March Madness Craze Looms Ahead of Tournament Start

March 11, 2023

The+first+round+of+March+Madness+tournament+play+is+set+to+begin+on+March+16.+Creative+commons+photo%3A+Phil+Roeder+on+Wikimedia+Commons

Phil Roeder

The first round of March Madness tournament play is set to begin on March 16. Creative commons photo: Phil Roeder on Wikimedia Commons

College sports fanatics live for the month of March as college basketball programs across the country compete in the chaotic 64-team tournament dubbed “March Madness.”

March Madness is a single-elimination tournament, consisting of a large bracket with seeds 1-16 broken up by region. Programs from big state schools to unheard-of colleges across the country are selected to the “dance” through regular season and conference tournament play.

The typical well-known programs or “blue bloods” such as Duke, Kansas and Kentucky among others are usually favorites; however, March Madness epitomizes the unpredictability of the outcome in every game. 

Clusters of Menlo students are glued to their phones during intense games and the administration even occasionally puts the games on the projector in the cafeteria. From survivor pools to bracket challenges, a host of students remain deeply engaged throughout the tournament.

Sophomore Raj Keswani is an avid University of Arizona fan.“I already felt some of the March Madness energy when my favorite team, Arizona, lost to their rival, Arizona State, from a full court shot,” Keswani said. Arizona State’s Desmond Cambridge hit a half court, game-winning shot to beat Arizona in late February, exciting fans about what is to come. 

Fellow sophomore Karen Xin, an all-league star on the girls basketball team, is a huge fan of the women’s tournament as well. “I love watching Women’s March Madness,” she said. “I’m a huge Stanford fan, so I’ve been watching them play in the tournament for years.” 

Xin even uses the high-level play as a guide to improving her own game. “As someone who’s always looking to become a better basketball player, there’s so much to learn from these college teams,” Xin said. “They’re fundamental, not flashy. Everyone wants to win, and everyone puts up a good fight.”

Junior Sam Reznik, a key player on the boys basketball team, is a Northwestern fan. Northwestern has had a sensational season and is going to compete in March Madness for the first time in a while. “I support Northwestern, who hasn’t made the tournament since 2017, but finally this year they are,” Reznik said. “[I’m excited] I will finally have an actual team to support.”

Reznik also enjoys the tournament by making his own bracket predictions. “It is also fun to make brackets and compete with my friends to see who will make the best bracket,” Reznik said.

As the bracket is set to be finalized on Sunday, March 12, tournament officials are tasked with ranking an unpredictable field of teams. 

While Houston remains known as the team to beat, there aren’t any runaway favorites. Along with Houston, Alabama and Purdue are ranked high and expected to make deep runs.

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About the Contributor
Photo of Jake Lieberman
Jake Lieberman, Staff Writer
 

Number of years in The Coat of Arms: 4


Favorite aspect of journalism: writing about whatever interests me


Interests outside of school: sports, basketball, playing with my dogs, watching tv, being outside.


Class of 2023

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