Whether you’re a sports fan or not, the NCAA Basketball Tournament is the best time of year to watch real-life drama unfold like no TV show can typically provide.
With underdogs turning into Cinderella’s overnight, there’s always unexpected twists and storylines that a TV writer could only hope for capturing.
And since the tournament starts this week, we’re giving you the five best reasons why you should make sure you get in on the Madness.
5. The Announcers
It’s a shame that the fiery and passionate Gus Johnson won’t be back with CBS as he was for so many years—as he left for FOX back in 2012—but that doesn’t mean there aren’t other announcers who help bring out the moments for viewers.
Unlike the annoyance of Dick Vitale calling games as he does during the season, the Turner networks that carry the games provide the commentators who are both knowledgeable and exciting—without being too over-the-top.
4. Your Bracket
While every year gives fans a socially acceptable reason to gamble, this year has just a few more billion reasons why someone should fill out a bracket.
That’s right, in case you haven’t already gotten excited about watching the games, billionaire hedge-fund investor Warren Buffett is putting up $1 billion of his own cash to anyone who can score a perfect bracket.
Of course, the odds are about a gajillion-to-1, but that doesn’t mean that there’s at least a chance, right?
3. The Breakout Players
As I wrote for another publication last year, the NCAA Tournament is a perfect stage for some players to breakout for fans everywhere to become familiar with.
While we often get games featuring Duke, Kentucky, Syracuse and Arizona all the time, we rarely tune-in to lesser known schools and players who are just as good.
The upsets are both fun and exciting, but it’s the players who help make those moments so memorable—and March Madness is a great time to catch them all.
2. There’s Nothing Else on TV
While everything about the NCAA Tournament is great, another small aspect about watching all the games is that everyone understands the madness.
That’s right, even your significant other who often hates when you watch sports all day, everyday will happily sit there with bracket in hand, asking questions about the different teams and players.
You won’t know some of the answers, but that just makes it more fun to watch with them anyway—plus, with no other sports of meaning going on, and TV shows you can catch on demand or on Netflix, watching a crazy college basketball game is a perfect time to bond.
1. The Drama
As I stated earlier, what makes March Madness so great is that it’s unscripted with often unexpected outcomes.
Whether it’s a low seed taking down a higher seed with a last-second, jaw-dropping half-court shot, or a team that somehow gets on a hot streak and finds themselves as national champions, the NCAA Tournament has brought out the best in dramatic moments unlike any reality show can.
[Photo via Bill Pugliano/Getty]