March Madness and You (Part I)

Ever wonder what all the March Madness hype is about?  Are you surrounded by basketball fans that seem crazed and single-minded? Instead of running in the other direction, I’m suggesting you take a moment to assess what’s at the root of the madness.  I’ll admit I’m one of those fans who may seem possessed at times.  But I think writers (and everyone else) can benefit from a closer study of this annual phenomenon.  Let’s examine the behavior of the basketball players, not the zealous fans, and maybe we can find a way to harness some of this enthusiasm.

First a brief background: As you know, college basketball players don’t get paid to play.  They are there for the love of the game.  (Only a few get scholarships).  By the time we get to the month of March, the regular season is just ending and we go in to conference play.  Everyone vies to win their conference title. Everyone wants to go to the big dance—also known as the sweet sixteen—though nowadays there are more than 64 teams.

As exciting as the conference playoffs are, when it ends is when March Madness begins.  March Madness is the big dance.  It’s where all the television cameras are on.  Teams that never get any airtime have the opportunity to make a name for themselves.  There is the chance that a modest, unknown college can win the title.  These are known as Cinderella teams—teams that come out of nowhere to beat a favored college.  And they don’t just beat one team—they keep on winning, moving up in the bracket.  This possibility is part of what makes the madness exciting.  Fans know it is always possible.  Possible that a team with little hope can pull it together, find their mojo, and win.  It also means a beloved team can lose at any time.  In other words, E-V-E-R-Y game matters! 

Click to read Part II.


March Madness And You

March Madness

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