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March Madness: The Best Bracket in Sports

Every year, the best 68 teams get the chance to play on, after their regular season has ended, in the hopes of hoisting a trophy and National Championship banner to their home court ceiling.

And every year, there are 1-3 teams that take the basketball world by storm as they advance through unforeseeable odds to become a “Cinderella story” in the NCAA Basketball Tournament.

As March approaches, so does the best month for college basketball.

Millions of fans create their own personalized brackets, compete for pride, money and more, but the players and coaches have much more on the line.

Once the field is set, the “First Four” round is played. It’s comprised of 4 games of teams that have to “win to get in” to the actual tournament.

Image result for ncaa march madness bracket

From there, there are 5 rounds leading up to the National Championship. If you win your game, you move on and the loser goes home, ending their season.

This season, the past three National Champions are all in the current top-10 as March draws near.

The winner of each conference automatically gets a bid to be in the tournament, but after that, a selection committee decided what teams are best, and selects their seed for the tournament based on that.

With 32 conferences, the committee chooses the best 36 teams remaining, seeding the entire field of 68 from 1-16 (four quarters of the bracket). The “First Four” games are made up of (usually) a game for the 11-seed and a game for the 16-seed in each quarter.

The lowest seeded team to ever win a National Championship was when 8-seed Villanova beat 1-seed Georgetown in 1985.

Here are this years current rankings.

This year, the tournament starts on March 11 with the Selection Sunday show, and continues with the “First Four” play-in games on the March 14.

Check back here for more information on March Madness when it starts. I’ll be covering some of the later rounds when they happen!

Until then, enjoy this hype/trailer video.

Jocks on Politics: How Athletes Inspire Outside of the Game.

LeBron James. JJ Watt. David Ortiz.

All three of these superstar athletes have many things in common. Sure, they are all incredibly gifted, household names and well-paid for these attributes.

They are also some of the most influential people for the youngest generation of kids across the world.

More and more kids are aspiring to be the next LeBron James or JJ Watt.

To quote a childhood favorite of mine,

“With great power comes great responsibility.”
-Uncle Ben, Spiderman

Often times, professional athletes are idolized like superheroes.

Chances are, if you’re reading this, you are enough of a sports fan to have thought, ‘When I grow up, I want to be a professional athlete.’

I did.

Once kids figure out how much work goes into it, most give up the dream and pursue something more realistic. They continue to stay informed in the sports industry, watching their favorite teams or athletes, but deep down still wish they had their chance.

Nowadays, athletes are standing up, or kneeling, for what they believe in.

Colin Kaepernick did it last year and it nearly ruined his career. Now, LeBron and Kevin Durant are under heat from some media outlets following some comments about President Trump.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, I’m a liberal, a democrat, and I’ve never had any interest in Fox News. That being said, what makes a news source, or a professional athlete able to say anything they want (within a certain reason) without punishment?

The First Amendment of the US Constitution.

Sure, they are both rich, well-off professional athletes. But they are also both black men who grew up underprivileged.

When Fox News aired this segment, LeBron and KD got more heat, LeBron responded.

More on this can be found by clicking HERE.

KD and LeBron are both leaders in the NBA, no question about it. But they’ve also solidified their position as role-models, inspiration and activists against social injustice.

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver spoke out about the issue, and commended the stars on their professional response.

Fox News has, unsurprisingly, attempted to defend their comments by saying they had nothing to do with race. But like too much in the US, racial tension is present in every aspect of our lives.

Surrounding this whole issue was the NBA All-Star weekend, held in LA where all the best basketball players from around the world come together for a weekend of fun, basketball and the common good.

Each All-Star team captain (LeBron James and Stephen Curry) chose a charitable organization to donate a hefty amount to, based on the outcome of the game.

Unlike the NFL Pro Bowl, where players get more money in their pockets, the All-Star game game a combined $500,000 to two selected charities. Giving back to the youth and the community is important to the league, and most players go above and beyond to make an impact.

Players Associated With the Most Charites

That’s something JJ Watt and David Ortiz have already gotten behind.

JJ Watt organized the donation of more than $37 million to disaster relief following Hurricane Harvey, earning himself the Walter Payton Man of the Year in the NFL.

During his MLB career, David Ortiz was associated with six different charitable organizations, because he wanted to give back to the community that made him who he is.

Here are more NBA Players Giving Back

If the comments/response following the Fox News segment about professional athletes has taught me anything, it’s that the sports community will stand together against injustice.