The unmatched energy of March Madness

There are over 20 Division I collegiate sports played at schools around the country. Most of these sports incorporate some sort of tournament-style play at some point in the season, but none of these games can compare to the best tournament in college sports: March Madness.

March Madness is the tournament all the Division I basketball teams, both men’s and women’s programs, dream of playing in. The games in March Madness are the most viewed college games of any sport, year-round. Millions of people watch March Madness every single year showing that there is no denying its popularity is nationwide.

One of the main reasons why March Madness is so popular is because of its single elimination bracket format. A whopping total of 64 teams across the country have the honor of being selected to play in the tournament each year. This makes for a humongous bracket with countless games to watch.

Additionally, the bracket aspect definitely appeals to sports fans and even just the general population more than other college tournaments. This is because people are able to use websites and apps, such as “ESPN Tournament Challenge,” to fill out their own brackets by predicting the outcomes of the tournament. People could enter playing pools against each other, allowing friends, family, and even strangers to be competitive against one another. With people hoping their brackets do well, this causes them to automatically be more engaged and excited about games in the March Madness tournament.

Another aspect that March Madness provides that other sports might not is the thrill of Cinderella-story teams. Throughout the years, viewers of the tournament have seen small schools beat some of the best basketball programs in the country. For example, in 2023 Purdue men’s basketball was a #1 seed in the tournament and ended up losing to the #16 seed Fairleigh Dickinson Knights. There are countless more examples of upsets, but the point here is that in other sports such as football, viewers will never see a top team in the country match up against a small program in a playoff format. March Madness gives fans an underdog story appeal, which is something fans want to see.

The popularity, format and drama of the March Madness tournament is unmatched compared to any other college sports tournament. Whenever the month of March comes around, the tournament never disappoints its audience.