March is an exciting time in the college sports world. The madness is about to erupt. After months of preparation the entire college hockey world awaits selection Sunday. However, as important and exciting that is to me, there is a more widely recognized and commercial March Madness. The NCAA basketball tournament is comprised of 65 teams, 31 automatic invites based on league championships, and then surrounded by the best 34 teams in Division 1 basketball. Selection Sunday is an exciting time for many, a stressful one for others, and a disappointing end for many. Coaches, players, fans, and alumni root on there favorite team from October on in hopes of having there name announced on or around 6pm EST on Selection Sunday. This past Sunday the field of 65 was announced, and there were a few teams jubilated to hear there name announced. The Arizona Wildcats had stressed since being eliminated from there conference tournament and the automatic bid went out the window. As they sat as a team on Sunday that had hoped they did enough to convince the committee that they were worthy of be an NCAA contender. As the time approached the stress level was rising and then the moment came. Arizona was in the tournament. The coach had commented that his team released thestress by dancing and jumping on chairs and tables. The ecstatic coach replied jokingly with if they had played with this emotion during season then selection Sunday could have been a peaceful one and notstressful, because they would have been confident that they had earned a berth in the NCAA tournament. On the other hand, we look at a team such as St. Mary’s. This is a team who is in a mid major conference where only one or two teams make the NCAA tournament per year. St. Mary’s had one 26 games compared to only 6 losses. At the beginning of the year the team knew that they needed to schedule a tough out of conference schedule to be considered fort the tournament. Many felt that St. Mary’s had accomplished the goal and deserved a trip to the NCAA tournament. As the team sat around on Sunday watching and waiting I can only imagine the frustration and stress on the part of the team and university when there name was not announced. They were one of the last few teams eliminated and it is felt that they were bumped out by teams such as USC and Mississippi St who made the tournament based on there league championship and had no shot otherwise. As I sat home Sunday night watching ESPNU I could see the stress and frustration on Dick Vitale a well respected analyst in the college basketball world. He showed how much he cared for this team and what the program had gone through to compile a successful season only for it to be ripped away. As Dick and many others are adamant that St. Mary’s deserved a chance, there is an equal group taking the opposite stance saying that St. Mary’s did not do enough to deserve a chance. Now that the field is set the stress levels of all involved can continue to rise. This is the fun stress that causes the excitement that we know of as March Madness. With a one and done tournament setting any team could win on any given night and therefore the bracket becomes unpredictable. Over the next several weeks one by one teams will battle on the hardwood until only one stands, and he can call himself an NCAA Division 1 men’s basketball NATIONAL CHAMPION.
March Madness=Stess for 64 teams a Championship for 1 team