Menlo Students Reflect on Aspects of March Madness


Menlo students enjoy the unpredictability of March Madness, participating in brackets alongside friends. Staff illustration: Sutton Inouye.

Jake Lieberman, Staff Writer

March Madness: many basketball games occurring throughout the country, often at the same time–the tournament is quite literally, madness. This 64-team college basketball tournament held annually is popular among the Menlo student body. The tournament is back to normal this season whereas in 2021 it had only 25% of fans in attendance, and then in 2020, it got canceled due to the pandemic. Fans missed it, coaches missed it, players missed it, and it hasn’t disappointed thus far.

The round of 64 games started on March 17, beginning with an upset in the first game. The 11-seed Michigan Wolverines took down the 6-seed Colorado State Rams. That was the first hit brackets took, and people who picked the Rams weren’t pleased. Junior Charlie King picked Colorado State. “I love David Roddy and I had to take them, but sadly they couldn’t come away with the win,” King said. 

Other upsets, such as the 12 seed Richmond, beat the scorching hot Iowa Hawkeyes, along with New Mexico State upsetting UConn. “I knew Richmond was on a hot streak, and they had experienced players, so I went with them over Iowa, and it paid off,” Vogel said. 

The No. 15 seed St. Peter’s University, a school few have heard of at Menlo before this tournament, pulled off an absurd upset as they took down Kentucky in overtime who was a national champion contender. A little comparison between the two programs: John Calipari who is Kentucky’s Head Coach made 8.5 million dollars in 2019, while Shaheen Holloway made 266,344 thousand, according to the New York Times. 

For senior Jaymin Parasnis, this loss for Kentucky hurt him. “I had Kentucky winning it all, so with them losing so early, it really hurt my bracket,” Parasnis said. Just over 3% of millions of brackets filled out picked St. Peter’s to beat Kentucky. 

Then came the Friday slate of games, which for March Madness was pretty tame. There were upsets from Miami, Notre Dame, Iowa State and Texas Christian University. However, it lacked the historic upset or buzzer-beating shot. Nonetheless, the games were entertaining as the USC-Miami game came down to the wire, as did the Michigan State-Davidson game.

Sophomore Paige Miller is an avid March Madness fan, and she also filled out a bracket. “I would say my bracket started off pretty strong. I’m in three bracket pools.” As for Miller, she predicted Michigan beating Colorado State in two of her three brackets, so that helped her get a strong start. But, the upsets on the first day hurt her as well. “I think I’m in the same boat as a lot of people when saying the [University of Connecticut], Kentucky and Iowa games kinda messed up my bracket.”

Despite some disappointment in terms of brackets, March Madness has brought students together and added joy to the Menlo community. For freshman Raj Keswani, he’s loved March Madness thus far. “March Madness is living up to the hype, like always, and I love watching upsets happen. My favorite moment so far was watching Kentucky lose in overtime with all of my friends,” Keswani said. Keswani is also doing well in his bracket. “My bracket is looking pretty good, even with the Baylor and Kentucky losses because I didn’t have them going too far.” In the end, he has Arizona winning the whole thing, as on Sunday, March 20, they came away with a wild win. 

March Madness hasn’t left any of them disappointed, as it’s something that is so interactive and entertaining. “Overall, March Madness is tons of fun and a great way to be interested in sports and maybe get some money,” Miller said.