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This is a summarized version of Col. Philip J. Zimmerman's policy on gambling.

Photo by Lance Cpl. Cory D. Polom

Marines, Sailors come together for March Madness

15 Mar 2012 | Lance Cpl. Cory D. Polom

Across the nation millions began breaking out their team colors and preparing to cheer on their favorite college basketball teams as the 2012 March Madness Tournament gets underway.

Marines and Sailors stationed aboard Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point tuned into selection Sunday as the bracket for the tournament fell into place.

Like many other college hoops fans aboard the air station, James H. Taggart watched the events of selection Sunday with eager anticipation.

“Anytime Michigan is in the March Madness Tournament I get excited,” said Taggart, a native of Flint, Mi.

Taggart’s team, the University of Michigan Wolverines, took the number four seed for their region, and they will be one of 64 teams competing for the 2012 College Basketball National Championship.

“The college basketball tournament is fun to watch,” said Taggart. “Add in filling out the brackets when your team is in the hunt makes it even more exciting.”

Marines and Sailors from all over the air station will be tuning in to their favorite colleges to see how they do in this year’s tournament and Cunningham’s is helping making that easier by hosting several March Madness events.

“During this tournament is when we get all of our true basketball patrons,” said Larry Johnson, the assistant Single Marine Program Coordinator. “There are a lot of Marines and Sailors from big college towns and they love this tournament.

“It is a time when they can come together with their friends and enjoy watching their teams,” he added. “If their team wins then they have bragging rights for the next year. This tournament gives these hard workers a way to get away from the hustle and bustle of Marines Corps life and just relax. Even if just for an hour or so they are connected with their friends and family back home.”

Johnson works at Cunningham’s, which hosted a March Madness Kick-Off Party Tuesday to watch the first two games of the tournament and will continue to show games throughout the tournament.

“Having a place where I can go rag on people for my team winning is awesome,” said Taggart. “I don’t have to sit in my barracks room all night by myself. I can go to Cunningham’s and watch all the games with fellow college basketball enthusiasts.”

Method to the madness

During the March Madness tournament, basketball enthusiast and their mothers compete in putting together the perfect bracket.

Anyone can fill out these brackets utilizing a multitude of different methods to include the "Top Seed Wins," the "Cinderella picks" and the classic go with the "coolest mascot" picks.

Today we will break down a few of these methods to help those who do not know basketball make their decision on what method is best for them.

On Selection Sunday, each team that goes to the tournament is placed in a region to play in and a seed placement. A seed is a fancy word sports broadcaster's use for a rank. Each team given a rank one to 16, in each of the four regions.

For the "Top Seed Wins" picks, a person is putting their faith in the top ranked number one team. This is rare since last year there were no number one seeds in the final four and the last time all number one seeds made it was in 2008.

The term Cinderella team in sports has to do with an underdog or low ranking seed getting farther than they were expected. This way of picking your brackets gives a high risk of failure but if correct pays off in the end since not a lot of people choose this route.

Finally the last way to pick a bracket that I will go over is the "Coolest Mascot" way of picking teams. Each team has a mascot for the University of Michigan they are the Wolverines for Ohio State they are the Buckeyes and so forth. Choosing teams using this method works for patrons who do not follow college basketball all that much but would like to participate in a fun pool at the office or in the local neighborhood.

Remember the more you can learn about the teams, the more educated your picks will be. Remember there are hundreds of combinations of picks so creating a few brackets using multiple selection styles is another good way to go.

Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point