The Madness of March

Liv Pennie, Student Writer

  The 2019 March Madness bracket was released on Sunday, March 17th. This day is known as Selection Sunday. 68 teams make it into the March Madness Tournament. That number is including the First Four games. The tournament begins with the First Four on Tuesday, March 19th. The First Four is a kickoff to the actual tournament. There are eight teams that compete to get one of the four open slots in the bracket. The winners of the four games will move on to the actual tournament. The teams competing for one of the four slots are North Carolina Central University (NCCU), North Dakota State University (NDSU), Belmont University, Temple University, Fairleigh Dickinson University (FDU), Prairie View A&M University (PV A&M), Arizona State University (ASU), and St. John’s University. NCCU will be versing NDSU, Belmont vs. Temple, FDU vs. PV A&M, and ASU vs. St. John’s University.

  The PV A&M vs. FDU and Temple vs. Belmont games will be held on Tuesday, March 19th. The NCCU vs. NDSU and St. John’s vs. ASU games will be held on Wednesday, March 20th. The winner of the NCCU vs. NDSU game will be playing Duke, the number one seed in the east region. The winner of the Belmont vs. Temple game will be playing Maryland, the number six seed in the east division. The winner of the PV A&M vs. FDU game will be playing Gonzaga, the number one seed in the west division. Lastly, the winner of the ASU vs. St. John’s game will be playing Buffalo, the number six seed in the west division. The four number one ranked teams this year are Duke, Gonzaga, North Carolina, and Virginia. The four divisions in the tournament are the East, West, South, and Midwest. There are 16 teams that start in each division. The bracket is broken up into rounds; the first round, the second round, the sweet sixteen, the elite eight, the final four, and then the championship. The tournament will last up until Monday, April 8th.

  Games can be watched on CBS, TBS, TNT, and truTV. The American Gaming Association says that “Americans are expected to complete 70 million NCAA tournament brackets this year, risking on average $29 per bracket and contributing to the $10.4 billion that will be bet overall on March Madness.” Sean Yoder, a senior at Pennridge High School and Navy Basketball Recruit says that he participates in March Madness and he keeps in mind “possible upsets, seeds, what conference a team is in, and key players on each team” when making a bracket. No one has ever filled out a perfect bracket. The odds of filling out a perfect bracket are one in 9.2 quintillion. The closest anyone has gotten to a perfect bracket was up until the sweet sixteen round.  

  UCLA holds the record for the most national titles. They have won 11 NCAA Men’s Division 1 Basketball Championships. Ten out of the 11 winning titles have been coached by John Wooden. This year, most NCAA experts predict that Duke University is going to win the tournament. The Blue Devil’s have a conference record of 14-4 and their overall season record is 29-5. The team averages 83.5 points per game and 41.8 rebounds per game. Duke will be playing their first tournament game against ND State University at 7:10 PM, on Friday, March 22. John Dominic, a senior on the Pennridge High School basketball team says, “Duke will win because they have Zion.” Zion Williamson is a freshman at Duke University. He is 6’7” and weighs 285 lbs. He averages 22.2 points per game with 8.7 rebounds. Zion is a phenomenal player because he plays not only great offense, but great defense too. If Duke loses the tournament, they will have millions of upset fans and March Madness fanatics.