Basketball Craze or Crazy?

In March it can represent that spring is here or the school year is about to end in 2 months, but for most it’s tournament time for boy’s and girl’s college basketball. This tournament is called March Madness. The tournament lasts the entire month and picks the top 64 teams across the country in the sport to go head-to-head for the ultimate title.

One aspect of the sport’s phenomenon is making a bracket. This is when anyone can make predictions about each team playing in March Madness, and pick who they think will end up in the Final Four. Also if your bracket predicts the entire tournament correctly, you can win a million dollars a year from Warren Buffett, and if submitted to ESPN, the prize is one million dollars. The odds of this happening are extremely slim and has yet to happen due to the unpredictable nature of the games.

This year some of the major upsets were Villanova losing to Wisconsin by only three points and Duke losing to South Carolina by 7 points.  Some other teams that made it much farther than most predicted include Oregon who defeated Kansas, and Xavier winning against Arizona.

In the Cape Henry community throughout the whole month, in almost every class the topic of the tournament came up. At the start of the tournament, the games were being watched in study halls, free bells, and even in the Upper School office. One teacher who loves the sport and is from Villanova, last year’s National Champions, is Ms. Loveland, one of CHC’s math teachers. When asked why she has such an interest in the tournament and the sport itself she answered, “I like basketball because it’s my sport; I used to play it. The tournament is always really exciting and there is always a game on to watch, and seeing the upsets is always interesting.”

Mr. McGraw, one of CHC’s history teachers, also talked about the upsets and how his bracket turned out. “My bracket didn’t do well. My team is UVA, but they were out early, so I picked Kansas winning it all but they also lost.”

This past Monday, April 3rd, was the championship game with North Carolina facing Gonzaga.  Though they struggled through the first half, North Carolina won their 6th National Championship title that night (71-65), earning the third highest record for National Championship wins by a school. On Tuesday, some of CHC’s own faculty, including Mrs. Kisa, Mr. Koeze, and Ms. Johnson, were supporting the NCAA champions with smiles and UNC logo sweatshirts.

When most people think basketball, one of the first things that comes to mind is the March Madness playoff season. Often, people just don’t understand the big hype that comes with it.  They may belittle sports championships and the loyal, boisterous fans. According to some naysayers, the basic layout of a sport is this: it is a group of people who work out in big buildings or arenas. The buildings make profit by feeding exorbitantly priced food to people who pay to watch said athletes work out. It’s quite ridiculous.

Brazil enthuses over soccer, China over ping pong, Canada over hockey, and Great Britain fancies the game of cricket, but America really goes all out in over-popularizing their sports, especially basketball. British student Arial Fiske de Gouveia stated that, “I like the sport of basketball, but it has no real importance to me. I didn’t grow up picking a team and religiously sticking by their side rooting at each game, no matter how bad they play. I am really just not that interested. I think that because we don’t have it in the United Kingdom, it was never really brought to my attention as being a big deal. I think that America emphasizes the sport to such an extreme for two reasons: profit and it being part of the typical American dream.”

Even though March Madness brings such excitement to many Americans, some just don’t see the need to even have the sport, or sports in general. Some will never actually understand basketball and probably never learn either, because it might just be a waste of time.