The madness during March Madness

Brandon Bowles, Staff Writer

It’s that time of year again. For the next three weeks, college basketball takes center stage in the world of sports. Fans across the country will have their eyes glued to their TV screens cheering on their favorite team, as well as wondering who is going to be the “Cinderella” team.

This is also a big event for casinos, as an estimated 70 million brackets will be submitted and $9 million will be wagered on the games, according to the American Gaming Association. (AGA)

It was surprising to learn that viewership has dropped the past few years with the exclusion of the 2015 tournament in which on the first day of the tournament, five games were decided by one point. This helped drive up ratings to the highest they have been in years.

One of the main reasons ratings are hurting, is the games have not been competitive in the first two rounds. Think about it, a 16 seed has never beaten a number one seed. If these games were more competitive it would draw more viewers.

The only people that pay attention to these games are the people who made a bracket, or bet on the game. People are not interested in wasting two hours watching a game, in which history says will not be competitive.

The selection process has become something that has continued to be debated among spot analyst. I agree that the team that wins their respective conference tournament should get an automatic bid.

What I do not agree with is the comity is never consistent in selecting the teams that do not get automatic bids. One year they based it off strength of schedule, the next year it was based off of wins against the top 25. They need to design a format that states what the requirements are to make the tournament; that way coaches will know what the comity values most.

I always look at the 5 vs 12 seeds and the 8 vs 9 seed, these games to me show the most potential for an upset. Over the years, the 12 vs 5 have been considered the “trap game.” This means that there is a possibility for the lower seed to win if the higher seed is not carful.

It is almost inevitable that a 12 seed will upset a 5 seed. The last time the twelve seed was unable to beat at least one 5 seed was back in 2007.

This year’s upset was Middle Tennessee against Minnesota. Most 12 seeds do not make it past the second round, if they win their first game with the exception of Oregon in 2013.

You would think the 8vs 9 seed is a pretty even match up but the past few years the 8 seed has had the upper hand. Last year all four 8 seeds made it past the first round only to be ousted in the nest round. Only seven 8 seeds have made it to the final four in NCAA tournament history.

One thing that I think is interesting about the NCAA tournament is the unpredictability of how the games will turn out. Any team can win on any given day. This is why it is called “March Madness.”

This year’s tournament has been a mixture of competitive and run away games. I enjoy the competitive games because they are able to keep my attention. On the other hand, I’m not a fan of runaway games because the outcome is usually predictable.

As the sweet sixteen begins next weekend it will be interesting to see what happens next. Will the powerhouse teams continue to fall like Villanova and Louisville did in the second round to Wisconsin and Michigan respectively. The only thing to do now is to stay tuned into the madness.

Photo source

Edited by: Brea Childs

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