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NCAA Tournament Dictates March

Chris Kuester, Staff

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The NCAA Tournament is a nation-wide tournament where 64 teams from all over the country that battle it out for the championship. There are 32 Division 1 conferences, but the main ones are the ACC, the Big Ten, the Big East, and the West Coast Conference. The largest and most successful conference (within the past couple of years) is the ACC. The ACC has teams such as UNC, Duke, Florida State, Louisville, Notre Dame, Virginia, and Syracuse. Gonzaga, however, is from the West Coast Conference.

On Monday, April 3, the Gonzaga Bulldogs faced off against the University of North Carolina Tarheels. This college basketball matchup was a battle of the best, for both of these teams were one seeds, and both had beaten all of their opponents, starting in the middle of March. This game was a battle between what were the two best college basketball teams of the year, for the championship of the most widely known tournament of modern times.

This championship game has become a major event that the majority of the nation’s population knows of. For example, 20 years ago, the only people who knew about the NCAA tournament were people who watched a lot of basketball, and cared more than most about college basketball. Within the past 5-10 years, this tournament has become a large-scale industry and a large-scale entertainment organization. This company makes about $1 billion a year and have about 11.9 million viewers watching the championship game. The majority of people make a bracket and enter it into some sort of contest or draw, even the people who have never watched a game of basketball in their life.

This year, there were many upsets, leading up to the championship game. For example, the 8 seed Wisconsin beat the 1 seed Villanova in the second round of the tournament. These upsets were bracketbusters which completely devastated a lot of people’s’ brackets, but they also draw larger audiences to tune in on the road to the Final Four.

The more people who watch, the more money is made, which has helped the NCAA become this huge entertainment co-op. Whether or not the money brought in by the NCAA makes up for the estimated  $4 billion lost in productivity wages, it seems like the 40 million people who create the 70 million brackets every year aren’t going to change. Consider March Madness here to stay…and grow.

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