Hoop There It Is!

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Jianna Wiedenmeyer, Staff writer

           As many of you sports fans or non-sports people know, one of the most popular basketball events is taking place this month. If you said March Madness, you would be correct! If you aren’t quite sure what this is, no need to worry, here is it put simply. March Madness is a month-long tournament where the NCAA (college) men and women’s basketball teams play in their individual divisions: West, South, East, and Midwest. The competition tips off with an event called the “First Four”, this is where 8 teams play to get the wild card spot in their region. Then the 64 total teams play in different rounds and the goal is to make it to the National Championship which is sort of like the SuperBowl of college basketball. Overall it is an event that has captivated many American’s TVs.

 

            This beloved championship event runs for around 3 weeks in total, and has taken place since the 1960’s. Although this is a confusing time in society for everyone, this event has been able to take place amidst the virus. All of the coaches on the team wear their masks during the entirety of each game. The players on the bench do as well. And there is not a traditional bench, it is individual chairs set up socially distanced. Of course the players on the court aren’t wearing masks but everything seems to be going smoothly for them. Luckily these players are getting somewhat of a normal season. Although college basketball may not be everyone’s “cup of tea,” it is still super exciting to watch or have competitions with family and friends.

 

            A survey was sent out to the students at Tumwater High School in regards to their own experience with March Madness. The conclusive results were a bit surprising but not completely far fetched. Only 23 people responded to the survey and 11 of them said that March Madness isn’t something they watch, 9 students said that they do watch it, and 3 said they watch it occasionally. This was somewhat unexpected because there are a lot of sport fans in Tumwater. As well as this, when asked if they made a bracket 17 students said no, and only 6 answered yes. When asked what the students’ favorite teams were, the most popular answers were the Gonzaga Bulldogs, Oregon Ducks, UCLA Bruins, North Carolina Tar Heels, and Duke Blue Devils. From these stellar teams, some of the student’s favorite players are Jalen Suggs, Anton Watson, Drew Timme, and Corey Kispert from the Gonzaga men’s team. Some favorite players from other teams are Jules Bernard from UCLA, Caleb Love from North Carolina, and Jordan Goldwire from Duke.

 

            To conclude the survey, students were asked which players to be on the lookout for this tournament. Five students voted for Luka Garza who plays for the Iowa Hawkeyes, three people voted to watch out for Cade Cunnigham who plays for Oklahoma State Cowboys, and two people voted for Jalen Suggs who is a player on the Gonzaga Bulldogs team. Some other players who only had one vote were Jahvon Quinerly who plays on the Alabama Crimson Tide, Franck Kepnang who plays for the Oregon Ducks, Andrew Nembhard who plays for the Gonzaga Bulldogs, and Hunter Dickinson who is a player on the Michigan Wolverines team. Overall, there are some really great teams and players to look out for if you find time to watch this intense tournament.

 

            If any of you find free time, checking out the tournament might be a fun time filler. It is enjoyable to watch, but granted, not everyone is a sport watcher and that’s fine too. Stay safe!