by Brennan Erickson
The 2015 Men’s NCAA Basketball Tournament (also known as March Madness) has officially come to a close, and the Duke Blue Devils are the national champions. They were a No. 1 seed, and defeated the Wisconsin Badgers, also a No. 1 seed, 68-63 in the finals. The Blue Devils are now five-time national champions.
Once again, the virtually impossible task of creating the perfect bracket has yet to be accomplished. In fact, last year Warren Buffet offered $1 billion to anyone who created the perfect bracket. The chance of making a perfect bracket is 1 in 9.2 quintillion, according to forbes.com.
Over 70 million brackets were made this year, and approximately $9 billion was spent on bets in the tournament, according to espn.com. Many students in the WHS community are active participants in March Madness, whether or not money is being wagered.
Sophomore Ethan Finver was the winner of a competitive bracket group. If Finver could offer any advice for creating a bracket, he said: “My advice would be to pick teams wisely and to never second guess yourself. Also, never to have all number one seeds in the final four. There will always be a team to knock off a one seed and spoil brackets. Do not always go for the higher seeds and don’t be afraid to make some bold predictions.”
Senior Lindsey Strauss followed the games for the first time this year because she thought it would be fun to try to create the best bracket in her group. She said: “I watched with my friends and brother mostly. It was especially intense when people were rooting for opposite teams because March Madness is pretty competitive.”
Junior and varsity basketball player Parker Hess loves March Madness, except it means more to him than watching basketball for entertainment. He said: “March Madness motivates me because I want to see myself out there one day. It’s very exciting because it’s survive and advance.” Hess even attended some of the games this year. He said: “It’s crazy how many fans from all over the country come and support their team at a neutral site and how into the games they are. You can tell that players are nervous in the beginning of the game just because it is such a big stage to play on. Most of the players would have only dreamed and imagined to be playing Division I basketball let alone in the month of March.”
March Madness impacts viewers in many different ways. For some it is about winning pools, for others it is about turning dreams into a reality. In the end, it is a month of fun and intensity.