BY LAURA MCCANDLESS – STAFF WRITER
Every March, one can expect to hear the scratching of pens on brackets and competitive banter as the NCAA March Madness tournament begins. This year was no different. Though the University of Kentucky, a student favorite, did not make it past the second round due to a loss against Indiana, there was still plenty of competition amongst Centre College basketball fans.
Throughout campus, students had their brackets up. The Kappa Alpha Theta house even had each residents’ brackets posted in the front room for all visitors to see. Some took their March Madness to a whole new level, like senior Brooks Holton, and his roommates.
“For whatever reason, we wanted to up the stakes with a bet. We’ve talked about ridiculous or humiliating bets before, but this was a great chance to actually make one happen,” said Holton. “As a room, we picked out humiliating things each person has to do if they came in last place out of the four roommates. My punishment was to get a spray tan. College Basketball isn’t the sport I know the most about (where a couple roommates really know their stuff), so I was nervous initially that I’d end up in last place.”
Unfortunately for Holton, his roommates did know their stuff, as he ended up in last place. Upsets have become much more common in the NCAA tournament. Many, on campus and off, did not guess Michigan St., the No. 2 seed, would lose to No. 15 seed, Middle Tennessee State. There were multiple more minor upsets, such as Stephen F. Austin beating West Virginia in the first round, and then a shock to fans such as Syracuse, a No. 10 seed, making it to the final four.
“I was mathematically the for sure loser before the Final Four started,” said Holton. “I knew I had to stick to my word on the bet, so I enjoyed the championship game for what it was, and prepared to meet my fate.”
Holton’s spray tan happened on Monday, April 11th, and according to him, “surprisingly, it didn’t end up all that bad. I expected to look like an Oompa Loompa, but it didn’t get nearly that orange. All in all, the bet definitely made me care about March Madness more (probably too much), and it’ll be a ridiculous memory that’ll stick with me whenever tournament time rolls around again.”
Though Holton was able to enjoy the championship game, there were many who watched it who were fiercely rooting for Villanova or UNC.
“The game was crazy,” first-year Peyton Baer, who was interviewed in a room of people intensely rooting for both sides, said. “I never lost hope for UNC, and it was ended up being a good game.”
Overall, March Madness this year filled Centre with enough basketball talk to last for weeks afterwards.