In the world of collegiate sports, March is a very exciting month due to the NCAA Division 1 basketball tournament, also known as the March Madness tournament. The “madness” of March begins with identifying the NCAA Division I basketball programs that make it into the tournament, also known as “the big dance.” Every stakeholder you can think of, from players and coaches to alumni and university members, eagerly awaits the calling of their university’s name as a participant in the tournament, “punching their ticket” and getting an “invitation to the big dance.” Displays of jubilation are exposed during this moment of revelation, but the madness continues because getting into the tournament is not enough. The next moment of madness is introduced when the program’s positioning within the tournament is identified, ranking in the tournament and bracket region, and their first-round matchup is revealed.
The revealing of the tournament bracket invites many individuals across the country to participate in the madness of this event by attempting to forecast the unfolding of the 67 games within the tournament and, in the end, identifying the national champion. It is estimated that 60 million to 100 million brackets are filled out each year (Benzie, 2019). The “science” behind this process is known as bracketology. Unfortunately, or fortunately, the science behind bracketology has never resulted in a perfect bracket. The longest streak a bracket has stayed perfect was in 2019 when Gregg Nigl went 49 for 49, with the previous streak being 39 of 39 in 2017 (Benzie, 2019).
In all this chaos, the true madness connected to Division I collegiate basketball, specifically Division I men’s basketball, from one university educator’s perspective, is the one-and-done trend we see from some of these “student-athletes” and collegiate athletic programs. The heart of this issue results because the eligibility of a player to be drafted into the NBA requires the prospect to be at least 19 years old and one year removed from high school.