Why All the Madness? 3 Reasons to Love Basketball

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It’s March Madness season and basketball is on the mind. The sport, which was invented by a professor at the University of Kansas in 1891, has become a popular pastime our country and has spread across the world. So what’s so great about basketball? Here are 3 reasons to love the sport:

It’s great for your health.

It makes sense, but did you know an hour of basketball can burn 630-750 calories? All that running and jumping really takes it out of you. The sport also builds muscle tone, agility, hand-eye coordination, and endurance (it’s really just jogging and sprinting packaged in fun). Because it involves lots of aerobic movement, it’s good for your heart. Plus, in order to be good at it, you have to develop self-discipline, concentration, and quick reflexes.

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It builds community.

Streetball is as popular as organized basketball, and it’s become a great way for young people and older people to socialize in their community. Almost every park has a basketball court, and it’s a common occurrence to see a group of friends throwing the ball around. Basketball-centered after school programs and social outreach programs are also a good way to connect with underprivileged communities. Because the sport can be played indoors, it’s not constrained by weather and provides a fun way to make friends, work as a team, and even discover mentors.

It’s just plain entertaining to watch.

Buzzer shots, slam dunks, fast breaks - the sport almost seems designed to cause unexpected upsets, nail biting, and stomach ulcers. And who doesn’t love watching suit-wearing coaches jump along the sidelines and contort their faces while spewing saliva at their players? You really never know what those coaches will do. On Sunday, University of Nevada, Reno coach Eric Musselman celebrated his underdog win over No. 2 seed Cincinatti by ripping off his shirt in the locker room.

And speaking of upsets, this season has already had some pretty spectacular ones. Last Friday night, No. 16 seed University of Maryland, Baltimore County beat No. 1 seed Virginia, the first time out of 135 tries that a No. 16 seed had ever beat a No. 1 seed. If that isn’t crazy enough, Loyola Chicago won its second upset and in both games, came from behind in the last 5 seconds. So yeah, this March is turning out to be as Mad as always and is showing just how entertaining basketball can be.