Why do we root for the upset?


  The NCAA’s March Madness tournament is most particularly known for the number of crazy upsets that occur over the course of the three-week long tournament. Upsets are a major factor as to why Americans love March Madness, but why is that?

  The bracket consists of 68 teams, eight of which compete in play-in games for a spot in the main field. Those teams are usually smaller conference champions such as Texas Southern, or at-large teams who barely snuck in like Nevada. 

  Each round is one game, as opposed to a best of seven series in the NBA playoffs. The smaller the sample size, the greater the chance of an upset!

  Double-digit seeds such as Furman, Princeton, and Fairleigh Dickinson made noise in the first couple of rounds. Some other large upsets included Arkansas edging Kansas, Creighton taking down Baylor, and #1 seeds Alabama and Houston being eliminated in just the third round by #5 seeds San Diego State and Miami, respectively. Meanwhile, Florida Atlantic has busted millions of brackets, marching all the way to the Final Four.

  This begs the question: Why does the country root for the upsets?

  “It is always fun to see guys who are not recognized as much on that big of a stage,” senior Kathryn Rowzee stated, “They work just as hard as everyone else, and for them to beat some of the favorites is just such a cool thing to see.”

  We know of teams like Duke, Kansas, and Kentucky who have won a ton of titles in the past. Are we tired of seeing blue bloods win every single championship?

  “I do love seeing new teams make the Final Four,” math teacher Joel Penne expressed, “so I guess that yes I would say I am tired of seeing Duke, Kansas, Kentucky and UCLA be there with regularity.”

  Massive upsets like ones mentioned earlier can either be a blessing or a curse for brackets across America. Some people may have a strategy for filling out their brackets, but others may just pick a team by their colors or their mascots!

  “I used to try to have a strategy for filling out my bracket,” senior Kael Ryan said, “but it seems to not really matter, so I have just resorted to picking random upsets and having fun with it. It still usually goes horribly.”

  The National Championship game will transpire tonight at 8:20 PM CDT, featuring #5 San Diego State and #4 UConn. The Huskies defeated Miami 72-59 to get to the big game, while San Diego State edged Florida Atlantic 72-71 on a last-second shot. The game will take place at NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas, and be televised on CBS.