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Nothing can beat March Madness for epic thrills

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'Since the mid-1990s, players like LeBron James have realised they’re better off heading to the NBA at 18 instead of enduring a form of ‘indentured slavery’ that would make Joe Brolly spit out his tea'

'Since the mid-1990s, players like LeBron James have realised they’re better off heading to the NBA at 18 instead of enduring a form of ‘indentured slavery’ that would make Joe Brolly spit out his tea'

USA Today Sports

'Since the mid-1990s, players like LeBron James have realised they’re better off heading to the NBA at 18 instead of enduring a form of ‘indentured slavery’ that would make Joe Brolly spit out his tea'

For the first time in eight years, I filled out a bracket. I hadn't seen a game of college hoops in yonks but decided to give it a shot.

Predicting the NCAA basketball winners is one of the great pastimes in American sport, but properly experiencing March Madness is difficult from 3,000 miles.

Every March, 64 seeded teams play out a frenetic month-long tournament of one-off games to decide the champions. It's an incredible spectacle, especially over the first weekend when there are 12 hours of games played a day.

It's also one of the only legalised forms of sports gambling in America, with office pools organised from sea to shining sea.

And though it's a shame to see the decline of college basketball - a once noble institution ravaged by financial inevitability (since the mid-1990s, players like LeBron James have realised they're better off heading to the NBA at 18 instead of enduring a form of 'indentured slavery' that would make Joe Brolly spit out his tea) - March Madness is still good fun.

On its best days, it's David v Goliath, and David often has a fighting chance.

Irish Independent