Page 7 The Pharcyde April 5, 2012 thing bigger than themselves.” As far as the bracket goes, Nordland said, “The single most challenging task when selecting your bracket is trying to predict how teams will match up against one another. Every year it is consistently inconsistent.”
“It’s by far my favorite month of the year... Nothing is more entertaining than the NCAA tournament.” TYLER KASTEN freshman This is true. It is easy to choose a powerhouse over a “no name” team from a small liberal arts college. Then, the little program puts on its big boy pants and pulls off the unthinkable. That is why Bracketology is so tough and why it is another ingredient to the madness of March. Also, it is easy to be biased. People find it hard to pick against their beloved team. “Next year, I am picking all Ohio teams and Big 10 teams in my bracket. It seems like a good formula” Nordland said. On the other hand, Kaplan, another avid college basketball fan, said, “I throw all allegiance to a team out the window. You can’t let biased opinions conflict with your bracket if you want to be a champion.” Picking the match-ups is tough and some may lose sleep over it. “When I go with my gut and I make that pick that no one else makes and I get it right, it’s pure utopia,” Nordland said. Upset City According to Kaplan, the 5 seed vs. 12 seed games, the 6 vs. 11, and the 7 vs. 10 games are the most likely to birth upsets.
“It is fun for people to be a part of something bigger than themselves.” COACH NORDLAND JV basketball coach “Those games are very exciting,” Kaplan said. “It’s usually a small program who won its little conference tournament against a well-known program who received an at-large bid. Teams get put on the map in those games.” Last year was the year of the “Cinderella.” An 8 seed and an 11 seed met in the final four. Butler, the Horizon Conference champion from Indiana, made another run after its crazy 2010 tournament and Virginia Com-
monwealth, the Colonial Conference champion from Virginia, busted brackets last year. However, Reitman had a hunch. He said, “Butler was great in 2010 and I thought they had it in them to do it again. On the other hand, I watched VCU in their play-in game and they looked impressive. So, I put them in the elite eight.” Reitman’s final four in 2011—Kansas, Kentucky, Connecticut, and Butler—was almost perfect. He had Kansas defeating the “dark horse” VCU in the elite eight. If Reitman had thought otherwise and put VCU in the final four, he would have been the victor. “It felt amazing to have picked the championship (Connecticut over Butler) correctly,” Reitman said. “I remember vacillating between Kansas and VCU. Unfortunately, I picked the wrong team and that cost me 1st place in ESPN’s Tournament Challenge which would have made me 25,000 dollars.” Reitman, who says he only sometimes watches college basketball, had no complaints. He almost picked the first and second round completely right and his bracket was in the high 99th percentile. Reitman went with his gut and almost did something legendary; something millions of people dream of doing.
never be forgotten as the “Bracket Busters” from March Madness 2012. Never has a 16 seed beat a 1 seed in the tournament. This year, a Benjamin graduate, Quinard Jackson, and his team almost did.
heart broken; one fan goes to sleep smiling while another cries.
“Duke has not been as dominant as they usually are... However, it was still very sad.”
Enjoying the Madness For any true sports fan, March is definitely up there for the best month of the year. Freshman Tyler Kasten said, “It’s by far my favorite month. As a player and a fan, nothing is more entertaining than the NCAA tournament.” The phenomenon that is March Madness has its effects on whoever watches it. A crazy fan like Kasten can root for his favorite team and enjoy the great basketball. Even one who is not a fanatic can enjoy the tournament and, of course, fall in love with the Cinderella. March Madness has a little bit of everything. One team triumphs, another is
William Shakespeare once said, “Madness is the glory of this life.” With only seconds left with the game tied up, the last shot is launched, then the buzzer! This is what the glorious realm of sports is all about; anything goes…that’s madness.
The Buccaneer Installment Quinard Jackson, who graduated from Benjamin in 2008, was the starting forward for the UNC-Asheville Bulldogs for the past two seasons. Last year, the Bulldogs won the Big South Conference and were defeated in the first round of the 2011 tournament against Pittsburgh. This season, Jackson and the Bulldogs took the Big South crown once again and were matched up with the Syracuse Orange, a number 1 seed from the Big East. “Playing in a tournament is definitely more intense than playing in a regular season game,” Jackson said. “It’s a great experience but you have to have a killer’s mentality because it’s win or go home.” Against Syracuse, the Bulldogs had that “win or go home” mindset; they were playing to win. Jackson said, “They are human beings just like us. Their court isn’t any longer
Photo courtesy of Quinard Jackson and their hoops are 10 feet, just like ours are.” Over the course of the game, Asheville looked like the better team, despite being the heavy underdog. The teams went back and forth in the second half and were deadlocked with only minutes left. After a controversial lane violation call against the Bulldogs, Syracuse took advantage. Down three with less than 30 seconds left, one of Jackson’s teammates went for a steal on an inbounds play. What looked like a deflection off the Orange was interpreted differently by the referee. The ball was given back to Syracuse, and they ended up winning the game 72-65. Despite the devastating outcome, the Bulldogs held their heads high. “It was a tough loss to say the least but, like I learned at Benjamin, I stayed mentally tough and I set a good example for my teammates,” Jackson said.
MRS. McVICAR AP economics teacher
“I picked the wrong team and that cost me 1st place in ESPN’S tournament challenge which would have made me $25,000.” JAKE REITMAN junior
This year’s tournament brought forth some crazy upsets as well; so crazy that no bracket in ESPN’s Tournament Challenge was perfect after the first round. Not since 2001 has a 15 seed defeated a 2 seed. The Norfolk State Spartans from Virginia won the MEAC conference to earn a chance to win the big dance. They were a 15 seed and were matched up with the Big 12 Champion Missouri. That did not intimidate the Spartans as they outplayed the Tigers to make history. The Lehigh Mountain Hawks from Pennsylvania were the Northeast Regional Conference victors and were matched up with the powerhouse Duke University. Again, this 15 seed did not shy away from the competition. The Mountain Hawks ran the Blue Devils up and down the court and won the game to send their opponents home. AP Econonomics teacher Mrs. Nidhi McVicar, a Duke graduate, said, “For the past two years, Duke has not been as dominant as they usually are so I was not surprised. However, it was still very sad.” Despite losing their second round games, Lehigh and Norfolk State will