Only two students were in class on Thursday, March 18th, due to the hybrid format of schooling during the COVID pandemic. These group B students, with last names L through Z, attended classes on Thursday and Friday each week live. Group A students were live through Google Meet. Bailee Rapp, pictured left, said, “I usually don’t ever pay attention to the brackets but I know that in the past my dad and brother do but I don’t think they did this year because they haven’t paid attention to many sports this year because of covid and just being busy.”

 

After the COVID pandemic caused the cancellation of the men’s and women’s NCAA basketball tournaments in March 2020, the Journalism 1 and 2 classes joined an estimated 36 million others (according to CBS sports) across the US to fill out a March Madness bracket on Thursday, March 18th.

For the members of Journalism 1, it was a mix of new experience, something they usually don’t do themselves, and a return to potential extra income as well. Mr. Tuffiash led the class as they took turns picking from the opening round all the way to the championship in April.
 
“Especially outside of pandemic times, March Madness is a great event for teaching about sports journalism crossing over into non-sports audiences,” said Tuffiash about filling out brackets with the class, “There are so many fun little human interest stories you can learn about someone by if and how they fill out a bracket. It’s great interview practice, though with the pandemic its much harder, but other years its fun for students to head out into the halls and café and open mods and interview students about their brackets.”
 
For this year’s tournament, all games are being played in Indiana, the home of the NCAA, due to continuing COVID concerns.
 
Selection in this year’s Journalism 1 class took place through Google Meet as well as in the classroom. 
 
 
Senior Mason Donovan said, “I am very glad its back, a year ago there were no sports on tv, and nothing else to watch.” Mason, who played for the boys basketball team during high school, has his picks on the top smartphone in the above picture. 
 
Freshman Maryn Ronk, the M in the above picture,  said, “I enjoy watching all of the games that I can and I’m excited that it is back.”
 
Freshman Luke Hilyard said, “I love watching them and I do brackets for money.” Luke’s brackets are pictured in the bottom right of the Google Meet photo.
 
Senior Leah Logan, pictured right in the in-class photo, said, “I have personally never made a bracket so this is a fun new experience for me! I wish we could do it all together but it will be interesting seeing how the bracket plays out.”
 
The Journalism 2 class finished out the day Mod H making their selections through the NCAA website instead of the ESPN tournament used by J1. 

 

Already a small roster, the Journalism 2 class usually has 1 in person student daily. On Group B days, it is senior Maddy Perry, pictured above. They selected Gonzaga as the winner, a heavy favorite of many experts. 
 
Senior Carly Spahr filled out a bracket for the first time this year. “My boyfriend is really into sports and this is a fun thing for us to do.” She is in a group with him but made her own bracket.

 
Senior Alec Kreutzer was part of the class in 2018 that selected the only 16 seed to be a 1 seed in the history of the tournament – UMBC beating Kansas.

Pictured above are Tuffiash with seniors attending through Meet: Carly Spahr, Alec Kreutzer, and Allison Beck.
 
Alec in his freshman year Journalism course in 2018, alongside current seniors Chelsea Lee, Thorin Kardell, and Sam Guzzo in 2018.
 
“There might be upsets, ” said Alec about his choice for Cleveland State, 15th seed, in this year’s tournament, “and I’d be happy.”
 
 
 

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