March Madness, the annual NCAA basketball tournament, is well underway, having started in Mid-March and set to end with a national championship on April 8th. The tournament consists of 68 men’s basketball teams, who compete in a 64 team single elimination bracket after the “First Four” are eliminated in starting games. The teams are grouped into four sections based on regions they have been chosen to compete in based on seeding, East, South, West, and Midwest.
Right now, the eight teams left are going head to head over the weekend to determine a winner from each region. These “Elite Eight” include Michigan State and Duke in the East, Gonzaga and Texas Tech in the West, Purdue and Virginia in the South, and Auburn and Kentucky in the Midwest. As we round the final stretch, people are getting excited all over the country as well as here at Mt. Greylock.
Of course, there are varied predictions on the winning team: “I’m going for Kentucky to win the whole thing” said freshman Connor Harrison.
Jack Cangelosi, however, believes that they don’t have what it takes. “They did so bad in their last game though.” He went on to cite their narrow lead only a few points over Wofford. There is definitely a lot of debate over the tournament, especially when students discuss guesses for winners, and that is part of why it tends to generate so much interest.
In addition, the ever changing rankings of teams engross students. According to Adriel Benko, “I can’t believe Villanova got out already” (Villanova, the reigning champion from March Madness 2018, was ousted by Purdue in the second round of play).
The identity of the winner is still up in the air – Luca Hirsch thinks it’ll “Definitely be Duke,” but there are still a few more games left that could change everything.