Some monumental things have already happened in 2016: Leonardo DiCaprio won his first Oscar, the trailer for Finding Dory was released, and Justin Bieber now has dreadlocks. The world of pop culture and cinema has a way of drawing everyone into a seemingly endless void of fame, debate, and gossip within seconds of each new event that sweeps the tabloids. Even though people are consumed by the drama of Hollywood, when it’s the month of March, all of that comes second to the NCAA tournament. Suddenly, every commercial on television is about March Madness and everyone around you is talking about college basketball, whether they are a big fan or just making a bracket for charity. For a month, it is a pulsating time that is undoubtedly more noteworthy than Justin Bieber’s dreadlocks.
There is a certain passion that erupts when watching sports that cannot be duplicated. Sure, when Leo won his Oscar, everyone was extremely happy, but after three minutes, it was over. There was no jolt of electricity like there is when thousands of people scream for a common cause in an arena for an extended period of time, all wearing their team’s colors and almost dizzy with anxiety and excitement. The adrenaline that causes fans to instinctively spring up and scream in ecstasy when a tied game is decided in the final dwindling seconds is, in my opinion, something that is unique and unprecedented. It produces tiny strikes of lighting that curl around your heart, dance around your chest, and refuse to simmer even when you are trying to sleep that night as opposed to the ephemeral feelings Hollywood draws from us. The NCAA final produced all of these emotions and more with Kris Jenkins’ buzzer beater three-point shot to bring glory to Pennsylvania.
When you think of colleges with power basketball teams, the obvious answers are always Duke University, the University of Kentucky, and the University of Kansas. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is always up there as well, so it did not surprise anyone when they made the final. But Villanova? They are not typically on that list; however, they prevailed throughout the tournament and managed to upset UNC with their offensive determination. With the last possession of the game and only seconds left on the clock, Villanova had to make something happen quickly or else the game was going to overtime. When Jenkins set his feet for the three and let the ball leave his hands, millions of eyes, both in the arena and at home, followed the trajectory of the ball as time seemed to slow down. The country went silent and then it erupted in chaos. There are some occasions in sports that unfold as perfectly and dramatic as if they were scripted and they just do not compare to the faraway events happening on the west coast. There is an overwhelming element of human drama in sports that makes moments like these historic and everlasting, both in the minds of fans and on the replays of ESPN.
Ashley Dayne Bostwick
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