BY Brett Maloney
For some people, the happiest time of the year is during the holiday season, but for others, the happiest time of the year is the first Thursday and Friday of the NCAA Basketball tournament. Sophomore Mitchell Kiernan looks forward to this time every year. “It is the biggest thing that is happening in March. Four different TV channels have it on. It’s a big thing. It’s attention-grabbing because anyone could win and you’re either looking for your team to win for your bracket or rooting for the underdog. Eye-popping for sure,” said Kiernan.
“I personally root for whoever is winning in my bracket, but I know people root for the underdogs because that’s another element that makes it exciting. It’s the biggest thing in college sports history. Everyone makes a bracket, from celebrities, to the president, to my parents,” said Kiernan.
Sophomore Tyler Walsh also watches March Madness very closely, but he is mostly engaged for the upsets like most casual college basketball fans.
“Unless you already have a favorite college basketball team, I think everyone tends to root for the upset, like last year when University of Maryland, Baltimore County, took down Virginia. The fans loved it,” said Walsh.
“It definitely depends on who you ask. Personally, it’s not a huge deal, but I do enjoy making brackets and watching the games. Fanatics on the other hand, this is their favorite time of the year,” said Walsh.
Freshman Brian Rice believes that gambling is also a huge reason as to why March Madness is so attractive. “I think March Madness is extremely popular among people, especially in the day and age of social media. Also, it is popular among younger and older people due to many popular bracket challenges that can often be won for money,” said Rice. “The NCAA tournament is very appealing to fans because it gives every college team that makes it a chance to have one shining moment. It is the culmination of hours of tireless work, practice, bus rides, and passion. I think that getting to the national tournament is a huge accomplishment and winning it is even bigger,” Rice also said.
For some, March will be the only time they watch college basketball, just like for sophomore Lindsey McSweeney. “The only college basketball games I watch are the games during the tournament, and I don’t really care who wins, but I did pick Duke because I think they have the best chance of winning,” said McSweeney.
There are also the fanatic fans who have their favorite team that they watch all year long, and once March rolls around, they are hoping their team can hoist that National Championship trophy. That can be said for junior Mike Zawadzki.
“My favorite team is North Carolina and I watch as many of their games as I can, so naturally every year, regardless of how they play, I will make a bracket where I have them winning the whole thing. This year in particular I think they have one of the best chances to win the national title, which made my national champion pick an easy one,” said Zawadzki.