Miracles in March: A breakdown of the peripheral effects created by Cinderella teams in Men’s Division I College Basketball




Schweizer, William Anton

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The NCAA men’s college basketball tournament, also known as March Madness, is a collegiate sporting event that occurs for three weeks every March and April and is used to determine the men’s college basketball champion in the United States. Throughout the three weeks, teams who unexpectedly make deep runs into the tournament, arise and are dubbed Cinderella teams by the public. Through the unexpected nature of these runs, curiosity from outsiders of these schools arises and generates buzz around the school’s name and image. This buzz can be used in positive ways to leverage the schools and their basketball program’s shareholders into a healthier position financially and socially. The paths to these healthier positions created through Cinderella runs can come through changes in admissions and academic standings of the schools, financials, conference affiliation, media exposure, career paths of team personnel, and name-image-likeness rules among many other effects. Through these, a potential for recklessness and poor decisions by school executives is spotted in the false belief that sports and their effects are inherently good for all involved. As this is not true, these executives need to monitor how changes to their institutions are implemented after Cinderella runs whether that’s in regards to the allocation of funding or the overall image of the school among other things. Effects through these runs are something that is constantly evolving and have the potential to create additional impacts in the coming years in the NCAA men’s and women’s basketball tournaments through the NCAA Transformation Committee’s recommended changes.


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