By RYAN HENSELER
The long month of February following the Super Bowl is often considered the worst time of the year to be a sports fan in America. Right now, SportsCenter has hardly any highlights to show and instead subjugates viewers to discussing Lebron James’ mask and Johnny Manziel’s height at the NFL Draft Combine.
But fear not, because as the calendar will soon flip to March, we are right on the precipice of arguably one of the best sporting events of the year: March Madness. The NCAA basketball tournament is a weeks long extravaganza of basketball and gambling across the nation.
What American among us doesn’t fill out multiple brackets in hopes of winning their office pool? Or just a bet with buddies? Who doesn’t love the first weekend of games, when anything is possible? When the clock hasn’t yet hit midnight for Cinderella and hopes remain to pull off a seemingly impossible upset?
Florida Gulf Coast University took the nation by storm in the 2013 big dance, becoming the first 15 seed to ever reach the Sweet 16 and earning the nickname “Dunk City” in the process. Years earlier, 11 seed George Mason stunningly advanced to the Final Four, beating powerhouse UConn to earn its trip.
Every single year, unbelievable endings are all but guaranteed and many unexpected heroes emerge. Their ranks include Steph Curry of Davidson, to Gordon Hayward of Butler, to TJ Sorrentine of Vermont. Rivalries have begun in the tournament, including the greatest individual rivalry in basketball history, Larry Bird vs. Magic Johnson.
Quite simply, March Madness is a magical time of year for basketball fans, a couple weeks where basketball seems pure and exactly how it’s meant to be.
Can you tell that I’m excited?