March Madness: May the Odds Ever be in your Favor

Blake Posewitz

It’s that time of the year again where 70 million brackets are filled out in the USA. Every person has the dream of a perfect bracket, but not many last until the end of the first day. Many things are more likely to happen than a perfect bracket– you are more likely to flip a coin and get 30 heads in a row, or be struck by lightning three times in one year.

Say What!- You are more likely to get a hole in one and win a million dollars in one day than having a perfect bracket.

When asked if a perfect bracket was possible, Sophomore Benjamin Boldt stated, “No, I do not think [so]. I looked online yesterday and saw there is 9.2 quintillion different bracket variations out there. Would I like to get it and win the million dollars? Of course, but the odds are not in my favor.” Many people create a bracket to beat their friends, classmates, coworkers, and even parents. In some leagues there’s a trophy or prize money, and of course bragging rights over their competitors. When asked what it would be like to beat his fellow teachers Mr. Jeff Ristow described, “It would be great, bragging rights, constantly bragging to your colleagues of your winnings, it doesn’t get any better than that.” Teachers are not the only people that have a hand in the bracket pool. Sophomore Ryan Dicke added, “It would assert my dominance over my friends and show that they do not possess the same knowledge of basketball as me.” March Madness is more than writing names on a line and hoping they win– it’s also a business. In 2015, estimated that over 9 billion dollars were bet on the brackets and individual matchups. Many bracket pools have an entry fee ranging from $10 all the way to $100 per bracket. Having money on your bracket makes the games mean much more than an ordinary win– a win is one step closer to the grand prize. It also makes you cheer for some teams you never would have otherwise because it will increase your chances to win. When asked why he entered a pool to win a prize Mr. Sim Safford explained, “I entered because I like to compete and to have a chance at winning the prize in our league and bragging rights over other teachers.” This aspect of the tournament is an emotional rollercoaster for some. Whether it was a 15 seed Middle Tennessee State beating a number 2 seed Michigan State or Northern Iowa beating Texas on a half court buzzer beater, games don’t always pan out the way people want them to. Some people burn their brackets after moments like these, and many hearts have been broken knowing their chance at winning is over. From the middle of March to the beginning of April many Americans are glued to the couch watching high level basketball and rooting for their bracket intensely. After the tournament is over, people are already looking forward to next March to relive the experience.