Everyone knows that the month of March brings the crown jewel of college basketball - the NCAA Tournament aka March Madness. Year after year, teams compete to bring their schools glory in a competition filled with buzzer-beaters, underdog upsets, and hysterical fans. The media coverage is unmatched; schools from all over the country are granted exposure that they don't usually receive during the academic year. The NCAA makes millions on March Madness, and often times, neither the colleges nor their surrounding communities feel the benefit of the money made.
This year, the Big East Conference took matters into its own hands to use the March Madness platform to affect change. All ten schools signed up for a fierce competition off the court - an online food drive. The student-athlete committees at each institution organized the drive to capitalize on the school spirit that is often stirred up at this time of year. The institution that collected the most food won a prize, and over 2,500 pounds of food were collected for local food banks. It's a small but creative way to use the madness of March to help those in need. Quite frankly, the NCAA has missed the opportunity to use the Tournament for social good, but hopefully, organic philanthropic activities like this will spur large scale community endeavors in the years to come.