March Madness is Every College Hoops Fan’s Favorite Time of Year
Mar 24, 2024

March Madness is Every College Hoops Fan’s Favorite Time of Year

Reporting Texas TV

AUSTIN, Texas –– March Madness is finally here and 68 teams punched their tickets in. Texas and seven other teams in the Big 12 Conference earned spots in the big dance. Texas is one of the eight teams in the Big 12 conference that are featured in the big dance. The national champion will be crowned April 8.

Last season the Longhorns reached the Elite Eight under then-interim head coach Rodney Terry. Texas cruised past Xavier and Penn State to reach the Elite Eight where they faced Miami. Fans might recall Dylan Disu’s injury during the Penn State game.

“Our offense was among the top in the country and our defense was among the tops in the country, and arguably, if we didn’t have an injury to Dylan Disu last year in the tournament, we would have gone to the Final Four.” said Kirk Goldsberry, the executive director for the McCombs Sport Institute.

With the addition of Houston, Cincinnati, Central Florida, and BYU to the conference, Texas looked a little rocky, going 1-4 against those teams. Texas dropped a game to UCF on Jan. 17 and fans questioned if this team could make it to the tournament.

“In the early going when they had that losing streak it kind of culminated with that loss to UCF when they blew a 16-point lead.” Horns247 reporter Eric Henry said.

“I felt that this team was just too, you know, up and down seesaw, but Rodney Terry has been steadfast in saying, ‘hey I believe that when we get a team that’s fully healthy, we can make some noise.’”

After that game, Texas bounced back to beat No. 9 Baylor on Jan. 20 and took No. 4 Houston to overtime on Jan. 29. During the last week of conference play, the Longhorns blew a 14-point lead to Baylor in Waco.

Before the Big 12 tournament, Henry hoped the team would at least make it past the first round of the conference tournament to increase in Texas’ odds of making the NCAA tournament.

Despite an exit in the first round to Kansas State, which did not make the tournament, the NCAA committee seeded Texas at seven in the Midwest Region. Texas will face Colorado State Thursday at 5:50 p.m.

The Rams spent most of the season in the Top 25 and cruised past Virginia on Tuesday.

Azucena Mosqueda fills out a bracket at her home in Austin, Texas, on March 21, 2024. (Debanny Cerda/Reporting Texas TV)

Taylah Pinkin, a huge college basketball fan, believes the coolest part about the tournament is getting to watch the Cinderella stories unfold. She said it’s exciting for players from the mid-majors and smaller conferences who get to play on a big stage.

“It’s kind of like the NFL draft, but just for a team-wide, ” Pinkin said. “So instead of celebrating yourself.”

Goldsberry said he usually fills in one bracket out but knows a handful of people who submit at least four.  Since the tournament began, there has never been a perfect bracket recorded. Most brackets bust during the first day. Last year many fans saw their brackets shattered after Purdue, the number one overall seed, unexpectedly dropped game one to Fairleigh Dickinson.

There are 9.2 quintillion possible bracket combinations. You might have a better chance of winning the lottery or getting struck by lightning than achieving a perfect bracket.

“People will use simulated brackets and have a computer fill out a million. In that case, they might get a perfect bracket, but no human being predicting it with their own mind is going to ever have a perfect bracket,” Goldsberry said.

No one has ever correctly predicted the results of every game. Two of Azucena Mosqueda’s first four picks, Florida Atlantic and Auburn, lost their first round games. (Debanny Cerda/Reporting Texas TV)

Pinkin hosted a watch party on Selection Sunday and decorated her house with a life-sized bracket across a big wall. Her bracket formed with the announcement of each team.

It’s her favorite time of the year as it brings everyone together, including people who don’t watch sports.

“People that work in corporate America love March Madness,” she said. “They just love the energy. The game’s never really over until the clock strikes zero.”

The storylines are endless when it comes to the NCAA tournament as anything can happen.

“It doesn’t matter that you were good all season. It’s a win-or-go-home situation. So, everyone, your season is on the line with every game,” Pinkin said.

As the tournament starts, Pinkin doesn’t want to miss a single minute of any game. With the flexibility of working from home, she explains that her house is set up like Buffalo Wild Wings, with multiple TVs and a projector.

“I did warn everyone, that if I take a pause when you ask me a question in a meeting, I apologize in advance. I’ll see you again on April 6,” Pinkin said.