March Madness, Barack Obama and Harry Potter.

By Adam Greenwald

When the field of 64 teams was announced, almost every reader, fan, and sports analyst filled out their bracket with Georgetown and New Mexico advancing past the first round. For God’s sake, they had Florida Gulf Coast and Harvard as their opponents. Each of these teams had 0 NCAA tournament wins in their history and if it wasn’t for Jeremy Lin, you couldn’t name one player from any Harvard team in history. Only 6 years ago, FGCU wasn’t even a Division 1 school, as it only opened in 1997. But, as fate would have it, each of these underdogs pulled an unthinkable upsets and are now sizing up their feet for Cindarella’s slipper. So as their teams venture further into the tournament, let’s learn a little bit about each school.

Harvard, a school known for their intellectual toughness, has some interesting facts that you may now know about? First, Harvard has produced 8 United States Presidents. Barack Obama, George W. Bush, JFK, FDR, Theodore Roosevelt, Rutherford B. Hayes, John Quincy Adams, and John Adams all dawned the crimson red and all reigned within the oval office.

Also interesting, many compare Harvard to the Hogwarts. No, Harvard isn’t producing wizards but in an attempt to help students make new friends, students are placed into one of 12 different houses similar to the likes of Slitherin, Gryffindor and Ravenclaw.

And finally, there is a story about one of Harvard’s libraries. The story goes like this: Widener Library was built by a donation from Eleanor Elkins. Eleanor’s son, Harry, had attended Harvard but had tragically died on the Titanic’s historic crash. As part of her $3.5 million dollar donation, she had a stipulation that every student pass a swim test to ensure they didn’t meet the same fate as her son. (A little hard to swim in freezing waters) However, this rule is no longer in effect.

Now, considering Florida Gulf Coast University has only been in existence for a mere 25 years, they haven’t had the time to rack up stories and presidents like Harvard. But, a good place to start when introducing you to fighting Azuls (Yes, thats their mascot), is their student life. Now, I love Athens. But, imagine, instead of waking up to the Athens skyline, waking up to this view.

No, that isn’t their spring break destination, that is part of their campus! Or, after a long day of classes, coming home and relxing like this

Almost as unbelievable as their win over Georgetown is the story of their star player, Sherwood Brown.  Brown didn’t have a single scholarship offer coming into college and became a walk-on at FGCU. In order to make ends meet, Brown worked long hours to pay his own way for school. A player that almost single handily beat one of the most decorated basketball schools overlooked. I bet plenty of other coaches are kicking themselves right now.

However interesting each of these schools are, one thing is for sure. This is the reason why we play the games. This is why we don’t overlook 15 seeds. And this is why March Madness is my favorite time of the year!

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