Madness strikes

Students, faculty participate in bracket contest.

Juniors in history teacher Sarah Garlinghouse’s IB History class watch the beginning of the second half of the Loyola University Chicago, University of Miami game before beginning a test. Garlinghouse also airplayed the University of Pennsylvania, University of Kansas match during lunch.

March Madness spread to Convent, with teachers airplaying big games, students spending lunches making sure their bracket stayed intact, and a school-wide ESPN bracket group.

Junior Megan Mullins created an online group for students and teachers to enter their NCAA March Madness brackets, following last year’s group started by Stuart Hall High School’s Student Council.

“Last year I joined the Stuart Hall bracket and I enjoyed the competition of it, along with talking to some of the guys who I was able to share my interest with, because not as many girls from Convent did it,” Mullins said. “I hope that it becomes more competitive and almost all of the students participate in it, because it is truly a fun sport to follow and watch.”

Mullins invited all Convent students and faculty to participate. Sophomore Jacqui Carlson says she entered Stuart Hall’s bracket last year on a whim, but was surprised to see she did well.

“I like making a bracket just for fun,” Carlson, who is predicting Villanova University as the NCAA champion, said. “I love watching the game because I think it’s always interesting to see who comes out on top — if it’s the underdog or if it’s the team that was expected to win.”

Picking which teams will succeed in the tournament isn’t always a matter of the team’s skill, according to history teacher Michael Stafford.

“It’s an awesome mixture of who you actually think is going to win and who you hope will win,” Stafford said. “I went to UNC Chapel Hill for grad school, and they are a No. 2 seed and defending champions, so I have them going all the way and I have Duke losing in the second round because I want them to lose.”

Filling out a bracket helps connect participants with other college basketball fans, according to Stafford.

“It brings about awesome interactions with the other people who are in the same group,” Stafford said. “I filled [my bracket] out on ESPN, but then when I found out there was a Convent group, I joined because I can then interact with the other people in the group and we can bemoan that both of our teams are getting upset or talk a little bit of trash.”