I’ll be the first to admit, I don’t watch a whole lot of college basketball. Being a student at Penn State, football is undoubtedly religion, but there is just something about the month of March.Maybe it’s the hour-long final minute of every game (or so it seems). Maybe it’s the thrill of the buzzer-beating shot, which turns no name college students into legends.Or maybe, just maybe, we actually enjoy watching college basketball when it, for a change, actually means something.
So far, through 14 weeks, I have watched the No. 1 spot in the AP poll change hands five times. I can honestly sit here and say that no team in college basketball is safe. We have a team, UConn, who could go into the tournament as a No. 1 seed and be easily knocked off by a No. 16 seed (my apologies to Huskies fans). Penn State could possibly sneak in, and if they play the way they did against Michigan State, we may be celebrating a Final Four in State College, PA.
So, here I sit, staring at my computer, trying to think just why we love the NCAA tournament so much. After much thought and consideration, I have come up with the top six reasons why we adore March Madness.
1. Office pools
I’m sure we have all done at least one office or family pool, where everyone fills out a bracket and usually Aunt Sandy or Melissa from the office ends up winning. You know, the perfect bracket, picked by the lady who made her selections by nothing more than which colors of uniforms she liked better. Sad but true, this is the main reason why most people follow the tournament.
2. School allegiance
It is almost certain that, even after you leave that university behind, you follow their sports teams for life. Now, if you're from a school like Duke, UConn, or North Carolina, you love basketball as much as I love Penn State Football; it’s inevitably in your blood.
3. Dick Vitale
Love him or hate him, he’s the voice of college basketball BABY! Sort of like my love for Merrill Reese or Harry Kalas, Dick Vitale could make Ben Stein interesting.
4. Cinderella stories
Everyone loves a good Cinderella sports tale—when a team that isn’t even supposed to be in the tournament makes the whole country say, WHO?!
5. Stephen Curry
Okay, not Stephen Curry, but the player that takes the tournament by storm. The player that becomes the face of March. The player who literally carries his team to victory. The player who cries on the court after a heartbreaking loss because he gave it all he had and then some (sorry Gonzaga fans).
6. Last second victories/defeats
Of course, we watch sports to see who wins and loses. When a player drops to his knees in utter disbelief of the amazing shot he just made. When a rampant crowd storms the court. When a fingertip is all that separates winners from losers.