Column: The Miracles of March

Connor McHugh, Sports Editor

Editor’s Note: Katie Dalton suffered a concussion and was unable to write her column this month. She will resume in April.

March is a time of change. 

The leaves are returning to trees, heavy rain replaces bitter snow, and the weather is finally becoming tolerable. 

March also brings the best basketball you will ever see. March Madness is an event in this country like no other. It captures the undivided attention of sports fans everywhere for an entire month. In Naperville Central, teachers have been showing games to their classes, productivity is at an all-time low, but I wouldn’t want it any other way. Where else would you be able to see universities with fewer students enrolled than Central, upsetting some of the most decorated college basketball programs of all time? 

Take this year’s Cinderella story: St. Peters, a small Jesuit, private college in New Jersey with just under 2,500 students, ranked the15th seed in this year’s tournament. For those of you who don’t keep up with March Madness, 15th seeds are expected to lose. Badly. Their first round was against the  second seed. , and most expected the higher ranked team to assert their dominance. But St. Peters did the seemingly impossible. 

This year, St. Peters took down Kentucky, one of the most respected teams in college basketball history, and proved all expectations wrong. It’s what’s considered a “bracket buster.” 

Every year, millions upon millions of tournament brackets are filled out by people who think it’s their year to achieve the impossible: a perfect bracket. To an outsider, a perfect bracket might seem like a plausibly obtainable feat. But, it is virtually impossible. Warren Buffet has even offered one billion dollars to anyone who gets a perfect bracket.  Why not play the odds and fill out a ludicrous amount of brackets in hopes of increasing your chances? No matter how many brackets one may fill out, the odds are never in their favor. It has been calculated that the odds of getting a perfect bracket are one in 9.2 quintillion. You would be more likely to be hit by a falling satellite and struck by lightning on the same day. That’s what’s so great about this tournament. It lets people hope that they might obtain something impossible based on their intelligence alone. No random numbers to pick, no luck of the draw, it’s all on you. Rather, it’s all on the teams. March is a time when the success of one team is juxtaposed perfectly with the failures of another. 

On the other side of the St. Peters miracle win, there is the absolute heartbreak of Kentucky. People forget that these players are only a couple of years older than us at most. Some as young as 18 are fighting to achieve their lifelong dream. Every time one team gets closer, another team is walking to the locker room filled with shame and sadness. It teaches these hungry players at a young age how to handle defeat gracefully and come back even more driven. March fulfills dreams. March crushes dreams. March teaches tenacity. March is here.