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Following March Madness from Yucatán

by Yucatan Times
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The US is undeniably a country that loves sports of all kinds. Along with this national obsession, there are a number of high-profile events in the sporting calendar.

Undoubtedly, the biggest of these is the Super Bowl in early February which is watched by millions in the US and beyond. Then there’s the World Series of baseball that marks the end of the season for the nation’s summer sport.

Between these two there is March Madness which signifies, for many, the approach of Spring. Although this is just college-level basketball, it still features many players who will go on to have great careers in the NBA and even win Olympic gold medals.

The competition itself first began back in 1939. The brainchild of the Ohio State coach of the time, Harold Olsen, it included just eight teams competing for the title. Today it has grown to include 68 different teams drawn from universities all across the US who compete over seven rounds, gradually eliminating teams until just one champion remains.

Not only is it a real treat for fans of basketball, it also attracts a great deal of betting activity. Quite some time before the competition itself starts, there is much close studying of March Madness odds by fans hoping to get the best price on their respective teams.

The teams in contention

One of the great things about the way March Madness is structured is that there is always the chance for a shock upset result like last year’s defeat of the Kentucky Wildcats by one of the teams seeded 15, St. Peter’s Peacocks.

However, there are also a number of exceptionally strong teams in contention one of which, in all likelihood, will go on to be this year’s winner.

The Houston Cougars are the out and out favorites going into the competition. They’ve been looking good all season long and by early March they had won 29 of their 32 games. The star player in their line-up is the guard Marcus Sasser, one of those players whose NBA future is all-but assured.

Kansas were last year’s champions, beating North Carolina by a very narrow 82-79 margin. With a 25 wins to 6 losses record in the season up to March, they’re also real contenders. As well as having outstanding individual players like Jalen Wilson and Gradey Dick there’s a very strong team ethos that puts them in a great position to succeed.

Succeeding in March Madness is always a question of being able to take on teams that are better on paper and this is something that Alabama have achieved on several occasions when Houston, Michigan State, North Carolina and Mississippi State have all been beaten, thanks to their uniquely fast style of play. If they can keep up the pace right to the end of the season, they’re in with a very good chance of making this the year when they win their first ever championship.

How to catch the action

This year’s March Madness begins on Tuesday March 14th and runs right through to the semi-finals and final that are to be played in Houston, Texas on Saturday April1st and Monday 3rd respectively.

Between these dates there will be games played all over the United States from Sacramento to Orlando and from Las Vegas to Louisville. The games will be covered by a number of major broadcasters including CBS and Warner Bros. Discovery Sports. While this may be great news for hoops fans in the States, it leaves the rest of the world looking around for ways to enjoy the action.

But there is some good news for anyone in Yucatán wanting to get caught up in all the excitement of March Madness. This is that every single match is set to be streamed live on the Paramount+ online channel.

There is one small, but easily overcome, obstacle in that access to this is only available from within the U.S, Canada and Australia. To get round the block you simply need to use one of the very many virtual private networks (VPNs) that are available for a relatively small monthly subscription.

If this is new tech to you, don’t worry it’s really very simple. Using a VPN allows you to go online via servers in the US and therefore get access to content intended for that country. As long as you have also taken out a Paramount+ subscription you’ll be able to watch every game that’s played.

Some fans also like the option of following the games on radio only. If this includes you, then you can stream from the Westwood One radio station, again doing this via VPN.

So why not make this the year that you also get swept up in all of the March Madness? It promises to be quite a ride!

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