March madness 2021
Friday March 13th, 2020, was a very memorable day. The pandemic took control and shut everything down. This was just one week before March Madness, one of the most watched tournaments in all of sports, was scheduled to take place. After a few modifications, they finally cancelled it, bringing sadness to many. This week though, one year later, the March Madness tournament is happening. Many would say it’s the perfect way to celebrate how far we have come in the last year.
March Madness is the NCAA division 1 basketball tournament that takes place in the spring every year. It’s a single elimination tournament, so millions of fans make brackets deciding how they think the tournament will play out. Billions of dollars are expected to be lost in businesses due to lost productivity from tournament viewers. It is one of the most watched sporting events every year, and so naturally, many fans were heartbroken when it was cancelled last year. Although the tournament is taking place, protocols will look different this year.
Just like all sports in the last year, extensive safety and health guidelines are in place for the players and coaches. The tournament is being held in Indiana, and each team has a whole floor to themselves in their respective hotels. Everybody affiliated with the tournament is constantly being tested. A few teams including Duke were forced to withdraw their spot in the tournament because of multiple positive tests just days before the start. These things are just the price to pay in order to play this tournament and other major events like it.
There’s already been some major upsets in the tournament, which is how you know March Madness is here. In the first round, one of the lowest ranked teams in the tournament, Oral Roberts, beat Ohio State, whom many were counting on to be a Final Four team. They then went on to win in the second round and are now in the sweet sixteen. Millions of perfect brackets have been busted by this random run by Oral Roberts, but that is part of the excitement. There’s a reason it’s called March Madness!
The NCAA tournament is in full swing. Fans are making up for not getting to see it last year and are completely embracing it. For many, it is something that represents the light at the end of the tunnel that we are slowly starting to see a year into the pandemic. While March Madness looks a little different this year, the spirit is very much alive.