The month of March brings together all 64 NCAA college basketball teams for one reason: to see who will win the NCAA Championship. To keep track of the teams’ match-ups, the NCAA created what’s called the bracket.
SQ sports fans have created their own bracket and have selected the teams that they are predicting to go all the way.
“I’m going for Gonzaga. I think they are going all the way,” said SQ TV’s videographer E. “Phil” Phillips.
Gonzaga came very close to having a perfect winning season last year until they lost in the Men’s NCAA Championship against Baylor.
All of the NCAA teams get that chance to go all the way, including the women’s college basketball teams. Stanford beat Arizona by one last year in a clutch game. However, all of the NCAA brackets end up a bust every season.
According to an NCAA CBS article, the longest-winning streak anyone has ever had on the brackets was in 2019 with 49 wins and through the Sweet 16. Many people have tried their luck in guessing who would go all the way and win without losing. And some people have claimed the bracket challenge to be a Ponzi scheme or some kind of unfair setup.
“I think the brackets are done fairly,” said James “JB” Brown, a San Quentin resident who follows the tournaments. “Although they are fair, I still think that Gonzaga had the easy picks coming out of the West.” Brown is referring to the last year NCAA bracket.
Fans say that the way that the brackets are set up is unfair because of the way they don’t change the seeding structure when teams advance.
“It wasn’t easy choices because of the seeding,” Phillips said. “There’s a thing about the 13th and 4th seeding placements. Maybe it could be any high-ranking seed versus a low-ranking one. But, I think that those placements are the upset placements.”
The article suggests that the NCAA should reevaluate the brackets like the NBA does during the finals, to give teams the match-ups they are compatible with.
Some get lucky and may pick the winning team. Last year Brown picked Baylor to go all the way because the team he wanted to go all the way, Michigan, did not make it through. And his prediction came true. “Baylor had a good guard game and I think they were the stronger team,” he said.
Many wagers are made around the world on the bracket picks and people have lost fortunes. With over 100 million brackets being played by people, the NCAA has not recorded a winning bracket yet.
In theory, the NCAA has been recording bracket data since 1985. And since the brackets have been played for decades, maybe someone actually won somewhere before. But it has not been recorded.
However, as the structure stands with the seeding of the NCAA bracket, it allows the bracket to continue giving the world basketball match upsets and good battles in the Sweet 16, the Elite 8, the Final 4 and the NCAA Championship.