When it comes to the calendar of sports, in my opinion march definitely takes the prize. You have the UEFA Champions League starting to pick up, and as well as that, the NBA Playoffs are just around the corner with teams trying to sure up their spots. But without a doubt, the biggest influence in my love for March sports is the one and only March Madness.
To me, it’s like the purest form of basketball. The NBA playoffs are great with their game series structure, but college basketball has far too many teams to go through that. Instead, every game is win-or-go-home with both teams putting it all on the line every game. This results in amazing individual performances, as well as the beloved underdog team from Nowhere State who defeats the top seed in the nation. The buzzer-beaters, the emerging stars, even the brackets created in anticipation all play a role in this amazing tournament. It’s game 7 every night, and it always ends in a blockbuster finish
Until recently, my opinion on March Madness hasn’t really faltered. As soon as early March hits, i’m usually on my couch, bracket in hand, ready for showtime, no questions asked. To me these guys were celebrities in the making, and what they were doing benefited not only themselves, but millions of others as well. Things changed when I got older, however, and I started to see things clearly.
Even though there is the unparalleled fame that comes with March Madness as well as possible wealth down the road, I can’t shake the idea that at the end of the day these kids not only still have classes, but aren’t allowed to take any monetary gains from this billion dollar tournament. It’s almost as if they’re employees who are paid on the hope of possibly being in the NBA. Now I know this idea isn’t anything from new, but from my eyes I’m conflicted.
As a young athletic basketball-loving teenager who sees college around the corner, I truly am unsure if I want to be in their shoes this month. Sure, I could definitely be having a great experience while representing my school, but I don’t want to go the NBA. So is March Madness/ big-time college basketball to kids who aren’t NBA bound a waste of time? And if so, isn’t it more harm to their grades? On top of that, college players have said that they go to bed starving from not being able to afford food at night. Is it all worth it?
Honestly, I don’t know. I truly love the tournament and what it shows basketball is capable of, but sometimes thinking about the actual players participating makes me take a step back. If I end up playing basketball in college, I’ll make sure to give you guys an in-depth expose. Until then, I’ll be watching with intent.