Graphic by Jen Kelly.

HSU’s March Madness Bracket Challenge

Do you think you could be this years winner?

It’s March! So you know what that means. Yes I know what you’re thinking too, but no, it’s not the fact that it’s the pandemic’s anniversary. No, also not that St. Patrick’s is coming up so we all need to be sure to wear lots of green. March is every NCAA fans dream. This means it’s time for March Madness and to make your bracket selection picks for this years tournament.

Rather than scratching our heads trying to find some sort of highly calculated and analytical approach to the absolute guessing game that is March Madness. We thought, why not ask for your input. Genius, we know. So grab your party snacks and get comfortable because in this weeks issue, we’re spilling the tea on all things selection picks from Humboldt’s own NCAA fans.

Chance Callahan, an HSU alumni with a degree in natural resources, gives us behind the scenes insight into how he makes his final bracket selections for the tournament.

“Well it has to do with the teams that I watch over the year,” Callahan said. “And also going with a gut feeling on the ‘no name teams’ for upsets — there’s really no method to the madness. I’ll watch the conference tournaments though to get a better idea of how the teams play. And I’ll typically favor teams with highly anticipated NBA prospects.”

Dante Cappellano, a Kinesiology major at HSU, admits to looking to underdog teams he may favor.

I normally just pick the teams that are ranked higher unless I like an underdog matchup or I’ve heard that the lesser ranked team is better.” Cappellano said.

Graham Kothman, a College of the Redwood’s graduate and now music business major at Belmont University, adds that he too feels the methodology in making March Madness judgement calls isn’t as simple as one might think. Claiming to have very little strategy, if any.

“I may look at the teams records and odds,” Kothman said. “But even going strictly off of those it’s impossible to keep a perfect bracket. Upsets are a part of March Madness.”

Kothman also admits to being influenced by NBA prospects in his selection picks.

“I absolutely am,” Kothman said. “And they usually coincide with teams that have the odds but that doesn’t mean they’ll go all the way.

Callahan, Cappellano and Kothman each touched on how they think this may or may not effect players given the pandemic.

“I think it will be a different dynamic and some players will perform better without the distraction of a loud crowd,” Callahan said. “I hope COVID doesn’t impact the tournament more than it already has and will.”

I think the players will already be used to playing with no or very little crowd presence so it won’t be much of a factor just all out good basketball,” Cappellano said.

“I wanna say yes [that it will] but at the same time with the cancellation of March Madness last year I think everyone’s so eager that it’ll balance out the absence of a crowd,” Kothman said. “It’s gonna be a high energy tournament regardless.”

If you’re not an avid sports fan you might be thinking to yourself, why would someone want to participate in a silly bracket challenge? To answer your question simply, you could quite frankly win a million dollars from infamous investment gurus if you make the perfect bracket. That is why.

Though the odds are statistically stacked against you, why not try anyway? Now that you’ve got the inside scoop from fans, be sure to head over to our Lumberjack Challenge and submit your bracket picks. There will be a winner chosen for whoever comes the closest to cracking the madness code.

May the odds be ever in your favor.

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