March Madness Survival Guide

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Five steps to help take a little bit of the madness out of March.

Whether you’ve been on the college basketball scene for years or you’re just getting started, these helpful hints will ensure that you wow the crowd with your methodized March.

Don’t under-think your bracket

Some things are more important than homework, and a good March Madness bracket is one of them. The night of Selection Sunday is essential. You only have two days to finalize your picks. Friendships, credibility and more are on the line. Finishing last in a bracket pool can bring shame for years to come, so do your research, watch your footage and please remember to include upsets.

Make a schedule

It can be tough to remember every single game, so make a list for yourself. Some important dates, as presented on, include the following:

March 15 — Selection Sunday
March 17–18 — Round of 64
March 19–22 — Round of 32
March 26 and 28 — Midwest and West Regionals (Sweet Sixteen)
March 27 and 29 — South and East Regionals (Elite Eight)
April 4 — National Semifinal (Final Four)
April 6 — National Championship

Prioritize your games but be flexible

During the first two tournament rounds, the sheer amount of college basketball at your disposal can be quite overwhelming. To guarantee that these days aren’t stressful, highlight the match-ups you find interesting. Watch those games during their individual timeslots and consider that channel your base of operation. However, be ready and willing to utilize the remote control. Of course you’d like to watch your favorite team breeze through a 15 seed, but maybe there’s a 16 seed about to upset a 1 seed on another network. Do you really want to miss a nail-biter so you can see a 30-point blowout?


It’s unfortunate, but class doesn’t pause during these crucial weeks. Disclaimer: I do not condone using technology in class for anything other than taking notes. That being said, maintain constant connection to the Internet during all classes to keep tabs on games. Ensure that your face remains politely passive and avoid any fist pumping or exclamations, as your professor may notice.

Have a viewing plan

Collaborate with friends and get as many games going as possible. Stream games from multiple laptops and display the most exciting one on the main television screen. Plan your bathroom breaks for timeouts and halftimes and keep snacks ready. This is a time of enjoyment — it’s the best time of the year — so sit back and relax or perch on the edge of your seat, and get ready for madness.


Lauren Link is a senior professional writing major specializing in public relations. She enjoys engaging in profound discussions regarding college athletics and spending as much time as she can outdoors. When Lauren isn’t exercising at the gym, she can be found cooking delicious meals in her kitchen or searching the streets of East Lansing for stray cats.


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