Why March Madness Is One Of The Greatest Sporting Events Ever

The 2021 March Madness Tournament recently ended, with the Baylor Bears taking home the title. (edited by me.)

The 2021 March Madness Tournament recently ended, with the Baylor Bears taking home the title. (edited by me.)

Jake Williams, Journalist

The allure of the annual March Madness Tournament is one that is truly unique and is a joy to witness. The 2021 tournament is finally over, with the Baylor Bears winning the national championship game. Due to the pandemic, the 2020 NCAA March Madness tournament was cancelled, but returned this year for the 2021 season, centralized in the city of Indianapolis, Indiana, as well as the greater area around it.

The NCAA senior vice president of basketball, Dan Gavitt once said prior to the event, “The 2021 version of March Madness will be one to remember, if for no other reason than the uniqueness of the event.”

With more than an entire year of absence from watching a game from this college basketball tournament, I began to appreciate the spectacle of watching it unfold a lot more, and started noticing the multitude of reasons why the tournament is so special.

If you are looking at a bracket for the first time, you’ll notice the sheer size of the tournament, with a massive 68 teams participating at the beginning, from all around the country. This can bring in college basketball behemoths such as North Carolina, Gonzaga, and Virginia, but also smaller universities such as UC Santa Barbara, Oral Roberts, and Abilene Christian. With that being said, the round of 64 and round of 32 is extremely chaotic, but in the best way possible. There are games on all day long for the first few days, and these opening rounds can yield many upset victories with the “David” team toppling “Goliath”.

An example of this occurring this year is number 15 seed team, Oral Roberts managing to defeat the number 2 seed Ohio State, and then following that performance up by downing the 7 seed Florida a few days later. This of course, is impressive by itself, but is made even more impressive by the fact that Oral Roberts is a member of the Summit League, a small midwestern conference that few have heard of, compared to the conferences Ohio State and Florida are from, the Big 10 and SEC, two of the largest conferences in the country. Oral Roberts also only has a school population of 3,462 and an athletic budget of $12 million. Their opponents that they defeated? Ohio State has a school population of 66,444 and an athletic budget of $233.9 million, and Florida has a school population of 52,367 and a $141.8 million budget for athletics. The fact that a small and largely unknown religious school in Oklahoma was able to defeat two giant universities with gigantic budgets and some of the top recruits around the country is just one of the most magical aspects of the annual March Madness tournament, and is one that cannot be found in any other postseason, regardless of sport.

When the tournament begins to wind down into the final four and elite eight stages, it still manages to be really good. The games become much tighter and have hectic moments in the final minutes of the game that are insanely gripping and nail biting. Both teams play as hard as they can, as it is a matter of life and death in the bracket. It determines who gets to stay in the final stage and fight for the national championship, and who is going home and trying again next year. However, in a tournament with 68 teams in it, getting to the same stage again the next year can be difficult, and the teams and coaches both know it. An example of one of these games this year was the Gonzaga vs. UCLA game in the Final Four, where Jalen Suggs of the Gonzaga Bulldogs hit the game winning three point shot to win the game in overtime.

Suggs reflected on the shot after the game, saying, “I was just thinking, ‘Please go in, I don’t want another overtime”.

The game was close the entire way and to top it off with a game winning buzzer beater after a hard fought game was a thrilling way to win a game. As a UCLA fan, it was tough to swallow, but it was still an excellent game to watch, and could only be found in March Madness.


Photos after the game of Oral Roberts beating Ohio State (top) and Gonzaga winning in overtime (bottom) against the UCLA Bruins. (edited by me.)


The strangest thing about the tournament is how it is so drastically different than the college basketball regular season. In my opinion, the regular season for college basketball is fairly mediocre, and the postseason is incredible. Strangely enough, this is the exact inverse of my opinion for the college football season, where I think the regular season is fantastic to watch, and the postseason is just okay. During the regular season of college basketball, it’s fairly low stakes for most of the year, as many of the most powerful schools are almost guaranteed to be a lock to get in the tournament and all of the smaller schools that end up making a run in March are still fairly unknown and have not endeared themselves in front of a large audience yet.

While the NCAA hasn’t quite mastered the regular season of college basketball, they did manage to nail their postseason format, offering what in my opinion is the best postseason in any league in all of sports, with only maybe the NFL and MLB rivaling them. March Madness is truly a sight to behold, and it is one that you should tune into next year if you’re a fan of sports and want to have a fun time watching a lot of games.