What’s Up with March Madness 2021

Allison Gould, Life Editor

On Mar. 18, March Madness 2021, the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s Division 1 single-elimination basketball tournament, will kick off. Selection Sunday, the date when the NCAA selects the teams playing, as well as the various brackets, takes place on Mar. 14.

This year’s March Madness has undergone some alterations due to the state of our nation in regards to the COVID-19 pandemic. Rather than games located in stadiums from coast to coast, Indiana plans to exclusively hold March Madness, with a majority of the games in Indianapolis. Each team must experience the lack of home court advantage, which may potentially cause some of the teams to lose their motivation and excitement that originates from the cheering crowds.

March Madness draws upon a consistent fan base year after year, such as Miami Palmetto Senior High School senior Jesse Weingarden, who specifically roots for the University of Michigan.

“The teams playing won’t have the opportunity to play in front of their home crowds,” Weingarden said,“However, they won’t have to travel, making their lives easier.” 

 The tournament’s brackets, which have previously taken location into consideration, will be solely based on ranking, causing a slightly different amount of large-selection teams and automatic qualifiers.

While the NCAA has made many adjustments to the upcoming event, fans hope that the energetic atmosphere created by the 64-team tournament does not change. With this many teams, the supporters add a large aspect to March Madness. Although fans typically travel from all different parts of the nation, the NCAA has not made it clear whether or not in-person viewers can attend the games.

Austin Spiegelman, a Miami Palmetto Senior High School junior and avid basketball fan, looks forward to March Madness 2021, despite the alterations, due to the uncertainty of the games.

“There are always those fairy tale stories from the tournament where a low seed upsets a higher seed and the nation goes crazy. I think that is a huge factor that impacts the popularity of the tournament,” Spiegelman said.

As the teams play and one gets eliminated after the other, March Madness reaches the Final Four, an element that draws much attention to the tournament. With the set schedule, viewers plan to watch these games on Apr. 3 and 5. After the four teams play, the two winners will begin to work towards the championship title.

“My favorite part about March Madness is watching the championship for sure,” Spiegelman said. “To see the two teams that have fought all tournament to reach the finals battle it out for the championship is special and always exhilarating.”