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What Separates the NCAA Tournament and College Basketball from the Rest?

Ryan Beltran

Posted on April 3, 2021 06:54

1 user

The 2021 NCAA Tournament has delivered a great amount of exciting basketball after the unfortunate cancellation of the 2020 tournament last March. For many basketball fans, the return of the prestigious tournament has been a great welcome, after the obstacles people have faced throughout 2020, and made us appreciate the impact the magic of March Madness has on the game of basketball.

After being canceled a year ago, the NCAA tournament returned to action on March 18th in Indianapolis. Ever since then, the past two to three weeks have been an overall entertaining tournament with a dense schedule of countless close-knit games. 

There have been interesting Cinderella stories including the improbable 12th seeded Oregon State advancing to the Elite Eight, and the 15th seeded Oral Roberts who pulled a great run to the Sweet 16 and just missed making history as the first 15th seed to make the Elite Eight when they lost to No. 3 seeded Arkansas on March 27.

Outside the underdog upsets, we’ve also been witnessing the No.1 team in the country, Gonzaga, who are looking to complete the first undefeated season since the 1976 Indiana Hoosiers, adding to the other plentiful storylines.

In general, the return of the tournament has been a reminder of why March Madness is one of the most exhilarating and best sporting events in American sports.

While NCAA basketball isn’t at the levels of the NBA, the win or go home stakes of the NCAA tournament brings a different level of spirit within each player compared to the professional leagues. It resonates with people who watch the sport of basketball with deep passion and with people who played basketball competitively or for recreation.

Every game counts when every team plays with their seasons on the line, especially for senior players who know a loss would mean the end of the road for their collegiate careers. Each team has their own ambition, personal positives achievements, obstacles that they faced throughout their season, and the ones that overcome that to move farther into each later round make each win much sweeter.

Whether players have been on their respective teams for one year to four years, each individual lays everything out on the floor to make a deep run for their school, and players wear their jerseys with a profound honor for the program they represent.

This is what separates the NCAA tournament from any other postseason and competitive sporting tournament in America. I enjoy the vibes of the NFL postseason, the atmosphere of the NBA playoffs, and the suspense of the MLB postseason in October, but something about March Madness hits differently when you see the triumphs of teams that win and the heartbreaking emotion when a team loses.

When tears flow as a player loses the last game of their collegiate career by a buzzer-beating three-point shot at the end of regulation, it's a perfect display of the impact college basketball can have on players and fans.

Ryan Beltran

Posted on April 3, 2021 06:54

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Source: NCAA

Andy Katz has his first 2021 NCAA tournament bracket projection for March Madness. Katz has Gonzaga, Baylor, Illinois and...

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