During my first reporting experience I decided to go to local lounge that provided live music, beer, food and a lot of big TV’s, everything that a sports fanatic needs. Regardless if you are a fan or not, March has so much importance in sports. It is a month dedicated to basketball. During this 31 day stretch, there is guaranteed to be at least 5-6 games on television between NCAA Mens/Womens Basketball Tournament and the NBA.
Nothing can excite basketball fans more than March Madness. Even if you are strictly NCAA or NBA, there is so much basketball on that you learn to appreciate the game and how hard the athletes work to perfect their craft. March allows fans to see the best players on the collegiate level play each other, showing the world how high the ceiling could be. It also allows NBA fans to be excited for the next year. If your team has no chance to make the playoffs, march is the month you might see the next potential all-star that may be drafted in late June.
Going to Buffalo Iron works on Illinois St. it was the perfect place a basketball fan would need to be. People screaming about busted brackets, North Carolina fans trying to kill Duke fans, people giving up money because of prior bets, it was the perfect environment for everyone to come together for the love of the game.
NBA jerseys and collegiate jerseys filled the room as everyone wanted to be the person representing their favorite teams. Being a Duke fan, wearing a University at Buffalo hoodie was in my best interest.
Between men’s and women’s basketball, once the clock struck noon, there was games on for the next 11 hours. While there were commercials, with the sheer amount of games being played, switching the channel would present you a new game to watch.
As I worked my way around the pub, I desperately searched for someone that had a perfect bracket to have their insight on the games. After talking with a few people, I found the gem in the rough. A Buffalo native, Alex dared to make picks on his bracket that left me dumbfounded. Thinking about my bracket, I used intuition and teams background to make my picks but his seemed completely random. Having multiple Cinderella teams and upsets, it seemed like it was just an ordinary guy wanting to see if he could strike gold purely based on luck.
What I’ve learned over the years about making a bracket is that the impossible will happen. There is a reason why Warren Buffet is willing to give away a substantial amount of money to anyone with a perfect bracket. But Alex used more than just teams success in the post season, he wanted the hidden stats. He told me that if you could approximate how well a player does when guarded by another all-star or a bench player, that you could see how the player will perform and the impact that he/she will have.
This is something I wouldn’t expect because if I had to pick between Duke or Seton Hall, the Blue Devils are going to steamroll the Pirates. But I’ve seen upsets happen based on the facts that Alex told me. Not every athlete can perfectly match up with their opponent, that is why they train and study so they can familiarize themselves with the enemy. While on T.V athletes seem almost invincible with everyone thinking that there is nothing they can’t do. But they are people just like me, around my age playing basketball. There are players that I would hate to match-up against and no matter how hard I try, I could never get around. During March Madness, this is on display for everyone to not only see the hard work and success some of these athletes have but also their weakness is exposed to anyone watching.
March Madness is a time of the year that nothing else matters besides basketball. It is a coming together of all people regardless of age, race, religion or ethnic background. Sports have consistently reminded the world that everyone can work together when a goal wants to be achieved. Because no matter where you are from, sports can bring the worst of enemies together.