March Madness is a NCAA single-elimination tournament during the month – you guess it – March. From 358 D1 college basketball teams, 68 of those teams can qualify to participate in this tournament. So even topped ranked teams who are expected to be in the Final Four (ahem Houston), can be blocked out of the tournament by a lower seed team.
Lucas Heidberger, the director of Student Programs at Northwestern, has a history with NW and the bracket competition that he would be a part of on campus. “My freshman year of college was the first time where I really got pulled into some of the March Madness,” Lucas said. “Back then, Hospers would set up 4 tv’s in their lobby, and we had a giant 6-ft bracket printed on the wall. The lobby was busy all March, and that was awesome, because after the winter months where people seem to keep more to themselves, you’re suddenly getting warmer weather again outside, and all the guys in the dorm are gathering together in the lobby.” Seeing that Heidberger enjoys a good competition, he enjoys watching the heated debates and competition that March Madness has to offer. “I love trying to predict upsets and fill out a few brackets, I love seeing those buzzer beater moments that throw everything into chaos, and I love how it brings people together to hang out together and watch a sporting event,” Lucas said. Even now, he enjoys seeing the undergrad students, grad students, faculty, staff, adjunct profs and even some alumni posting their brackets in the NW bracket challenge.
Brian Follett, the resident director of Coly, has a history with March Madness “I have great memories when I was younger, sitting on my grandpa’s lap going over the bracket and hearing his picks,” Follett said. Since the first March Madness games have begun, he had four telvisions watching different games and had a group of guys watching the games at all times. “The first four days of it when there is basketball non-stop is amazing. You never know what is going to happen and the stakes are massive for the teams. But another part I love about it is the community. Everyone loves making a bracket and then talking about it,” Brian said.
Brian said, “Once in a while, sports and specific sporting events like March Madness can transcend the trivial and make deep connections and create memories that last a lifetime.” As we wrap up March Madness 2023, enjoy watching the games with the people you enjoy.