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The Student News Site of Lafayette High School

The Lafayette Times

The Student News Site of Lafayette High School

The Lafayette Times

March Madness Is Around The Corner

The 2023 bracket for March Madness. The 2024 tournament is scheduled for March 19-April 8.
Official Website of the NCAA
The 2023 bracket for March Madness. The 2024 tournament is scheduled for March 19-April 8.

March Madness is just around the corner, and there are a lot of great teams competing for the championship and many underdogs who will have their own David and Goliath stories. March Madness is a three-week tournament comprising 68 NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association) men’s basketball teams, 32 Division One conference champions, and 36 teams awarded a spot by the March Madness selection committee. It is a single-elimination tournament, meaning that a team can only lose once until they are eliminated, and the winner moves on to the next round and eventually to the final four to determine the college basketball champion. March Madness has been hosted annually since 1939, except for 2020, when the tournament was canceled due to COVID-19. The tournament also has a women’s side, which brings just as much entertainment and shows off a lot of upcoming WNBA stars. March Madness is known for multiple things that make the tournament so appealing to watch. First off, the timing is perfect. The tournament is held in March, a quiet time in sports since the NFL season ended a month ago, and the NBA and NHL playoffs don’t start until a week or two after the end of March Madness. The MLB doesn’t have much during March except their spring training. Without March Madness, there would be a long stretch between the Super Bowl and the beginning of the NBA and NHL playoffs. The tournament also hosts multiple games throughout the day, entertaining fans at any time. During the second and third rounds of the tournament, approximately 48 games are played in just four days.

The Times interviewed nine people about whether or not they watch March Madness, and if they do, why. Freshman Ben Marsh responded, “I like watching March Madness because I like supporting the Cats (University of Kentucky’s basketball team).”

This was a recurring answer with the other eight people we interviewed. All nine said they enjoy watching UK play in March Madness. When our hometown team is in the bracket, it encourages us to watch them play on the big stage. March Madness can appeal to any fan base, even those not invested in basketball. Freshman Kade Bear MacQuestion, who isn’t an avid fan of basketball, still tunes in to watch March Madness, stating, “I enjoy watching March Madness…because of the excitement, the upsets, and you never know who is going to win the whole thing, sometimes the favorites of the tournament end up losing the first round to a lower-ranked team.”

Freshman JJ Richardson agreed and claimed that “March Madness is one of the most competitive events every year.” March Madness appeals to many fans, and most are willing to tune in during class and watch the tournament when it comes around.
There are many talented teams in this year’s tournament. There are also a lot of teams that could upset a higher-ranked team, like last year when 16-seed Fairleigh Dickinson University upset 1-seed Purdue in the first round or when 9-seed Florida Atlantic made it to the Final Four.

In the recent Top 25 rankings, the top four teams are Houston, Purdue, UConn, and Tennessee. Still, according to ESPN (Entertainment and Sports Programming Network), the teams with the best resumes are Purdue, UConn, Arizona, and Houston. According to FOX Sports, one of the top players in this year’s tournament is Purdue’s Zach Edey, last year’s National Player of the Year, and is this year’s frontrunner to win the award. Edey is currently averaging 23.7 points per game, which is 2nd highest average in college basketball. Edey also averages 11.8 rebounds and 2.2 blocks per game, leading Purdue to a 25-3 record and most likely their second straight number seed.

Kansas’s Hunter Dickinson and Kevin McCuller, North Carolina’s Armando Bacot, and RJ Davis are other top players. Kansas has a great duo with center Hunter Dickinson and guard Kevin McCullar. Dickinson, a 7’2” center who transferred in from Michigan, averages 18.3 points per game and 10.9 rebounds per game while also getting an average of 1.2 blocks per game. Kevin McCuller is Kansas’s shooting guard. He is averaging 19 points a game, 6.4 rebounds and 4.4 assists. McCuller is also one of the best defensive players in the country, averaging 1.5 steals a game. North Carolina’s Point guard and Center combo, RJ Davis and Armando Bacot, could threaten other teams in the tournament. RJ Davis is averaging 21.7 points per game and is also a candidate for National Player of the Year, and Bacot is a big man with an average of 14 points and 10.5 rebounds a game. March Madness will be great this year and fill the sports void during March. Many teams compete in the tournament, but who will take the trophy home is hard to guess.

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About the Contributors
Jackson Cox
Jackson Cox, Staff Writer
Jackson Cox is a freshman at Lafayette High School. He is 6’1 and plays baseball and basketball. During his free time, he likes watching the Seattle Seahawks and college football/basketball, cooking and eating food. Jackson's Family includes a little brother named Bennett, a dog named Louie, and two cats. Jackson joined Journalism because he thought that it would be fun.
Frank Frimpong
Frank Frimpong, Staff Writer
Frank Frimpong is a Freshman at Lafayette. He enjoys sports like basketball and soccer and likes to write about sports and opinions. He likes to watch sports in his free time or play video games. He enjoys writing sports articles for the Lafayette Times and informational articles.