The 2020 tournament is almost here, and not a moment too soon.
By Pete Erickson, VP of Creative, Screenfeed
I have a recurring dream where I’m at some party, having a nice time with friends and a couple close family members—tasteful decorations, decent appetizers, cold drinks and a solid Pandora station providing a well-balanced soundtrack beneath the hum of people chatting. Eventually though, the dream takes a turn. I finish a conversation with someone, they head for the punch bowl, and I turn to see...an empty room. Suddenly silent, it’s as if the whole soiree never happened. After a few frantic head-swivels, I usually wake up, heart pounding.
Phew! Only a dream.
Or was it?
At least here in the U.S. that’s pretty much what life can feel like about a week into March. From October on through February, it’s like one long party—Fall bonfires that lead into Halloween that leads into Thanksgiving that leads into Christmas quickly followed by New Year’s (you gather your senses just in time for), the SUPER BOWL, Valentine’s Day—but then suddenly, the party is very much over and all you’re left with (at least here in Minneapolis) is bone-chilling cold, and maybe the occasional game night with your neighbors.
But with the dawn of March comes a beacon of hope to quell my winter-induced attention vacuum: the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament.
Do I have a favorite perennial tourney top-seed-getter? I don’t actually.
Do I spend hours of personal time pouring over team rankings, records, and schedule strength evaluations to carefully craft my tourney picks? Please. I have a wife and 3 young kids.
Do I even have a clue who’s actually good this year? Not one.
But am I stoked for the Madness, and will I fill out a bracket? Absolutely. And so will my 4-year-old son along with my whole family with all the exactitude of a free throw by Shaquille O’Neal.
Somehow this tournament has a knack for bringing people of all levels of sports engagement together. 🤷♂️
Here’s the kicker though—all that uninformed, ex nihilo excitement for hoops is all over the place at WORK too. A recent survey found 89% of workers surveyed said filling out a tourney bracket at work helped team camaraderie, and 73% said they look forward to going to work more when they’re part of an office pool. Somehow this tournament has a knack for bringing people of all levels of sports engagement together. It’s a brand new conversation piece each year, and its unpredictable twists and turns make for high drama that literally anyone can appreciate.
And if I’m honest, that’s the real reason for the drawn-out sentiment over a basketball tournament here, because for the 6th year running, we’re providing NCAA tournament bracket graphics, scoreboards, and results to all subscribers of Screenfeed’s Sports Central content as a FREE bonus.
If you're interested in learning more, check out event coverage on our Sports Central product page, as well as some key dates below.
March 10 — Tournament Preview Graphic Released: Configure your feeds!
March 15 — Selection Sunday: Initial bracket goes live shortly after all seedings are announced
March 19-22 — First 2 Rounds In Progress
March 24 — Full bracket graphic switches to 16-team view
April 6 — National Championship Game
April 8 — Tournament graphics turned off until 2021