March Madness craze begins

Students prepare for annual basketball tournament

Jude Nanaw, Sports X-tra Editor

With the official bracket being released on March 11, the first round of the NCAA basketball tournament is set to kick off on March 15.

Many students are racing to begin creating brackets which predict winners and losers of each round of the tournament.

“I like creating brackets because it almost feels like I am writing a script,” junior Muaz Nasher said.

The intense and crucial moments of many tournament games are highly anticipated as dynamic high-scoring teams such as Kentucky and Kansas get set to take the court.

“My favorite part about March Madness has to be the buzzer beaters and exciting plays,” junior Alex Bellem said.

A number of students around school join leagues with friends and classmates in which all members create brackets and attempt to have the highest number of correct picks.

“It is always fun to compete against my friends,” Nasher said. “When it comes to March Madness, there is always an exciting feeling of getting correct picks.”

In the championship game last year, North Carolina came out victorious against Gonzaga.

This year, the favorites to win the tournament this year include Villanova, Duke and Virginia.

There are also a number of underdogs that have an opportunity to come out victorious such as Oklahoma and Missouri.

“I really think that Ohio State can win the championship this year,” Bellem said. “They are really severely underrated and nobody is giving them a legitimate shot to win.”

In addition, both Michigan and Michigan State are viewed as highly improved teams from last year with an opportunity to make the final four.

Those competing and creating brackets mainly do so in apps. In past years the most popular have been the ESPN Tournament Challenge and the NCAA March Madness app.

These apps provide notifications and updates on the status of brackets and breakdowns of individual games.

“I enjoy using the ESPN app because of the updates it gives me on my picks,” Bellem said.

Make sure to create and finalize brackets by March 15, as they will lock and be submitted automatically on that day.