March Madness 2011: The Top 10 Reasons Why We All Love It
It seems like it comes around so quickly, and March Madness is here once again. It seemed like just yesterday that Gordon Hayward just barely missed the shot that would have completed the greatest game in sports history in a great underdog victory.
So get ready for the excitement of the Big Dance: hopefully this year can live up to all of last year's tournament excitement. So here is a look at the 10 reasons why we all love watching March Madness! From buzzer-beaters to Cinderella stories, we have it all covered.
10. All the Bubble Teams Have to Fight to Prove That They Belong in Dance
The weeks leading up to the NCAA tournament can be very exciting. The field is not decided until the final regular season game is played, and many teams are clawing and scratching to be one of the final teams to participate in the biggest college tournament.
Many teams have to run the table just to get into March Madness, and winning conference tournaments are the easiest ways to get there. There are controversies over which bubble teams should make the tournament, including this year’s: whether or not 11 Big East teams should be invited to the tournament.
9. Neither Football nor Baseball Is on at This Time in March
Not many people consider college basketball their favorite sport; most only start truly following it once their favorite NFL team is out. Baseball is already well into its offseason, and basketball is the biggest sport on during the late winter. True sports fans follow sports all year round, and they can especially follow March Madness because there are no other sports in the way.
8 College Basketball Is More Exciting Than the NBA, Especially in the Postseason
It’s just not the same all-out hustle, excitement or energy that the NBA has opposed to college ball. There is no student or school spirit in the NBA, and the players don’t try their hardest from the tip until the final horn is blown.
They have already gotten contracts, and generally do not give 100 percent unless everything is on the line.
Plus, the NBA playoffs last up to two months, which is a potential 28 games for the winning team. This is almost a third of the games they play in the regular season.
When there are so many games to be played, it takes away from the significance of every playoff game.
7. There Are Good Matchups in Almost Every Game, Regardless of Team Rankings
No. 15 seeds have beaten No. 2 seeds before, and it is not unheard of for No. 14 seeds to fall to No. 3 seeds. Nothing is guaranteed in this tournament, and that keeps people watching to see the next big thing.
6. Most of These Players Will Not Play Past This Level and Are Not Getting Paid
Is there anything better than knowing that players are competing just because of their love for the game? As seen in NCAA commercials every year, there are thousands of student athletes out there, but almost all of them will go pro in something other than sports.
These players are playing for pride in themselves, their school and most important, their team.
5. Regular Season Does Not Matter Much for Top Teams Anyway
If a team is top-ranked in the regular season, they will be going to the tournament. The whole regular season is about deciding a team’s ranking in the tournament.
Even if they have a few more losses than other teams, they will only be seeded a few spots lower. And as has happened, upsets have come from any matchup besides the 16 against the one.
So what is the difference between a two seed a three seed anyway? If a team loses in the tournament it actually matters a lot, because they will be eliminated. But if a team loses in the regular season, they only drop a ranking or two in the tournament.
4. Single Elimination
A little move can make all the difference for teams in the tournament. There are no second chances: just win or go home.
There is no room for error.
3. We Get to See Our Team Advance Through the Tournament
If you are a college basketball fan, you most likely have a team that you root for and follow. To see your team play in the biggest tournament of the year is exciting, especially if they can make a run for the title.
The whole world is watching what your team is doing now, and there is nothing like having your team do well under national spotlight.
2. We Have Our Own Bracket Predictions
Everybody can relate to all the games in the tournament, because they have their own predictions on the line. Usually money is involved, so a fan can be interested in every single game in the tournament, even if their team is not playing.
People are playing against their friends, and everybody loves a little bit of friendly competition. There is definitely something about trying to be an expert on which teams will win the games.
1. We Love to See the Cinderella Stories
It is fun seeing teams that nobody has heard of making deep runs in the NCAA tournament. When teams that are not expected to win do well, it shows that anything can happen in college basketball.
Even in the past decade, major upsets throughout the tournament have led to major runs by small schools. Most notably in the past few years, ten seeded Davidson made the Elite Eight in 2008, 11 seeded George Mason’s Final Four run in 2006, or last year when No. 5 Butler was a half-court shot away from taking the national title away from Duke.
Pretty much none of the players on these teams are playing past college, so it is true teamwork that drives these players to win.
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