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Should You Even Bother Watching March Madness if the Illini Aren’t Playing?

March Madness has begun and, unsurprisingly, the Fighting Illini men’s basketball team isn’t playing. Coach Brad Underwood failed all of us by basically dying under the extreme pressure of being a new coach on a Big Ten team, even though failure is something students have gotten used to the past few years. Since our shitty team isn’t playing in this year’s tournament, is it even worth watching March Madness this year? This week, the editors argue over this question.

Diego Manischewitz: The Illini haven’t really been watchable since they lost to those cheaters from North Carolina back in 2005, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t watch March Madness this year. What else are you going to do during your spring break, anyway? Get laid in Cancun and drink lots of fruity drinks? No thank you.

Original Pancake: As someone who always says they’ll watch March Madness and then forgets to make a bracket until the Sweet Sixteen, there’s even less of a chance I’ll watch March Madness when Illinois is excluded. We STAY taking big fat L’s, and it’s honestly just A Clockwork Orange level torture to watch actual good teams that excel in basketball.

Diego Manischewitz: Don’t you want to see the teams who destroyed us during the season lose on a buzzer beater from a small liberal arts college in Massachusetts? It’s like the weird art kid standing up to the bully in a cheesy 1980s high school movie! March Madness is the only time justice will be served without you doing a damn thing about it.

Original Pancake: But I want to see justice served on my court. Why would I care about sports outside of these expansive cornfields? Okay I agree that the whole Cinderella Story is intriguing, but it’s hard for me to become invested when I don’t really know much about the teams from tiny schools. What’s a LeHigh? Is it French pot?

Diego Manischewitz: You are selfish to think that sports don’t matter outside the State Farm Center. Would you even call what you see inside the State Farm Center sports, anyway? There’s a reason why Lil Wayne felt so comfortable performing there– it’s not a place for sports or music. You need to open your eyes and take the exit off of I-57 for once.

Original Pancake: Lil Wayne’s performance at the State Farm Center made me cry from happiness, but I haven’t cried tears of joy there for any other reason– only tears of sorrow! After years of losing to the crappiest of Big Ten schools, I’d hate to watch those schools do moderately well in the tournament. It would take away the one ounce of hope I’ve maintained for my Illini team.

Diego Manischewitz: You’re turning March Madness into March Sadness for no reason. Just because our team isn’t good this year, doesn’t mean you can celebrate the wonderful student athletes at other schools that are being used to make millions for their institution. Fill out a bracket and get inevitably disappointed by it being completely busted by the Round of 32.

Original Pancake: March Madness is only March Gladness for one (1) tiny team each year, and it’s March Sadness for everyone else, especially for Illini. Also, what if I start rooting for another Big Ten school and they lose? I’ll be heartbroken all over again, and it’s too soon for me to enter another relationship just yet.

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