Sequoia’s March Madness

Every year, starting in March and ending in the beginning of April, the NCAA Men’s and Women’s Division 1 Basketball Championships come packed full of shocking upsets, heartbreaking defeats and finishes by crowning two colleges as the best in the United States. Sequoia has many students who actively take part in March Madness.

There are many different ways students can have fun with March. Almost every single sports website, such as ESPN and Bleacher Report, offer brackets, and some, such as ESPN, Yahoo and, offer the chance to compete with friends in groups. March Madness gets its name from the infamous unpredictability of the tournament. No. 16 seed has ever beaten a no. 1 seed, but besides that almost anything that can be dreamed up has happened, from half-court buzzer beaters to upset that no one saw coming. This past NCAA Tournament, Michigan State, Vegas’s title favorite, lost in the first round to Middle Tennessee State.

Unfortunately, March Madness can be very distracting, especially in the first couple of days as March Madness games take place throughout the day, and for many highly competitive students who fill out and possibly even bet on brackets, every game matters. However, to some teachers, the effect of March Madness isn’t that bad.

“Yeah, I would say so [March Madness] districts some of the students sometimes.” physics teacher Allison Staffordd said But it’s just like any other event that happens outside of school.”

Another factor of March’s unpredictability is how common late-game heroics are in the tournament. March has a habit of making unforgettable moments: just in the first round this year’s tournament has already provided numerous buzzer-beaters and last minute comebacks. Syracuse University’s ability to make the final four has been especially crazy, as many members of the sports community such as Andrew Johnson of USA Today have argued that Syracuse should never have made the tournament in the first place.

“Syracuse’s run was crazy I mean I don’t think they should have even been in the tournament.” Fantasy sports club president Dominic Digrande “Their record throughout the regular season was awful, they didn’t do anything well. Their coach was suspended. But, they’ve shown that they’re supposed to be in this tournament and that they are one of the best teams in the nation.”

The tournament’s unpredictability makes it difficult for even the most intense fans to accurately pick all games. Bleacher Report put the odds of a perfect bracket right around 1 in 9.2 quintillion, while DePaul University Professor Jeff Bergen had the odds at 1 in 128 billion if you have a capable understanding of college basketball, as opposed to just guessing. Yet, 40 million Americans will create 70 million brackets according to American Gaming Association.

“I think [creating brackets] is more fun because you can compete with your friends,” Abou Serhal said “and I feel like everyone has that small little hope in them that maybe one day they’ll pick all 64 games right, and I think it keeps you interested and lets you have fun with friends.”

March Madness Brackets are famous for gambling. No one knows the exact number of how much money is bet on March Madness, but Bloomberg calculates that it is probably around 12 billion. The NCAA discourages gambling on their website, however, gambling gives a greater incentive to people to watch more games according to, and as more people watch the NCAA’s profit lines move up accordingly.

Some leagues in Sequoia have decided not to gamble money, but instead find something a little more creative to deter their group members from joining.

“In one of my leagues with my friends, winner has to pick a haircut for the loser,” Digrande said “that’s a pretty bad one, I hope that I’m not going to lose that one.”

While it is a little too late to create a bracket and join a league this year, next year is a whole different story. March Madness groups are hosted by students all over campus and the Fantasy Sports Club hosts a league that is open to any Sequoia student. Also, major sites such as ESPN and Yahoo allow users to create a bracket just for fun, without competition.

2016 winner: Villanova


2016 runner up: UNC(University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill)

Top 8 March Madness Moments

1 Villanova beats UNC with buzzer beater to win National Championship

2 Vegas’s Title Favorite Michigan State was upset in the first round by Middle Tennessee State University

3 10 Seed Syracuse makes final four

4 UNC’s Marcus Paige ties National Championship with 4 seconds left

5 Northern Iowa beats Texas with half-court buzzer beater.

6 Texas A&M goes on 14-2 run in final 33 seconds to beat Northern Iowa

7 Wisconsin wins with a buzzer beater three

8 Iowa beats Temple on buzzer beater