March Madness brackets: competitive fun for sports fans

March Madness brackets are extremely popular among college basketball fans, as the odds are low, but the prize is high.

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Skylar Smith '18

A prediction for the Final Four on an official CBS Sports March Madness bracket.

Katie Shyman, Writer

With the month of March, some may think of spring break while others think of the great weather. But for sports fanatics, March Madness is one of the first things that comes to mind. College basketball fans are always eager to place their bets in pools and fill out their brackets. 68 teams originally qualify, then it halves to 32. It then halves to the Sweet Sixteen, and then to eight. Finally, it reaches the Final Four, which will be hosted here in our own state of Arizona.

For college basketball fans, it’s always fun to fill out a bracket and see how far your picks make it. Most avid sports fan typically do it on stats, such as how many games a team has won and lost this season. Additionally, it can be exciting when the schools of one of your parents or someone you know is playing, as that connection always makes for more enthusiastic cheering.

Junior Annika Nielson said about her bracket, “I had U of A winning of course! They had a great team this year. My favorite part is competing with friends and family and it’s just a fun way to bring everyone together. We all sit around and watch the championship game and it’s awesome.”

Though a perfect bracket is sought by all who participate, it is extremely difficult to achieve. According to a press release by DePaul University, the odds of getting a perfect bracket are around one in 9.2 quintillions. In other words, it’s more likely one will win the jackpot than get a perfect bracket. This year, one bracket was correct for 39 games until Purdue beat Iowa State, according to the National Collegiate Athletic Association. Until this bracket, the most perfect bracket was correct for 36 games. However, these odds don’t stop sports fans from trying to pick a perfect bracket, as the prize for one is exorbitant. Billionaire Warren Buffett is offering one million dollars a year for life to anyone who can achieve a perfect bracket.

With this prize and the fun that fans have while choosing their picks, it’s no wonder that March Madness brackets are very popular.