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The Pioneer

March Madness brings hope to fans

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March Madness brings hope to fans

PHOTO BY PHIL ROEDER/WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

PHOTO BY PHIL ROEDER/WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

PHOTO BY PHIL ROEDER/WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

By Haley Lyss, CONTRIBUTOR

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The larger than life, tournament of cliches, makes its way to our screens and pockets this week.
March Madness is not just a collegiate basketball tournament. It is a spectacle of proving that the impossible is possible and that there is a happily ever after.
Moments like when coach Jimmy Valvano took North Carolina State all the way to win the championship in 1983 or when Stephen Curry was put on the NBA map when he took Davidson all the way to the Elite Eight can be extremely inspiring for fans.
Last year, 97 million viewers tuned in for the tournament from 180 countries, according to NCAA.com. It was a worldwide spectacle, with Villanova ultimately winning it all.
But there was one team that captivated the tournament, Loyola Chicago, the “Cinderella Team.” The team came out of nowhere with their larger than life chaplain, Sister Jean, the now 99 year old nun. They made headlines when the Ramblers upset Miami with a buzzer-beater, and then took it all the way to the Final Four.
One of the biggest gambling phenomenons is what is known as “brackets” during March Madness, where you fill out all the teams in the tournament and breakdown how you think they will do. Ultimately whoever has the most wins in the group participating will win the brackets.
Out of the 70 million brackets that the American Gambling Association accounts for during March Madness, only 1,584 were reported to have the Ramblers taking the entire tournament of course one of those being Sister Jean. The run by Loyola Chicago, which ruined millions of brackets around the world and had everyone in America rooting for them.
With 68 teams in the tournament, there is only about a 20 percent chance a top seeded team will actually run away with the championship, making the tournament and how brackets ultimately pan out, controversial.
The Duke Blue Devils are favored to win the tournament this year with 11/5 odds on Selection Sunday, according to Sportsbook.ag. Gonzaga and the University of North Carolina follow with odds of 5/1 and 6/1, respectively.
Last year, Villanova took home the championship even though their odds opening the tournament were 50/1. The first round of the tournament will be held in multiple cities around the country starting March 21, including San Jose which will also host eight teams in the first round on March 22.

 

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March Madness brings hope to fans