Column: Why is March Madness One of the Most Popular Sports?



Here lies the 2023 March Madness Bracket. The First Four play in games begin on Mar. 14 and end on Mar. 15. The tournament starts the very next day.

The moment has come now that Selection Sunday is over. The committee has created the 2023 NCAA college basketball bracket, and the fans simply cannot wait. March will soon bring about a great deal of madness. 

Every year, an amazing 68 teams participate in the March Madness tournament. No other sports league in North America can claim to field that many athletes. There is a lot of potential for drama with the number of teams and games that are available. Teams that either have a great record, strength of schedule, or win their conference tournament are rewarded a spot on Selection Sunday. Fans may anticipate a significant increase in competition and variety in the games. 

An upset can happen at any time, and something happens every year that doesn’t make any sense at all.

— junior Isaac Russell

An upset can happen at any time, and something happens every year that doesn’t make any sense at all,” junior Isaac Russell said. “My favorite memory is when the fifteenth-seeded Saint Peter’s Peacocks defeated the third-seeded Purdue Boilermakers in one of the biggest upsets ever.”

The college basketball season may take a longer time compared to other sports, but the fans say it’s worth the wait just because of the postseason. The opportunity exists for people to watch numerous games without having to wait a lengthy period between games. Anyone can take part in an incredible 48 games in just four days.

“Unlike watching the long Super Bowl and World Series commercials, I am able to change the channel to another interesting game that I want to watch,” junior Jacob Taylor said. “Every game is so thrilling to watch because an upset can occur at any time, and if you created a bracket, you want to be able to check how you are doing.” 

March Madness brackets are filled out every year, and this is one of the reasons why people love this event so much. Returning is the USA TODAY Sports Bracket Challenge. A top bracket wins a $25,000 award, and the grand prize for a perfect bracket is $1 million. For participants, only over the age of 21, the challenge is free to join. Yet, anyone is welcome to create one, and anyone under the age of 21 can still join their own group of tournament brackets. 

There has still yet to become a perfect bracket, and I am not sure that there will ever be one.

— radio sports reporter Joe Stetz

What makes March Madness so famous throughout the world is the ability to fill out the brackets. Many individuals who don’t closely follow the sport engage in a bracket challenge, and they can truly win,” radio sports reporter Joe Stetz said. “I received this trait from my parents because they are both fiercely competitive. Anything I do, even something as random as a bracket, I want to win. There has still yet to become a perfect bracket, and I am not sure that there will ever be one.” 

There’s something about collegiate players that creates tremendous competition. Perhaps it’s the pressure of every game. They appear to be working harder. These are young men who compete for their teams, coaches, and schools rather than for financial gain. Although some players may receive massive contracts in the NBA as a result of strong performances at the tournament, the majority will never play professional basketball. This is most collegiate athletes’ Super Bowl, so to speak. 

“These players are passionate about their collegiate teams,” Russell said. “They’re devastated when they lose, sobbing on the wooden floor. They are happy when they succeed, appearing to jump higher in celebration. That might be the final game they ever play in for some of these athletes. What appeals to fans like me is this sense of purposefulness. It’s encouraging to see athletes give their all.” 

These players are passionate about their collegiate teams. They’re devastated when they lose, sobbing on the wooden floor.

— junior Isaac Russell

Throughout the games, you’ll notice that collegiate sports fans are passionate and outspoken. All of these supporters have their own favorite teams, but depending on their bracket or other factors, they may wind up supporting or rooting against another team they care about. Due to this, the March Madness games are considerably more enjoyable than those played in other leagues. If your team didn’t advance to the playoffs, it will be quite difficult for you to choose a side in the NBA. There won’t be any enjoyment for you because you won’t have any strong feelings about the remaining teams. There are also much fewer teams and unfair matchups that people see as unentertaining in the NBA. 

“People are not as entertained by the NBA playoffs as much as March Madness because it can be very predictable,” Taylor said. “There is a lack of defense being played, and the amount of heart doesn’t compare to college athletes’ because these professionals make a great living off of playing. Teams that have too much superstar talent on their team are called superteams, and they make the NBA less enjoyable to watch. A great example of this would be the current Phoenix Suns roster, which has Devin Booker, Kevin Durant, Chris Paul, and Deandre Ayton.” 

Once more, March Madness will demonstrate why it is one of the finest. Like with any big sporting event, there are good World Series and bad ones, but March Madness always delivers.