March Madness Officially Underway

March Madness Officially Underway

John Madeira, Staff Writer

It’s the time of the year where every red blooded, sports loving American looks forward to; officially it’s called the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship, aka March Madness.

March Madness begins with championship week: the week before “Selection Sunday” when all the division I conferences host their own tournament championships and where tickets to the big dance are punched.

Championship week provides memories every year, and this year was no exception. The fabled Big East as fans know it is over as Syracuse, Pittsburgh, and Notre Dame are exiting the league next year to join the ACC with Louisville not far behind them.

The conference will live on though, as the “Catholic 7” schools (Big East basketball teams with no football interest) will try and rebuild the prestigious league while looking to add more teams.

The Louisville Cardinals took the crown in Madison Square Garden for the second straight year with an impressive comeback win over the Syracuse Orangemen.

The current ACC tournament also provided memorable moments.

With favorite Duke going down to Maryland, it cleared the way for a Miami vs. North Carolina show down, which turned into a track meet. Miami pulled out the W in the end and became the first ACC school not named Duke or North Carolina to claim both the regular season and tournament championship since NC State in 1974.

However, March Madness officially kicks off with Selection Sunday, the day when the 68 team bracket is released.

Louisville, Kansas, Indiana, and Gonzaga earned the title of #1 seeds for 2013, with Duke, Georgetown, Miami, and Big Ten tournament champion Ohio State wrapping up the two seeds.

Many experts single out the Midwest region of the bracket as the toughest road to Atlanta, this year’s sight of the Final Four. Top five seeds in the Midwest region are Louisville, Duke, Michigan State, St. Louis, and Oklahoma State.

The Big East leads the conferences with eight teams in the big dance, followed by the Big Ten with seven, and the Atlantic 10, Big 12, and Mountain West conferences each have five teams in the tournament.

Tournament games begin March 19 with the “play in” games for the “last four in.”

One of the reasons March Madness is so exciting is the Cinderella aspect of the tournament. Every year, at least one team shocks the world and makes a run deep into March.

In past years, teams such as George Mason (2006 Final Four), Cornell (2010 Sweet 16), Davidson (2008 Elite 8), or Ohio University (2012 Sweet 16) have been able to wear that glass slipper, and the question remains: who will wear it in 2013?