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The Saratoga Falcon

The Saratoga Falcon

The Saratoga Falcon

March Madness tournament brings lunchtime excitement for students

Sasha Prasad
March madness bracket in the large gym consisting of 22 teams and 4 rounds. 

Students crowded around the court in the large gym on March 8, cheering on teams “REVENGE TOUR” and “Cool Beans!” in the heated final match of the school’s annual March Madness tournament. Junior Tevita King, a player on the “REVENGE TOUR” team, took the final shot of the game just as the lunch bell rang. His teammates — seniors Brooks Overton, Joey  Schoon and Cooper Call — pumped their fists jubilantly, celebrating their 21-14 win as they were crowned winners of 2024’s March Madness. 

“I was happy with the results,” King said. “A little more competition would have been more fun.”

March Madness has been a long standing tradition since  2015, in which teams composed of four students from all grades participate in a week-long single elimination style basketball tournament run by the school’s Spirit Commission. In total, 22 teams participated in this year’s March Madness, which began on March 3.

According to senior spirit commissioner Zineerah Ahmed, the commission attempted to add more structure to the games this year by creating updated guidelines for teams: Teams were required to consist of two girls and two boys and were allowed an unlimited number of varsity players per team. However, after receiving only four sign-ups, the commission quickly returned to their original guidelines, which allow the players on a team to be of any gender, but allow only two varsity players per team. 

Ahmed noted that registration quickly grew, with many inexperienced players joining in on the fun.

“A variety of students signed up this year,” Ahmed said. “Some teams didn’t even have one varsity basketball player or any on their team to compete.”

While teams without varsity players often weren’t able to advance far into the competition, team “Ansh’s subjects” was a notable exception. The team — which consisted of sophomores Ansh Chaudary, Vihaan Bhaduri, Akash Gupta and Vasisht Palissetti — managed to advance to the semifinals. However, they lost 14-12 to “Cool Beans!” in a tight game on March. 7.

The second place team “Cool Beans!” included junior Saatvik Kommareddi and sophomores Bill Huang, Nathan Liu and Brady Liang. Though they triumphed over “Ansh’s subjects,” they fell to “REVENGE TOUR” in the finals. Regardless, Liu said the team felt proud of how far they had come.

“In the end, we were pretty convincingly beaten, but the noise, intensity and physicality of the final made it fun and competitive,” Liu said. “Overall, [March Madness] was a great experience”.

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