Kansas. Duke. North Carolina. Villanova. As the names of these iconic colleges are heard across the school through students’ heated screams, one is hard-pressed to avoid discussing March Madness. The tournament has staked a claim of ownership over the month of March, representing to students a quintessential depiction of why they love sports. Whether it is the unpredictability that provides every team, no matter how much of an underdog, with the chance to make a run, or the ability to witness young athletes, just a few years out of high school, experience the polar emotions of playing basketball. Or, perhaps the personal stakes individuals attain by supporting the teams they choose in their brackets, that drives the viewer to feel an emotional attachment to the thrilling entertainment they are viewing. The only certainty when it comes to March Madness is that it has become an epidemic that has infested the minds of SHS students and has become ingrained in our school’s culture.
Many SHS students have made brackets this year, using their basketball knowledge to test their luck. Brackets may take hours to synthesize or they may merely take minutes, as the students analyze the collegiate teams in their own unique way. March Madness consumes much of students’ time, with many students even streaming the games during class. College basketball fanatic, Jake Singer ’19, claims that he watches upwards of 25 games a week at the tournament’s height. Singer’s explanation for his passion is that he loves to “see college kids give it their all on the biggest stage in college sports. Kids from mid-major schools go against blue bloods like Kentucky and Duke and give it all they’ve got, even though they know their chance of winning is very small.” Although the time spent on March Madness can be quite demanding, it seems to be a sacrifice that many students are willing to make. “It may take away from my attention in school, but I don’t really care. I really enjoy the tournament.” shares Cole Kattan ’19.
From the creation of the brackets to the watching of games, students are aware that the tournament never goes the way they expect it to. However, it seems not to matter as students are still willing to put their money where their mouth is. In fact, students’ idea of such high stakes within the tournament is often what drives them to root against their favorite teams and be in favor of the team they choose to go farther. “My favorite team is Iowa State. I had them going pretty far, but not winning. This year I have picked UNC to win it all,” confesses Kattan, who like many, uses his intelligence instead of instinct whilst making his picks. Despite whichever method a student chooses to use while making their bracket, in the end, it is in the hands of the ten young players on each court and the pure luck that decides whose bracket reigns supreme. Although many teams come and go, students love for March Madness is evergreen and at least for now, March belongs to basketball.
by Noam Cherki and Evan Huo