March Madness


Maria Lopez, Writer

March is just around the corner with celebrations—and sports. That’s right: sports. As any Hoosier should know, March Madness is back.

But, for those who don’t, March Madness is a college basketball single-elimination tournament which holds 67 games full of entertainment all packed in 21 days. It starts with Selection Sunday, March 15.

First games of the tournament are dubbed the First Four and are held Tuesday and Wednesday, March 17-18. These games consist of eight teams—the four lowest-seeded automatic qualifiers and the four lowest-seeded at-large teams. The NCAA Tournament Round 1 then commences Thursday, March 19, and Friday, March 20.

Round 2 is on Saturday, March 21, and Sunday, March 22. Both Round 1 and Round 2 are being held in Albany, NY; Spokane, WA; St.Louis, MO; Tampa, FL; Greensboro, NC; Omaha, NE; Sacramento, CA; and Cleveland, OH.

The Sweet 16 follows on Thursday, March 26, and Friday, March 27. The Sweet 16 Round is the top 16 teams who have fought hard and rough to make it to this point. The Sweet 16 is split into 4 regions of the United States.

The Midwest Regional is taking place in Indianapolis, IN, inside the Lucas Oil Stadium.

The West Regional is being held in Los Angeles, CA, in the STAPLES Center.

The South Regional is taking place in Houston, TX, in the Toyota Center.

And, finally, the East Regional is being held in New York City, NY, in the Madison Square Garden.

“I would go to a game if it was held close by,” state both Donovan Johnson, 10, varsity boys basketball player at Central, and Yiesha Williams, 12, varsity girls basketball player at Central. Luck is definitely on their side if they can get tickets to the Midwest Regional in Indianapolis.

The Elite 8 then follows suit, starting on Saturday, March 28, and Sunday, March 29. The Final Four will then face off in Atlanta, GA, in the Mercedes-Benz Stadium on Saturday, April 4.

And finally, the game that everyone has been waiting for—the grand finale, the championship game. The NCAA championship game is on Monday, April 6. The location of the championship game is to be determined.

Last year’s final was both exciting and shocking. The final teams facing off were Texas Tech University and the University of Virginia. The final score was 77-85 with Virginia winning the championship game. “I was quite surprised when Virginia won,” states Williams. Many across the nation were as surprised as she was. Most bets were placed on Texas Tech, but life works in mysteries ways. If the end score was guaranteed, there would be no point in playing the game.

This year’s championship game promises to be equally exciting, as upsets and injuries continue to create game changers. “Hopefully, this year’s final teams are University of Kentucky and University of Kansas,” states Johnson. There is no telling for certain who will qualify this year. With only 68 spots in the bracket, only those teams that have worked hard and long to beat the odds will find a spot on this Ides of March.