Menlo Students Eagerly Await March Madness Tournament


Phil Roeder

March Madness will return at full-capacity for the first time since before the pandemic, and Menlo students look forward to participating in March Madness brackets. Creative Commons photo: Phil Roeder on Flickr.

Jake Lieberman, Staff Writer

Starting Mar. 13, the NCAA Basketball Tournament will commence with 64 Division I teams being selected to participate in the historic March Madness tournament. Some teams are power five programs while others are low major programs, but all are focused on winning the National Championship. 

The first games of the tournament will be played on Mar. 15, and they are called the First Four. The First Four are games between teams that barely made the tournament and teams that automatically qualified but got picked (by the NCAA Committee) to play. Simply put, these games involve the worst teams that made the tournament. The winners of the First Four are then included in the annual March Madness bracket. 

Starting on Mar. 17, the first round of the tournament will be played. There are eight different states where the first and second rounds will be played. New York, Indiana, Texas, Oregon, South Carolina, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and California are all hosts. Last season, March Madness only let up 25% capacity, but this year the goal is that it will be at full capacity. 

Overall, the tournament will run from Mar. 13 to April 4, ending in New Orleans at the Caesars Superdome.

March Madness brackets are a very popular activity that goes along with the tournament. In 2021, 16.2 million brackets were filled out. However, the hunt to fill out a perfect bracket is still being sought after by fans because no one has accomplished this incredible feat. 

“March Madness is a gem. Every game is extremely intense because all it takes is one loss to end the season, and the players are all so passionate because they know that this is what they’ve been working for their whole season and life. Whether you are just hoping your bracket beats your friends’ or you are rooting for a certain team, March Madness brings people together like nothing else in sports,” junior Charlie King said.

According to Sports Media Watch, the tournament averaged 10.5 million total viewers back in 2019. Along with over 10 million viewers, March Madness annually draws in 689,753 fans throughout the event, averaging 19,159 fans per game, according to the NCAA

Jordan Brooks loves March Madness for the intense emotions it elicits. “March Madness is the time of year when you fill out your bracket and bet money on your favorite team. It’s full of upsets and moments when you think you could win it all. March Madness brings out the best and the worst in people, and that’s why I like it.”

March Madness engages fans from all over the country, cheering on their respective colleges and universities.

“March Madness shows you a different side of everyone. The coaches, the players, and your friends and family all [want] the same goal: to win. The end of March towards the beginning of April captures the excitement and the misery of everyone but brings together so many different communities of people, and that’s why I love it so much,” Brooks said.