round usually has the most and this past weekend was no exception. No doubt the biggest upset of the weekend was Michigan State losing to Middle Tennessee, busting millions of brackets. Here is the thing, that just makes it fun and you find yourself getting behind that lower seeded team and seeing how far they can go. They might’ve lost in the second round but they can go home knowing they beat one of the top teams in the country. How can you not get excited for them?
4. It’s Not Just the Tournament
Most years in our house it is all about the NCAA tournament, the top
64 68 teams. Usually we have at least one team in the tournament. This year we thought Valpo would squeak their way in but the selection committee had other plans. We’ve been watching the NIT tournament and the games have been great! They’re smaller crowds, home court advantages and have been just as fun to watch as some of the NCAA tournament games. That means even more basketball is on during the week.
Plus, did anyone see that Valpo broke a few of their own records last night and are headed to the NIT semifinals next week? Go crusaders!
5. Tournament Brackets
As of Friday after the Michigan State loss there was one perfect bracket left, by Monday there were zero. Here is the fun part, no one knows who is going to win. It could be a 10th seed heading to the final four, it could be a 2 seed winning it all, it could be a 5 seed going to the sweet sixteen (shout out to the IU Hoosiers). My first year doing my bracket, I went by which team had the better color combination on their jersey. Now I try and get into it and I was pretty sure that Michigan State was going to be the team to do it. As it turns out, someone else will be.
Someone on Twitter posted after the Michigan State Game (if only I was a good blogger and could find the exact text of the tweet) a tweet that went something like this:
Office pools everywhere are upset thanks to a secretary who has never watched a game of basketball picked Middle Tennessee because her favorite color is blue.
That is why brackets are fun. No one knows why you picked the team you did to win. Anyone can create them, anyone can get in a pool and you never know who will come out on top.
It’s not just the die hard basketball fans. They probably all picked Michigan State to go to at least as far as the final four.
Why do you watch college basketball?
Who are you rooting for this year?