Why March Madness is the greatest event in sportsBy Cameron Johnson | 03/21/2017 9:33pm
One of the more spirited debates around the country that has lasted for decades has been the debate over which event in sports is the best. NBA fans declare their love for the Finals, NFL fans fight passionately for the Super Bowl, and MLB fans vouch for the World Series. However, none of these events can compare to the excitement, the uncertainty, and the heartbreak of the NCAA tournament.
By bringing together 64 of College Basketball’s best teams in a sudden death tournament live on national television, the NCAA obtains complete control over the national spectrum for almost an entire month, and its domination has continued to grow over the years. According to deadline.com, this year’s NCAA tournament had the best ratings for College Basketball in 24 years, drawing an average of 9.3 million viewers over the course of four days. People are tuning into the tournament more now than they have in decades, but just ratings don’t make it the greatest event in sports.
If there is one thing that every sports fan can agree on, it is that one of the best sights to see in sports is an upset. When a team that has been written off and belittled pulls off a Cinderella-like upset, all that fans of the sport can do is cheer. The NCAA tournament not only features these upsets; its entire lore is based on it. One prime example comes back from the 2013 tournament, when Florida Gulf Coast University, a school that 98 percent of the country had never heard of, beat Georgetown, one of the most historically well-known schools in the country, sending shockwaves throughout the basketball world and almost single-handedly restoring faith in the uncertainty of the NCAA tournament.
The tournament sells itself every year by celebrating the plethora of upsets in years past and the upsets yet to come. This ability to bring upsets comes with it the uncertainty of bracket predictions, another one of March Madness’ selling points. Every year the tournament allows fans to fill out their own bracket of the tournament to superficially fulfill the natural light gambling addiction that comes along with being a sports fan. No other sport or sporting event can match the level of uncertainty or the level of heartbreak that the NCAA tournament brings, contributing to why it is so beloved.
No event in the sports world can capture the hearts and minds of so many sports fans the way that the NCAA tournament does. Its magic inspires us, and its madness confuses us. However, without March Madness, the world wouldn’t truly be able to experience just how crazy the world of sports can be.