Why Does America Love the March Underdog?

It happens every March. The brackets are revealed the third Sunday in March and all-around the country, junior bracketologists embark on a hopped-up game of pin the tall on the donkey trying to predict the perfect upset.

It happens every year a team comes out of right field and captures the heart of America. Whether it’s Florida Gulf Coast who was seemingly the 19th division 1 University in the state of Florida. Or Georgia State who is arguably somehow the best basketball team in the state of Georgia. Or the Bulldogs of Butler and their Hoosiers-esque run to the Tournament final in their own backyard. Whether it’s a 12 seed or the Cinderella 15 seed, it’s inevitable. But why do why love these underdog stories?

We love these teams because of their refreshing stories. You can only listen to ESPN drone on and on about 30 something and 0 Kentucky for so long. Just like you can only listen to the same lecture in class for so long. We love the individuality of these teams. There can be multiple blue bloods of college basketball but there is only one dunk city.

We love the Hollywood-couldn’t-have-written that scripts. See the 2010 Butler Bulldogs, a 5-seed was never considered to be the hunt for a national title. It was the team from the Hoosier state making a Hoosier’s like run to the national championship game in the heart of Hoosier nation.

We love to see the villains, the Duke’s, the Syracuse’s, and the Carolina’s take a backseat. We love to see a fresh face, just like everyone loves the new kid at school.

We love these underdogs because they are who we strive to be. Hard-workers who live under the radar, but have an individual story they are ready and willing to tell. Someone who seizes the limelight when they get the chance. Someone who makes the most of the sliver of an opportunity that they are given. But most of all..

We love the underdog because they remind us of ourselves.


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