By Vishnu Suresh
March Madness is a basketball tournament played by Division 1 colleges across the country. Also known as the NCAA Division 1 Men’s Basketball Tournament, the competition allows 68 college teams to compete in a seven-round, single-elimination tournament to decide the national champion.
This year is a special year for March Madness because this is the first tournament in two years. Due to the circumstances caused by COVID-19, some conferences such as the Ivy League decided that their teams were not going to participate this year.
Yale’s Associate Athletic Director for Strategic Communications, Mike Gambardella, gave some insight on why the Ivies were not participating in the tournament.
“We are not participating in the tournament because of a conference presidential decision due to health and safety concerns,” said Gambardella.
Source by Anna Detke
The March Madness tournament is followed by college basketball fans all over the country.
The Ivy League conference champion would be an automatic qualifier for the D1 tournament, but they decided to consider the students’ health over the money they would get from potentially winning the tournament. This upset fans because they were hoping to see what these schools were bringing to the table this year, but they ultimately understood the decision because athletes’ safety is the top priority.
“I completely understand why [the Ivy League schools] dropped out. They must have many concerns about the safety and health of their players and they don't want to risk anything,” said eighth grader Dylan Sanichara.
Nevertheless, this year’s tournament has fans more excited than before, and students throughout NHP have shared their opinions on the exciting tournament.
“Thrilling, exciting, March Madness this year showed what basketball can be. Seeing all the Cinderella teams fighting to the top is great,” said eighth grader Arjit Nair.
“This year was especially fun. You never know when a team will make a comeback and the teams have been practicing extra hard so they got a lot better,” said eighth grader Mahdva Shibu.
“I thought March Madness this year was very exciting. There were many upsets and that just increased the hype around the yearly tradition. I was rooting for Gonzaga and Suggs, so it was sad to see them lose with their flawless record,” said senior Ethan Chung.
This year’s tournament ended with Baylor bringing the championship trophy home and NHP students and fans worldwide are anticipating March Madness next year.