The time of the year that sports fans all over the country have been waiting for – March Madness – has finally arrived.
The most intense and exhilarating sporting events in the country mean that fans everywhere will have their eyes glued to their televisions. In 2015, roughly 70 million brackets were filled out by roughly 40 million Americans who take part in predicting the outcome of the NCAA tournament. Be careful though, because all the March cheers can quickly change to angry shouts when money is on the line.
After the playing field and competition are selected on March 12, the brackets are ready to be filled out and the gambling begins. The most popular site to fill out brackets for March Madness is on the ESPN website. Groups of friends, family members, and even coworkers can create pools to compete against each other and try to get the best bracket. In the early rounds of the tournament, each game adds a small value to the score if picked correctly, and as the tournament continues each round has an increasing value for each game correctly picked. Students like freshman Daniel Rudden fill out brackets every year and love betting money with friends. “March is my favorite time of the year because I can show off all my finesse, beat my friends and make some money,” Rudden said.
Barack Obama took part in the madness every year of his presidency. Although Obama was a busy man in his years as president, he always made the time to complete his bracket. From 2009 to 2014, Obama picked 74.4 percent of his first round games correctly. Students such as sophomore Harrison Cance loved to see Obama’s picks and even sometimes used them as advice. “I’m really angry Obama isn’t making a bracket with ESPN this year because the last two years I’ve modeled mine after Obama’s and have made money both years,” Cance said.
Although March is known as a time for fun and excitement, the issue continuously is discussed whether or not members who fill out a bracket should be able to do so or not. The American Gaming Association estimates that $9.2 billion in bets will be made in 2017 March Madness.
A heated debate is what the true meaning of “gambling” is and whether or not minors should be allowed to gamble. Students like senior Darren Feldman believe that March Madness gambling should be allowed, even for minors. “I’ve been betting ever since I was nine and I think everybody should be allowed to bet because it is a lot of fun and it is their money to spend as they like,” Feldman said.