March brings madness

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March Madness will reach pitch fever on March 16 during Selection Sunday, when seeds in the men’s NCAA basketball tournament are revealed.

Once games begin on March 18, it is win or go home for the 68 teams competing.

For the first few days, there will seem to be no end to tournament games broadcast on the CBS and Turner television networks.

Mid-major Cinderellas will rise and juggernauts will fall in arenas across the nation. From New York to San Diego, teams will leave it all on the floor, hoping to advance to the championship  game in Arlington, Texas, on April 7.

March Madness brings back memorable moments for many fans. Memories such as:

• Magic beating Bird in the 1979 national championship, leading to a heated rivalry later in the NBA.

• The shot heard around the world in 2008, when Mario Chalmers hit a game-tying three that ultimately led Kansas to a championship.

• Duke forward Christian Laettner drilling a desperation buzzer-beater that knocked out the Kentucky Wildcats in route to back-to-back championships in 1992.

• Head coach Jimmy Valvano and the North Carolina State Wolfpack’s victory over the Houston Cougars as Lorenzo Charles dunked an airball before time expired in the 1983 title game.

A staple of tournament excitement can be summed up in one word: bracketology.

Filling out tournament brackets is a way to get involved monetarily, emotionally and physically as people root for their team to make it to the championship game.

Businessman Warren Buffet is offering $1 billion to anyone who gets a perfect bracket. The odds turn out to be 1-in-9.2 quintillion.

Filling out a bracket is worthwhile because you get to enjoy games and see how good your predictions are. Who knows, you might even take your buddies’ money from it.

One powerhouse looking to win will be the University of Arizona. The Wildcats enter the tournament with high expectations of getting a No. 1 seed.

Since 1979, 17 of 34 teams given a No. 1 seed won the NCAA tournament.

No. 1 tournament seeds have never lost in the first round.

In the end, the tournament comes down to winning. Any team can beat another, even if the odds are against them.

That’s the beauty of March Madness.

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