March Madness excitement may jump from court to courtroom

By Adam Przeslak, sports editor.

Ever since 1939, Americans have become increasingly more moonstruck over a tournament that pits the highest ranked college basketball teams in the country against each other. The long college basketball regular season finally comes to an exciting close in March as the various conferences partake in their annual tournaments. Once the conference champions have been crowned they are then awarded an entry into the bigger national tournament that’s become known simply as March Madness.

Then comes the nationally broadcasted revelation of the 68 teams that will partake in the tournament known as selection sunday. Now that selection sunday has commenced and the matchups have been announced we begin approaching the few weeks during the year that productivity in schools and workplaces is lowest. Fans, gamblers and celebrities begin to fill out their brackets in an attempt to correctly guess each matchup’s victor and are part of the sweeping wave of March Madness that demands American sports fans’ attention spans for nearly a month.

March Madness is such a popular phenomena in our country that recent studies have even suggested that more men get vasectomies in the time approaching the tournament than any other time of the year. A 2016 study done by healthcare research company Athena Health revealed that during the first week of March forty one percent more men had vasectomies procedures performed.

However, this year’s tournament may be overcast by the series of scandals that have taken center stage in the college basketball universe recently. In February, both Yahoo! Sports and ESPN broke major stories regarding an FBI investigation into corruption in college basketball. Yahoo’s report named numerous current players that they claim to be under investigation for taking money or bribes in exchange for them choosing to play at certain universities.

The Yahoo list of names includes past and present players from some of the nation’s top basketball programs such as Michigan State, Duke, Kentucky, North Carolina, Texas and Seton Hall. ESPN then followed up with claims that sources informed them that FBI wiretaps had picked up conversations involving Arizona basketball coach Sean Miller talking about paying 100,000 dollars to solidify that star freshman player Deandre Ayton would play for the Arizona Wildcats.

Various aspects of these reports seem to have enough backing to imply that these accusations are properly founded. However, without a direct word from the FBI on the matter it seems that these developing news stories will continue to be the talk of the tournament throughout March Madness.

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