March Madness 101: Everything You Need to Know Before the Big Dance


Maroon Staff

The stage is ready, and the madness of March is about to begin!

Matan Davies

It’s that time of the year again. The time that any sports fan, whether you watch college basketball or not, is excited for. It’s March Madness!

The best teams in college basketball come together for a 64-team single elimination bracket tournament every March, and it’s a sports fan’s favorite time of the year. With tight games and underdogs coming out victorious against favorites, you are always on your toes. Let’s take a look at some of the big things to watch out for, such as the best teams, possible cinderella teams, best players, and more.

First of all, let’s talk about why everyone loves March Madness so much. Yes, the games are great, but other sports tournaments have fantastic games and storylines too, so what makes March Madness unique? It’s the bracket.

Fans can fill in brackets to predict who they think will win each game of the tournament. Friends come together to see whose bracket is the most accurate and to root for their teams in each game. 

Nobody has ever predicted the bracket perfectly. Some have come close, but the search for a perfect bracket continues. That’s because there are around 9.2 quintillion bracket variations, making it nearly impossible.

Teams are seeded by a committee based on how well they performed during the regular season. Higher-seeded teams have an easier path to the championship. The top four teams based on seeding this year are Alabama, Houston, Kansas, and Purdue. These four teams had great regular seasons, and each has a decent chance of winning. However, other teams outside these four have also the talent to win as wthough UConn is the fourth seed, I think they will win the championship because of their offensive threats and stellar defense,” said Oliver Chai ’25.

With many stars this year, we are set up for some great games. 7’4’’ Purdue center Zach Edey is definitely one of them, averaging 22.6 points and 13.9 rebounds on the year. Kansas forward Jalen Wilson is also extremely talented, averaging 21.1 points and 9.3 rebounds on the season. Lastly, Kentucky center Oscar Tshiebwe will pose a big threat to any defense with his strength, averaging 15.1 points and 13.6 rebounds.

In March Madness, cinderella teams are low-seeded that make it far in the tournament. It is hard to predict cinderella teams, but a couple of teams are contenders. Penn State is a strong candidate, winning eight of their last ten games and performing well in their league tournament before losing to Purdue 67-65, one of the best teams in college basketball. Charleston is another, with a season record of 31-3 and ten straight wins. They haven’t played many great teams, however, but perhaps they are ready for the challenge.

With the tournament starting this Thursday, all the sports fans you know will be discussing March Madness. So get ready, because this March seems like it will be a great one!