Across North America (and indeed, much of the globe) the next several weeks are referred to as “March Madness.” Also called “The Big Dance,” “The Tournament,” “The Road to the Final Four,” and “The NCAA Tournament,” this phenomenon sees previously unknown college students (18-22 years old) become household names and even the most passive sports fan becomes a college basketball pundit. For those of us at NIS, it’s a chance to demonstrate newfound knowledge about basketball and share that with Andy, Kasson, Dan or Joe and say things like, “I told you that Middle Tennessee State University would beat your Hoosiers (Kasson’s team)” or “I guess your [Texas] Longhorns (Andy’s team) were no match for the Hokies” or “Wow, Joe, I thought you said your Michigan Wolverines were good.”
While a large amount of gambling takes place (more than 10 Billion USD change hands in bets based on this CNBC report), the most interesting part of this phenomenon is that there is sometimes much more focus on trying to accurately predict who will win or lose, that the games themselves are sometimes forgotten. Perhaps this is because it is so hard to accurately predict the winners, even for the most basketball-savvy individual (professors at Duke University have calculated that it is a 1 in 9.2 quintillion chance). Billionaire tycoon Warren Buffett has offered a 2 million USD prize to his employees for the first one to get 76% of their bracket correct over the last few years. (To date there has never been a “perfect” bracket).
If you’ve read this far and are still interested in joining this phenomenon here, at NIS, please email Joe to join the NIS March Madness by Monday at 12/noon. (Please note that all betting proceeds will benefit our NIS charities; bragging rights are yours!)
For more information on this phenomenon, from a non-American perspective, check out this link.
Let the Madness commence!