THURSDAY DECEMBER 14, 2017
 
More SPORTS EXTRAS
NCAA MARCH MADNESS APPROACHETH
Ncaa-March-Madness-2015-1.jpg

If you are not familiar with the context, March Madness could mean almost anything. There was that episode of Star Trek TOS that featured a god-like machine called Landru. At a certain time of day, every day, the people would go insane for a while. You get the feeling that there is a particular time of the year when that insanity is allowed to go on indefinitely. March Madness. No?

Okay, how about this one? The NCAA college basketball season reaches a fever pitch when the best of the best teams are slowly weeded out in tournament fashion, until only four teams remain. The Final Four then battle it out for the championship title. Sure, I like my Star Trek inspired version better. But this one works, too. It also has the benefit of being true. March Madness is well and truly upon us.

If you are new to this scene, first, where have you been? And second, you are going to need a few things to really get into the spirit of the event. So go through your contacts, find a few friends with whom you can share the experience. Here are a few more suggestions that will help you get your game on:

Charts and Stats

Unlike baseball, basketball is a game of frenetic action. The ball never stops moving. Players actually get a penalty for holding the ball too long without passing it or attempting to score with it. If there is any game that doesn’t need to depend on charts and stats, it’s basketball.

But the fact that you don’t absolutely need them doesn’t mean that the game wouldn’t be enhanced without them. It is always more fun when you know the tendency of the players and teams in various situations. Friendly wagers aren’t made based on the color of the uniforms. They are made based on the cold, hard facts - and your hot-blooded emotions at the time. Still, facts are in there, somewhere.

The other helpful bit is the tournament bracket. It can be difficult to keep up with who’s in, who’s out, and who plays who next. That is done by filling in brackets that represent the current standing of every remaining team. Initially, NCAA brackets can seem complicated due to the large number of teams and possibilities. The further you get into the tourney, the easier it becomes, and the more things clarify. It is an activity that makes you feel fully invested in the action.

The Biggest Screen You Can Afford

What size screen should you get for watching your favorite sporting activity? Answer, the biggest one you can afford. If money is no object, then the next consideration is, how big is your wall? It is a proven fact that people with bigger TVs cheer louder, thus, propelling their team to victory more often than not. (Proof not included) 

Then again, proof shouldn’t be necessary. The consistent fact across all sports is that the ball is too small to keep up with using only the naked eye. A baseball is thrown at 80 mph, a tennis ball, over 100mph. A basket ball is one of the largest in play. But it never stops moving. The players never stop moving. And in an attempt to keep up, the camera never stops moving. The only way to compensate is with a bigger TV. Make it happen.

Second Screen

As good as the announcers are, they can’t keep up with all the facts and backstories. You can bet that they have a computer open while they talk. And you should have one open while you watch. A smartphone or tablet will do just fine.

If you don’t have enough friends, you can still enjoy the game socially through the magic of social media. Twitter is a great live companion during sporting events. Experience the exultation and disappointments with the broader world of fans. 

With the proper charts and brackets, big screen, and friends with which to share it, you can show those worshipers of Landru what March Madness is really about.

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