Every year I get sick. Not physically ill but I am afflicted with a sickness that forces me to stay home, lie on the sofa, miss class and/or work, fail to put any effort into my relationships, and basically shirk any and all responsibilities.
The sickness lasts from about halfway through March until about the second week of April.
This sickness though it doesn’t just effect me, it affects millions. Men, women, children, young, old; no one is safe. This affliction has come to be known as “March Madness.”
I have “March Madness” so bad that my girlfriend even said to me, “I hate March!”
It may be sick, but I love it. The rest of the year I am consumed with what will happen this March.
Yes, it’s a wonderful time of the year when the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament is held; 65 teams are chosen to compete in a single elimination tournament where the last team standing is the National Champion, takes precedent over everything.
To some this may seem like a waste of time, but to me it is the best time of the year. 65 sets of fans are hopeful because it is the one sporting event where literally anything can happen. And this year has not disappointed.
As the Regional Finals concluded history was made. For the first year ever all four number one seeds advanced to the Final Four in San Antonio. However even the fans of North Carolina, Kansas, Memphis, and UCLA will agree that this year has been no cakewalk.
Schools like Davidson and Western Kentucky showed they could hang with the big boys. Davidson advanced all the way to the Elite Eight and came within one three-pointer of knocking off heavily favored Kansas in their home state. Western Kentucky advanced all the way to the Sweet Sixteen before falling to UCLA, but they wouldn’t have even had the opportunity to play more than one game had it not been for a miracle three at the buzzer to win their first-round game.
The tourney has also introduced mainstream America to big time players like Davidson’s Stephen Curry, who averaged almost 35 points a game during the madness. Also we have been witness to the amazing Kevin Love. The Oregonian freshman from UCLA has shown absolute greatness during his year with the Bruins. In all likelihood Love will leave the friendly confines of Westwood to head to greener pastures of the NBA but his season will always be remembered as one of the greatest.
Office pools, a March staple, give us a little glimpse into how crazy this year’s tourney has been. On ESPN.com readers can fill out a bracket, picking teams they think will win the games. This year there is not a single perfect bracket on the site.
However, with the Tournament concluding many teams will build towards making a run through the tourney next year. Teams like USC hope to bounce back after a disappointing early exit by adding some top high school players to an already young team.
Others like Arizona State, Illinois, and Syracuse hope that the teams that they have mature enough over the off-season that they can make the tourney next year and cause some ruckus.
So while March Madness is coming to an end, my bracket officially busted, just know that next year will bring a new tourney. New players to fall in love with. New Cinderella’s to support. And a new bracket to obsess over.
Catch the madness every March. I know I do.