What makes March Madness so appealing?


Andrew Resnick, Head Sports Editor

 The two words March and Madness put together have always put a jolt in sports fans. March Madness has become one of the most watched sporting events in the US today. Tens of millions of people tune in to watch the annual college basketball tournament where 68 teams all vie for the NCAA College Basketball National Championship. But what is it that makes March Madness so appealing? This widely publicized tournament excites colleges just as much as it does sports fans. With so many teams competing in this tournament, many tucked away schools have the chance to share the spotlight with, and in some cases garner even more attention than, the typical powerhouse basketball schools such as Duke or Kansas.

   Little known schools have consistently shocked some of the top basketball programs in the nation such as Florida Gulf coast defeating Georgetown University’s basketball team in 2013 or Middle Tennessee beating the heavily favored Michigan state basketball in the first round of last year’s tournament. Upsets of this magnitude usher in a much larger spotlight on these normally secluded schools.

   “Each year there are always so many teams in the March Madness bracket that I have never heard of,” sophomore Hank Roll said. “After one of those schools beats one of the top teams in the country, everyone all of a sudden knows their name.” Roll is among the millions of fans who suddenly start to notice these smaller schools after they pull off the unthinkable.

   According to Google Trends, after their win against the number two seeded Georgetown university, Florida Gulf Coast searches on Google increased by over 3,200% showing the enormity of the attention which smaller schools receive when they defeat top college basketball programs.

   “I think that’s what makes March Madness so appealing for a lot of fans,” Roll said. “They’re excited to see random schools out of nowhere beat talented schools like UNC or Kentucky.”

   It is no wonder that billions of dollars are spent just on bets on March Madness annually as the tournament has become a staple in American sports over the years. With continuous David vs Goliath match ups occurring in March Madness, there is no doubt that the tournament will stay popular with millions of fans for years to come.