March Madness Soon to Begin

by Bridget Richard

With the season of March officially underway, one of the largest sports phenomena will soon take place: March Madness. This annual basketball tournament began back in 1939, between 16 high school basketball teams, called the “Sweet Sixteen.” Since then, the event has grown into the pinnacle of college sports that many know it as today.

This year’s March Madness has several prominent corporate partners and “corporate champions,” as they are referred to in the NCAA, the National Collegiate Athletic Association, including Coca-Cola, Capital One, and Allstate. Businesses can get involved in the madness in other ways as well. CBS and Turner Broadcasting have reported that they have filled almost every commercial spot for the entire tournament, along with record ad revenue. March Madness airtime is now almost as expensive as a commercial during the Super Bowl.

March Madness begins this year on March 15. What more, the “First Four” rounds take place locally at the University of Dayton Arena.

Here is a Tournament Schedule and Location List:

First Four: March 15-16, UD Arena Dayton, Ohio

First and Second Rounds:

March 17, 19 at Wells Fargo Arena, Des Moines, Iowa; PNC Arena, Raleigh, N.C.; Pepsi Coliseum, Denver; Dunkin Donuts Center, Providence, R.I.

March 18, 20 at Barclays Center, Brooklyn, N.Y.; Scottrade Center, St. Louis; Chesapeake Energy Center, Oklahoma City; Veterans Memorial Arena, Spokane, Wash.

West Regional: March 24, 26 Honda Center, Anaheim, Calif.

South Regional: March 24, 26 KFC YUM! Center, Louisville, Ky.

Midwest Regional: March 25, 27 United Center, Chicago, Ill.

East Regional: March 25, 27 Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia, Pa.

Final Four:

April 2, 4 NRG Stadium, Houston, Texas

Another important aspect of March Madness is the brackets that many fans make, predicting which teams will move on from each preliminary round before the tournament even begins. Creating a completely accurate bracket is not very probable, as fivethirtyeight.com explained in an article posted last year on their website. They claim that if fans used their website’s predictors for each game, they would still only have a 1 in 1,610,543,269 chance in creating a completely correct bracket. NCAA wrote in an article, released on March 1, that “From 2011 to 2015, all brackets in the Bracket Challenge Game, the official bracket game of the NCAA, were busted in the first round. ”

But those rates don’t stop several BHS students from joining in on the fun. One junior commented, saying that, “Some websites can offer cash prizes for having a perfect bracket. I know I won’t make a perfect one, but it’s like the lottery for sports. It’s fun either way.”

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