Men's basketball talks the meaning of March in college basketball
March is the one month of the year that NCAA college basketball is put in the spotlight.
Athletes from Division I basketball compete in the 68-team NCAA Tournament that has been nicknamed “March Madness” and the "Big Dance.” The games are all nationally televised and can be streamed for free online.
So far in this season’s tournament, multiple bracket-breaking moments have occurred in just the first two rounds.
The University of Maryland, Baltimore County became the first No. 16 seed to defeat a No. 1 seed in Virginia. No. 11 Loyola-Chicago is going to the Sweet 16 for the first time since 1985, the last time they made the Big Dance. The Mid-American Conference’s own No. 13 Buffalo defeated No. 4 Arizona for its first-ever NCAA Tournament victory.
The Central Michigan men’s basketball team hasn't made the tournament since 2003 when they defeated Creighton in the first round. This season, however, they have earned some postseason victories in the CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament.
The Chippewas (21-14) are coming off a 98-94 win against Wofford (21-13) in the second round of the CIT.
Head coach Keno Davis said March is the first thing that comes to his mind when college basketball is brought up.
“All of the eyes are on your sport right now,” Davis said. “Although we like any other team would like to hear our name called in the NCAA (Tournament), there aren't many other teams still playing right now. I think our guys understand that and want to make something of it.”
Senior guard Luke Meyer said he doesn't try to think of postseason games any different than the regular season.
“I don’t feel any difference in March, I do understand however if you lose a game that you’re probably done,” Meyer said. “I’ve just always tried to think about each game the same even with the extra weight added in this month.”
Freshman guard Matt Beachler said playing in the NCAA Tournament is something he’s dreamed about since being a child.
“As a basketball player in college, there’s nothing you'd rather reach than the NCAA Tournament,” Beachler said. “Hopefully we can do that in my time here, even though we didn't this season, we still want to make what these seniors have left special.”
CMU’s first round win in the CIT marked the programs first postseason victory since that win over the Bluejays 15 years ago.
“March is just extra special for any basketball player,” said sophomore guard Kevin McKay. “It’s where dreams come true and the best stories in the sport come from. It would be really cool to be apart of (the NCAA Tournament).”
The Chippewas will continue their postseason run in the CIT Quarterfinal Round against Liberty (21-14) at 2 p.m. on March 24 in Lynchburg, Virginia.