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March to your own dribble

NCAA Tournament leaves fans “mad,” with excitement.

Despite+the+fact+that+filling+out+a+flawless+bracket+is+a+one+in+9.2+quintillion+chance%2C+fans+still+make+their+bets+in+anticipation+for+inevitable+wins.+%0A
Despite the fact that filling out a flawless bracket is a one in 9.2 quintillion chance, fans still make their bets in anticipation for inevitable wins.

Despite the fact that filling out a flawless bracket is a one in 9.2 quintillion chance, fans still make their bets in anticipation for inevitable wins.

Illustration by Stephanie Hak

Illustration by Stephanie Hak

Despite the fact that filling out a flawless bracket is a one in 9.2 quintillion chance, fans still make their bets in anticipation for inevitable wins.

Matthew Simon, Sports Editor

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With the second week of March upon us, it’s time for the greatest sporting event of all — the NCAA Tournament — or as some like to call it: “March Madness.”

Yes, I just said that the NCAA Tournament is better than the Super Bowl, World Cup, World Series, Stanley Cup and the Olympics.

It’s a tournament where 64 college programs around the country compete in win-or-go-home games to take the top spot as the best basketball team in the country.

It’s a three-week roller coaster ride of emotions and the occasional Cinderella story, in which case the underdog takes out a top team to advance further into the tournament.

It’s a time when, across the nation, college basketball fans and those who don’t know anything about the sport will fill out a bracket in attempt to have the perfect sheet or the final winner. People fill out these brackets in an attempt to predict how the tournament will go from game to game.

And although the odds of filling out a flawless bracket are one in 9.2 quintillion according to Forbes, fans still fill out 70 million brackets year after year.

Along with the long odds and copious surprises, this tournament also puts a spotlight on women’s basketball, which can also provide some of the biggest moments for college athletes.

March Madness is where a No. 1 seed in a bracket can lose to a No. 16 seed, like in 1998 when Harvard’s women’s team made history by beating top-ranked Stanford 71-67. This feat has never been accomplished since.

The NCAA Tournament provides something that no other sport in the world can give you at any moment — utter disbelief and astonishment over what just happened game after game, like in 2013 when Florida Gulf Coast University, a No. 15 seed knocked off No. 2 seed Georgetown in only its second year of Division I tournament eligibility.

March Madness can be truly maddening, but it is also a time where legends are made and NBA prospects are born.

This was the case for Golden State’s MVP and superstar guard Stephen Curry.

His ascent began during the 2008 NCAA Tournament, when he took Davidson one shot away from the Final Four when he was just scrawny sophomore who didn’t get any offers from big-time colleges.

It was in that game against No. 1 seed Kansas, after scoring 128 points in the tournament up to that point, Curry passed the ball to Jason Richards instead of taking the shot himself and Richard missed, effectively ending Davidson’s Cinderella story. Those are the moments that make this tournament so special, because although they lost, they made it further than expected.

It’s where you stand up and shout when teams lose when they should have won, but that’s why so many people appreciate the tournament — because everyone likes a good underdog story.

March will have you sitting at the edge of your seat as your palms begin to sweat, as you anxiously wait to see if your favorite team or pick is going to pull out the win.

It’s a time of madness because in a game of runs, March brings even more of the unexpected.

This will be the first time I pay extra attention to the tournament.

Although Long Beach State’s men’s team will not be represented in the men’s tournament, our very own women’s team will be competing in the tournament in Corvallis on Friday against the No. 8 team in the nation, Oregon State, in the first round of the women’s NCAA tournament.

While a No. 15 seed has never defeated a No. 2 seed, people continue to watch the Tournament in anticipation of such a victory.

And after LBSU’s two consecutive one-point wins to win the Big West Championship, I sit here wondering — why not?

Why can’t the team that turned heads in its first appearance in the NCAA Tournament since 1992, which was back when the Dream Team was created to compete in the Olympics, before any of the current team members was born.

The 49ers will be a heavy underdog.

LBSU is that mid-major team that most country hasn’t heard of, but here on campus we know this team.

They are the ladies that we take classes with, share the same halls with and struggle through midterms with. They may be on a national stage, but this a time where they will represent the college and the student body.

Why can’t this team loaded with seniors pull off the unthinkable? This team is used to being doubted with its backs against the wall.

So, on Friday night when the final buzzer sounds in Corvallis, Oregon State may be the winner or LBSU could be victorious, you just never know.

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1250 Bellflower Blvd. Long Beach, CA 90840 -- LA-4 201  --  (562) 985-8000.
March to your own dribble