Dr Lou’s View
March Madness Lifts My Spirits

March Madness is upon us and like many, I am enthralled by the spectacle.  It is about as FANCENTRIC an experience as you can get!

As we publish this Dr. Lou’s view, the NCAA Basketball Tournament Elite 8 will be a memory and the Final 4 will be set for the women and men.  In my view, with a horrific war in Ukraine against the backdrop of a miserable pandemic that two years ago, we need something to cheer for, so a big thank you to all the young men and women who are creating some memory-making experiences for fans everywhere.

It’s hard to believe that only two years ago, the Covid-19 pandemic began, and major sports and entertainment events around the world were cancelled, including the 2020 NCAA basketball tournaments (and $600 million in revenue).  Two years later, the arenas are packed, the fans are raucous, the teams are closely matched, the players are outstanding, and almost every game has been a nail biter for me.

The power conferences are well represented – Big Ten (9 squads), Big 12 (6 squads), Big East (6), SEC (6), ACC (5), Mountain West (4), American (2), Atlantic 10 (2) – while the rest have one each.   Perennial favorites like Kentucky, Duke, and UNC appear, but in my view, this year’s tournament has been memorable for the quality of play and the powerful stories associated with team legacies and the rising stars among their ranks.

Who could have imagined the Saint Peter’s Peacocks (ranked #15) as one of the best Cinderella stories in NCAA history?   They parleyed their bid for winning the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference tournament into a thrilling string of magical wins, rewriting the bracket, finally ending their run at the hands of a powerful UNC team.

In my view, a great team with a storied history winning big is the reason the fans love March Madness.  Of course, Doug Edert’s (Saint Peter’s) three-point skills and mustache add another element of energy and fun as fans started to confer the status of legendary folk hero upon him.   We may will see more thrilling play from the NCAA Women’s Basketball tournament too.

In my view, March Madness is a welcome respite from a long pandemic and a world seemingly gone mad.  May the spectacle and intensity of this great sports tournament lift your spirits!

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