Since I was in fifth grade I have been obsessed with the NCAA March Madness tournament. For me it has been my outlet to distract from anything going on in my personal life. I played basketball for roughly ten years, whenever I would step on the court it was as if I was stepping into a different world and it felt so good to leave whatever was happening around me on the sideline. However when I found the NCAA tournament it was like I was stepping into the world of basketball in a whole new way.
I figured out how to work a bracket and then I would learn a little about each team competing and from that tournament on I would wait all year to watch my bracket come to life. At around seventh grade I started putting the bracket on my bedroom wall so that I could see the bigger picture and I would put the amount of points I thought each team would score based off of their season stats. Depending on the outcome I would either put another piece of paper over my prediction or I would draw on the correct prediction sheet.
The best part of March Madness is that you truly never know what is going to happen. Take this year for example, I did my pre-tournament research on UCLA and I thought they were going to lose against Michigan State in one of the first four games to allow them into the tournament, but out of nowhere came Johnny Juzang. Coming alive in overtime to defeat the Spartans, he was scoring shot after shot and led UCLA to a victory. He would then go on to lead the charge for UCLA to win against BYU and ACU and now UCLA will be playing on Sunday, March 28 at 5:15PM against Alabama to see if they will move on to the Elite Eight.
Even when your bracket gets broken, the games are still exhilarating because you have so many choices to make it the start and then you watch each choice unfold. I am a huge University of Michigan fan and I watch every one of their games and even in games that I think they are going to demolish their opponent I still sit and watch every play, every shot, every little detail to see if a small mistake is going to cost them the game.
I have been told time and time again that the way that I view March Madness is unique, and it is but I would never trade it. I feel like it is my time to relax and be fully invested in something I have no control over. Everyone should have a way to feel about something the way I feel about March Madness because this type of release goes further than just watching a game. These releases help relieve stress which can lower your chance of heart disease and complications later on in life. Plus, why can’t something that is going to take away from your daily stress be something that is fun to watch? That mentality alone is what makes me so excited about March, being able to set my worries about life aside and be fully involved in something that is so much bigger than myself.