March Madness Playlist
One of my favorite times of the year is upon us! A time of the year where you can see athletes compete 100% every single play. A time where great stories happen, underdogs prevail, and legacies are made. A time where filling out a piece of paper can win you some serious money or at least some serious bragging rights. Yup, I’m talking about March Madness! Where half the fun of this tournament is the outstanding plays, defense, buzzer beaters, and entertaining analysts (cue a Gus Johnson “OHHHHH!”) the other half is filling out that excruciating bracket that you lose sleep over and then blow it all on the first day. That being said, I came up with five songs that remind me of some events that take place in this month of college basketball…
Let’s be honest here: Every year we fill out our brackets, we try to predict a Cinderella team to make it to the Elite 8. It’s usually an 11-14 seed and deep down we really have no idea. Most of the time you can’t even predict who it’s going to be, or if you’re me then you just make a wild guess. BUT if you do pick the correct team, then you tell you’re friends “See?! See what I did there?! I KNEW it the whole time.” Ehh, not so much.
One of the best parts of March Madness is seeing these kids bust their ass for ALL 40 minutes of the game. From the opening tip to that last buzzer. The example I always use for this is the 2009 Big East tournament match up between UConn and Syracuse. That SIX overtime thriller is a game I will never forget. I love the NBA but there are times where it’s like watching them scrimmage at practice and EVERY team makes a run at some point in the game due to lazy defense. In the NCAA tourney, if you make a run it’s because you out hustled and never gave up. Turn up your headphones and press play…
Another great thing about this tournament is the come backs. Sometimes teams get off to a slow start and find themselves down the whole game. This is what makes filling out those brackets so nerve wrecking. It’s not like you fill it out, press a button and your results come back. You sit there as you watch the team you picked chip away at that twenty point deficit. Then it’s fifteen, then ten, five, two, and BOOM! Hits the half court buzzer beater to win the game! Alright, the half court thing was a stretch, but Butler almost did it against Duke a couple years back.
On the professional level, this factor became clear in the NBA Finals last year. The Dallas Mavericks were overall a deeper team than the Heat. Every team is as good as their bench. Your star player isn’t hitting his shots? Who’s going to come off the bench and fill that void while he composes himself. It’s ironic that the teams that usually go the deepest in the tournament have the deepest bench. Be aware not to be persuaded by a star player. Teams win championships.
Playing on such a huge stage has lead to players standing out and continuing that success in the NBA. Some players are no doubt talents that are heading there anyway, but you don’t think Melo, D-Rose, and most recently Kemba Walker didn’t benefit from their championship runs? Also gives the opportunity to the Mid Majors and smaller schools to showcase your talents. If your team can’t win the National Championship then you can at least take something out of the national attention and earn an NBA contract.
Just a few different scenarios to get you pumped for this upcoming March Madness tournament. What are some songs that you can add to the playlist? I wish the best of luck to all of you on your brackets. I’m sure by Thursday I’ll continue my streak of failed selections on the first day.