March Madness rocks us

Associated Press
Georgia guard Billy Humphrey (left) drove into Xavier guard Dante Jackson during the second half in a first-round NCAA West Regional basketball game Thursday in Washington. Xavier defeated Georgia, 73-61, to advance to the second round.

I consider myself to be a pretty knowledgeable sports fan. I follow the NFL during playoffs, watch college football and keep up with British soccer.

There is a certain month of the year when my attention rests solely on college basketball, however. That month, of course, is March, and the Madness is now upon us.

What sets the NCAA college basketball tournament apart is its sheer size. Sixty-four teams (65 if you count the play-in game) battling all day in the remaining days of March. Throw in the bracketology shows and almost 24/7 commentary on the action and you have the most intriguing sporting event of the year.

March Madness is also my favorite time of the year because it gives me my only viable excuse to camp out in front of the TV with an array of snacks spread out before me, soaking in the games. Decreased productivity during March is not just a teenage thing.

In 2006, Forbes.com reported that the consulting firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas predicted that $3.8 billion would be lost in productivity because of workers checking scores instead of typing reports that year. The numbers speak for themselves: America loves March Madness as well as not working.

In other sports, the propensity of the weaker teams to win is much smaller than in college basketball. Every year, unheard-of teams shock the expert analysts with amazing tournament runs. Rarely can you witness the type of fervor the fans of these teams exude. Besides, who doesn't love an underdog? Everyone remembers a year when a team such as George Mason came along and ruined his or her bracket by upsetting the powerhouses. The unpredictable nature of the event is unrivaled in the sports world.

If you're still not convinced that March is the best month for sports, I challenge you to find another sport that has the intense rivalries, the huge tournament, the hype, the dedicated fans and the media coverage. Until someone can find an event that has all of these, March Madness reigns.

Stefan O'Kula is a sophomore at Augusta Preparatory Day School.

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