March 12, 2001
There's nothing quite like March Madness, when basketball teams play in the NCAA tournament and fans paint their faces in school colors, wear funky headgear and go, well, mad.
Only two teams can end their seasons with victories. The others will lose the last game they play, but not before their passion spreads from the sidelines to the stands, from fired-up coaches and players to those frenetic fans.
Arenas become bedlam, madhouses of sound that assault the senses with pep bands, mascots and cheerleaders dueling for attention.
Players who've spent months practicing and hours in weight rooms, hoping for a chance to play some more games, add even more excitement to the tournament. This is a test of togetherness, of how well a dozen or so college kids came together in October and created a season to remember.
There is a singleness of purpose that begins in pregame huddles and warmups, building intensity to that opening tap.
That's when college basketball in March becomes really maddening.