March Madness tips off

Orion Luera, Sports Editor

It is that time of year again where colleges around the country compete for a chance at NCAA supremacy. 64 teams will yet again compete in the annual March Madness bracket. This tournament has been around since 1939 and since, many extraordinary moments, incredible brackets and millions of eyeballs have been glued to the television. This year games will begin on March 14 lasting through April. As the tournament gets closer, favorites have emerged, these being Purdue with their 26-5 record and 5th ranking, UCLA who are 27-4 and the 4th ranked team and of course University of Houston who have amassed an impressive 29-2 record along with their number one ranking in the entire NCAA and +600 betting odds.

Historically, the higher the team is in the bracket, the higher chance of winning they have. Since 1985 when the tournament became 64 teams, there have been only 8 championship games that didn’t feature a number one seed. On the other hand, only 7 times has there been a championship game where both teams are one seeds in the last 36 years, while one seeds have only been in 47 percent of championship games.

“Bracketology” is a term used to define predicting the participants and outcomes of the games in a sports tournament. Bracketology is common now, with analysts spending months coming up with the best possible bracket, underdogs and a winner. The only problem is the odds of predicting a perfect bracket: 1 in 9.2 quintillion. This year ESPN bracketology specialists are predicting Kansas as the top seed, Utah State as the first team out, and Penn State as the last team selected. Along with Kansas, they say Alabama, Houston and UCLA will be the top seeds in their respective regional brackets.

In terms of who the winner could be, according to BetMGM, Houston is the favorite with +600 odds followed by Kansas and Alabama with +800 odds and finally UCLA and Purdue with +1000 odds. Sports Illustrated thinks they have narrowed the winner down to 8 teams—Alabama, UCLA, Houston, Creighton, Purdue, Texas, Kansas and Baylor. The winner will be decided in just a couple weeks and one college campus will be up until sunrise.