March Madness brings fans and high dollar stakes

March Madness is the month-long NCAA basketball tournament that crowns several winners and losers on and off the court. The first round of games includes 64 teams, which then further advance to the sweet sixteen, the elite eight, and then the final four to see who will be crowned as the winner.

The nationwide tournament began in the early 1900s as an annual high school basketball tournament and then blossomed into a college basketball tournament with over 900 teams in the late 30s.

The first game kicked off on Thursday, March 17, and already, several fan favorites have been eliminated, including Auburn and Kentucky (both number two seeds). Thousands of fans participate in the March Madness festivities by creating their own brackets to give their best guesses as to how far each team will go in the tournament. Generally, there is money involved.

The chances of filling out the perfect bracket increase in difficulty every year, and this year the chances of having a flawless bracket are 9.2 quintillions to one.

Senior Eugene Peterson is one of the tournament’s biggest fans and never fails to miss a game. This year he is a little skeptical about his bracket but believes he will still be able to win back the $20 he bet with his friends.

“A lot of my top picks for my final four have already been knocked out, so if Duke can’t go all the way then I will be down $20,” Peterson said.

UNC was an underdog in the tournament, but they still managed to make it into the championship game and became the fourth eighth seed to ever make it to the finals.  The Tarheels faced off against Kansas Monday night and just came up short with a score of 69-72.