The Madness of March

Two weeks into March Madness and this season’s tournament has truly lived up to its name. Over the past two weeks, there have been constant headlines of Cinderella stories and upset after upset. 

This year it seems like David has taken over Goliath. No “blue blood” teams remain and most big-name schools were knocked out of the bracket early. For the first time since the seeding began in 1979, there were zero No.1 seeds in the Elite Eight and now there are no number one, two or three seeds remaining as we have the final four teams set. That is truly madness. 

I knew it was going to be a great tournament right from the start. The round of 64 left all 20 million brackets shook after a 16 seed brought down a number one seed for the second time in history. 

Fairleigh Dickinson came into the tournament as the shortest listed team and had to face the 7-foot-4 monster of Zach Edey of the first-seeded Purdue Boilermakers. Their five-out offense ran circles on him and was able to knock Purdue out of the playoffs in the first round. This gave FDU their first March Madness win and advanced them to the second round. Although they lost in the second round, they entered the tournament as the shortest team, but left as the largest and most talked about. 

Luckily for FDU, they were knocked out by another underdog. The nine-seeded Florida Atlantic Owls bested FDU and carried their torch throughout the rest of the tournament. The Owls remain in the final four after knocking off No.4 Tennessee in the Sweet Sixteen and No.3 Kansas State in the Elite Eight. This team now has a legitimate shot at winning it all and becoming the lowest seed to ever win the tournament. Another shining example of a Cinderella story. 

These cases of underdogs winning and making runs in such a huge tournament showcase why this is the best tournament in all of the sports. Sure, in the NFL you may see a wild card team make a deep run for the Superbowl or even become champions, but that should be expected. Those are all players who get paid millions to play and are at the very top of their game. They are players that are showcased daily throughout the season and that play their sport for a living. That should also be expected for every other professional sport. 

What happens every March in college basketball truly is special. These students attend class and then they are expected to go play in front of millions of viewers during the tournament. With no money involved for most small schools, they shock the world and simply survive and advance. 

To put in perspective, FDU play’s in an arena that can only hold 1,852 fans. Purdue’s arena can host 14,240. The difference in that is crazy. On top of that, the small schools get no media coverage throughout the entire year and are expected to lose with ease to the powerhouse schools. But it is never that simple. 

Florida Atlantic now looks to play the fifth-seeded San Diego State Saturday and if they win, they have a chance at making history in the championship game. If this tournament hasn’t already proven why you should never count out an underdog, Florida Atlantic may prove it by winning it all. This is why the madness of March is so special.

Write to Luke Jackson at

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