Jump into the Madness

A chance to win big connects all of Lake Stevens High School through the common love of basketball and gambling


Shots up: March Madness brackets are filling up as basketball fans gamble on their favorite month of the year. The men’s and women’s tournaments are expected to break records with the amount of money bet on games this year.

March Madness is an annual college basketball tournament held in the United States and it is one of the most exciting and anticipated events in American sports. The tournament, which is organized by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), features the top 68 college basketball teams around the country competing in a single-elimination format to determine the national champion. The tournament has a rich and fascinating history that spans over seven decades, with numerous memorable moments and legendary players.

The tournament is arranged in two separate tournaments, one for men and one for women. The men’s tournament generally is more publicized than the women’s, but it does not mean that the women’s is any less exciting. On March 26, the women’s tournament played one of their Elite 8 games where Iowa forward Caitlin Clark became the first women’s player to record a 40-point triple-double in the NCAA. This is not the only record being set either. For the first time ever, not a single NBA game streamed on ESPN was more viewed than this Elite 8 matchup between Iowa and Louisville. This just shows that women’s sports are growing more popular by the day and it is for good reason. 

March Madness has such an impact on American society that even those who have no interest in the sport of basketball at all still enjoy tuning in to these games. This is mainly due to the large amount of baggage that the tournament carries with it. The annual tournament is famous for people choosing which teams they believe will win and they predict the entire outcome of the bracket. 

“I have been running a March Madness tournament for about 5 years now, and it still amazes me to this day how fast people rush to get a spot in my bracket. It is like everyone is so hungry for a chance to win money,” junior Mason Turner said. 

Generally, those who create a bracket have entered money into a pool of people where the best predictors will be paid out in fragments of the total pool. It is said that citizens were expected to gamble about “15.5 billion” dollars in March Madness pools this year, according to USA Today. But March Madness catches the eye of more than sports fanatics. 

“I enjoy making a bracket and watching all the games, and I have never been a basketball fan,” senior Cooper Hoskins said. 

Even those who have no interest in the sport can find a way to enjoy it strictly because of the gambling that goes along with the whole tournament.

At the time of this writing, each tournament has concluded and a winner has been crowned. The men’s tournament wrapped up with Uconn defeating San Diego State University by a score of 76-59 on April 3. The women’s tournament resulted in celebration for Louisiana State University, after they stunned Iowa in a 102-85 victory. Anybody and everybody who has money riding on these games were watching with a close eye that their teams pull out victorious and help them bring the bread home.