2010 NCAA Tournament: 10 Reasons Why We Love March Madness
March Madness. The name says it all.
There is the pure insanity, the Madness, that the tournament promises every year.
There is the excitement and energy, the Madness, that the players, coaches, and fans exude during the tournament.
There is the wild foolishness, the Madness, that so perfectly describes the unofficial king of college basketball, Mr. Dick Vitale.
It’s amazing how the meanings of one word can define something so perfectly.
So, why do we love March Madness so much? Here are 10 reasons why.
First Round Upsets
What other sporting event gives us the opportunity to root for a team you’d barely heard of before they appeared on your bracket?
It doesn’t matter that you couldn’t find the school on a map. You’re going to root for them to topple one of the sport’s giants anyway.
The wish to see a 16 seed topple a mighty one seed is enough to draw us to the first two days of the Big Dance. While it’s yet to happen, we have some two, three, four, and a lot of five seeds to thank for helping make the NCAA Tournament must-watch television.
The NCAA Tournament has made us fans of the Princeton Tigers, Richmond Spiders, and Valparaiso Crusaders, even if it was only for a moment in time.
Take a look at one of the biggest first round upsets in NCAA Tournament history.
One Shining Moment
It’s like living the tournament all over again. If there is just one single can’t miss moment in the NCAA tournament, it might be the One Shining Moment.
Since 1987, CBS has put together a video of the tournaments highlights played to the tune of David Barrett’s "One Shining Moment." The video is played following the conclusion of the National Championship game and is known to bring tears to the eyes of fans of the recently crowned champions.
The One Shining Moment video is easily one of the tournament’s highlights. It’s a bittersweet moment that allows fans to relive the amazing events of the previous weeks, while coming to the realization that they have an 11-month wait until March Madness strikes again.
Here is my personal favorite One Shining Moment video.
Thirty-two games in two days! The first round of the NCAA Tournament is one of the most exciting two days in sports. Too bad it falls during the work week.
The tournament has become so popular that an estimated two billion dollars of productivity in the workplace was lost last year due to March Madness, the majority of which was lost during the tournament’s first two days.
While the number and pace of games slows down after the first round, the games become more meaningful as the tournament progresses, making the overall scheduling of March Madness a winner.
Here is some advice on how to watch the tournament without your boss finding out!
If the shoe fits, wear it.
It’s one of the most asked questions heading into the tournament every year: Who is this year’s Cinderella?
Many teams have been able to slide the glass slipper over their size 15 high-tops over the years, but some of the most memorable were Ed Pinckney’s Providence Friars in 1985, Jai Lewis’s George Mason Patriots in 2006, and Stephen Curry’s Davidson Wildcats in 2008.
Here is a look at the culmination of one of our favorite Cinderella stories of all time.
Stars Are Born
You don’t know them yet, but they’re out there. They’re the guys you’ve never heard of before the tournament, but you’ll never forget after it.
Sometimes stars surface from the Cinderella schools, but often it’s a role player from one of the tournament’s favorites that picks the right time and right place to take his team to the next level.
Over the years we’ve seen many stars emerge during the NCAA tournament, but who can forget UNLV’s Anderson Hunt, North Carolina’s Donald Williams, and UConn’s Rashad Anderson?
And who could forget this performance from one of the biggest stars to emerge in NCAA Tournament history?
While nothing is worse than losing to Stacy in accounting who filled out her bracket based on what team had the cuter players, brackets are perhaps the biggest reason why we love March Madness.
Being a part of an NCAA pool gives us reason to invest in each and every game of the NCAA tournament. Sure, we don’t really give a hoot about Oklahoma St. or St. Mary’s, but we sure are going to root for them if we picked them in our bracket.
NCAA Tournament pools are one of the first things we associate with the NCAA Tournament. Even President Barack Obama shared his with us last season! Plus, who doesn’t enjoy a form of (kind of) legal gambling?
Check out this great clip of President Obama sharing his bracket with America.
One and Done
Another thing we love about the NCAA tournament is the one and done format. A team must put together six consecutive strong performances to be crowned champions. One bad game, and you’re heading home.
The one and done format also aids another one of the things we love about the tournament: upsets. In a series format, like that of the NBA, we would rarely see the upsets we enjoy so much.
While the one and done format prevents the best team from advancing from time to time, the excitement it brings to the tournament is well worth it.
Without this format, these moments wouldn’t have been so special.
Who’s in? Who’s out? Selection Sunday answers all the questions we’ve been asking for months and provides us with one of our other favorite things about March Madness: brackets!
Another great element of Selection Sunday is the inside look we get at the reactions of teams as they discover their fate. I am not sure whose idea it was film teams as they watch the selection show, but it sure was a great one.
While Selection Sunday means bliss for some and despair for others, it certainly is one part of the NCAA Tournament experience we can’t miss.
The clip shows a classic reaction to finding out you’ve earned a spot in the Big Dance.
Is it me, or does it seem that buzzer beaters are far more common during March?
Is there truth to this observation, or does it only seem so because we are paying more attention?
Either way, the buzzer beater is one of sports’ most exciting plays. In just a few ticks of the clock, players, coaches, and fans can go from jubilation to desolation. It’s a moment in sports that few others can match.
Over the years, buzzer beaters have played a profound role in the history of the NCAA Tournament. After all, when college basketball fans hear the names Christian Laettner, Tyus Edney, and Lorenzo Charles, they don’t think of a person—they think of the play.
Check out one of the best buzzer beaters in NCAA Tournament history.
Intensity and Enthusiasm
My personal favorite thing about March Madness is the intensity and enthusiasm displayed by the players, coaches, and fans.
There is so much on the line during March Madness. It’s the culmination of all the hard work players and coaches have put in throughout the year. For seniors, it’s the culmination of all the hard work they’ve put in over the past four years.
No annual sporting event, not the Super Bowl nor the World Series, can match the passion of the NCAA Tournament. March Madness is quite simply the single greatest annual sporting event year in and year out.
This video shows you what March Madness is all about.