The Big Dance starts: March Madness gets underwayPhoto

Sean Cherry, Staff Reporter

Some people might say “What is March Madness?” March Madness is the NCAA men’s basketball tournament. Selection Sunday, the first process of the tournament, occurred this past Sunday. Many teams came together for a dinner to sit down as they watched and waited for their team name to be called. Fans could watch the two-hour unveiling, or as happened this year, follow the leaked brackets on Twitter.

Every fan anticipates that moment when their team’s seed and name is called.

Sixty eight teams are placed into four different regions. There is the South, Midwest, East and West region. They have the First Four, First and Second round, Sweet Sixteen, Elite Eight, Final Four and then the National Championship. The teams that get bids to the NCAA tournament are 32 Conference Champions that get an automatic bid. Then there are 32 at-large teams and eight teams that are on the edge of having a strong enough season who fight for a spot in the tournament in the First Four action.

Many factors are considered when choosing the field of 68, and that’s why the NCAA made a committee to pick all the teams. This committee goes through a long process by which they select all the teams through many deciding factors like records and the competition the teams faced. So at the end of the day, a team might not fit the resume to go dancing in March. (The NCAA tournament is often referred to as “the big dance.”)

Larger conference teams, especially those that win their conference championships, tend to do very well in the NCAA tournament. They often look poised to make a run at the national title.

Michigan State looks like the favorite in a really good Big-10 this year as Tom Izzo and Denzel Valentine look to lead Sparty into the Final Four. Big-12 has Kansas and Oklahoma running the ranks in that conference as one of the best players in the nation, Buddy Hield, looks to overthrow now ranked number one Kansas.

In the SEC, Kentucky is having a little trouble this year but look to pull it together by tourney time as they have Texas A&M right on their heels. In the ACC there is really no clear favorite as there are five teams ranked in the top 25, but Virginia is looking to pull ahead of Marcus Paige and North Carolina. In the Pac-12, Oregon is looking like the favorite but with Utah, Arizona and California right behind. It looks like there will be a close race until the end. The Big East is showing much promise as Villanova and Xavier look to take on the tournament head on as they are both ranked in the top five as of now.

Before everybody starts filling out their bracket and their twelve-five upsets, take time to listen to the students. Some are simply rooting on a team.

“I think my Iowa Hawkeyes can really pull through this year,” freshman Ryne Singsank said.

Others are doing brackets for more than just their teams.

“I make six brackets just so I can beat out my family,” freshman Ryley Rathman said.

Still others don’t even care about the game.

“I really don’t watch basketball… I just choose the teams with the best name or mascot,” said freshman John Connelly. A tip to help people fill out their brackets as they contemplate who is gonna win it all: Start watching ESPN and CBS Sports to get some information on all the teams.

It’s stirring up to be one amazing March Madness this year with lots of upsets and buzzer beaters coming in the future.