By Mike Bertram

There is no championship tournament in sports quite like the Division I Men’s Basketball Championship known as March Madness. No words can describe the excitement (or dread) that comes with watching a team who barely snuck in the tournament as a No. 15 seed defeat a national powerhouse No. 2 seed.

No other sporting event is like this tournament, which gives 68 different teams an equal chance to win it all. With basketball games playing across the country four days a week for an entire month, it’s seemingly a great time of year for sports fans.

That is, however, unless you decided to make a bracket. Millions fill out brackets every year with hopes of filling out one perfectly and getting every prediction correct. Since ESPN and CBS Sports started accepting bracket submissions in 2000, not a single one has been perfect.

Predicting who will win each and every game is a maddening and frustrating experience for anybody, especially in a tournament such as this where anyone can be defeated, and underdog “Cinderella” teams upset much higher seeded teams. Each and every year features its own unique stories, upsets, buzzer beaters and unforgettable moments.  This year has had no exceptions.

Freshman Cameron Urfer was one of many Florida Southern students who filled out brackets of their own.

“This year has by far been one of the most annoying for me,” he said. “I had UCLA winning it all, but they didn’t even get passed the Sweet Sixteen. Between that and Wisconsin defeating Villanova, I now have zero chance of winning my bracket pool.”

National powerhouse Duke and the defending National Champions Villanova were both knocked out in the second round. The No. 11 seed Xavier made it to the Sweet Sixteen, and the No. 7 seed South Carolina made their first Final Four in school history.

As for buzzer beaters, Florida hit a running 3-pointer to defeat Wisconsin. North Carolina hit a last second jump shot to defeat Kentucky.

FSC sophomore Thomas Armour found himself disappointmented in his favorite team.

“As a Duke fan, of course it was frustrating to see them lose as it did mess up my bracket, but nonetheless, this my favorite time of year for sports, and this year has been no different,” he said. “This tournament has been great.”

Gonzaga and UNC faced off at the championship game on Monday night. According to ESPN, UNC is highly ranked for their offensive rebounding and Gonzaga for their defensive efficiency.

Junior Austin Hellman was a little more hopeful and excited than most.

“This tournament has been great for me,” he said. “Being from Washington, I’ve been rooting for Gonzaga, and seeing them make it this far has been so much fun.”

North Carolina came out on top to win the national title after losing to Villanova last year.


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