By CASEY MUSE JR.
Ah, March. This the month in which the weather warms, the plants grow and the nation’s most intense single-elimination sports tournament occurs.
The NCAA Division I men’s basketball tournament will take place March 14-April 3, with games occurring in venues all across the country.
The tournament is an opportunity for 68 college teams that all hope to hoist a gold-plated Wooden NCAA National Championship trophy.
It’s also one of the biggest and most viewed sporting events in North America.
The 2016 national championship game between Villanova University and the University of North Carolina drew 17.8 million viewers, according to the International Business Times.
People everywhere wait for the fateful Sunday when they can begin filling out their personal brackets.
This year’s Selection Sunday falls on March 12.
Everyone attempts to display college basketball genius as they predict various upsets across their bracket.
Some participate in online challenges or office pools for money.
This is what “March Madness” is all about.
Many tune into games in which they have no personal interest, just to root for the underdog.
People at work can be found sneaking a stream on their office computer or smartphone.
There is something about the tournament that makes everyone act a little crazy.
This year provides a bit of hometown incentive for Arizonans, as the Final Four will be held at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale.
The Arizona site marks the first time a Final Four has been scheduled in the west since 1995, when it was held in Seattle.
The presale cost is up, with single- game Final Four tickets costing anywhere from $230 to $430.
Many take the gamble of purchasing tickets in hopes that their favorite team will make it. Some have no dog in the fight and just go to enjoy the experience.
Regardless of personal motives, the Final Four and the entire NCAA tournament truly make the month of March special.
Fill out your brackets, represent your school and enjoy the greatest tournament in America.
Who do you think will win it all? Share your prediction in a comment below.