CESJDS continues NCAA Tournament championship bracket challenge tradition


photo by Sabrina Bramson

CESJDS students completed brackets with their classes for the NCAA Tournament championship bracket challenge.

Sabrina Bramson, Editor-in-Chief

Keeping with CESJDS tradition, the school has resumed its NCAA Championship bracket challenge between students in classes across grades and subjects this year. The tradition started as a kehillah activity, according to math teacher Tori Ball, who organizes the challenge each year. This year, history teacher Carl Atwood’s period eight class won after the University of Virginia beat Texas Tech University 85-77 in the championship game that took place in Minneapolis, Minnesota this past Monday night.

“We used to have kehillah that would meet twice a week and we were always looking for nice things for the group to do together,” Ball said. “It seemed like that [making brackets] was something that people would be interested in and it gave the kehillah something that they could talk about together.”

Although JDS no longer organizes kehillah periods in which students from various grades meet together during designated times, Ball gave high school period eight classes and middle school period seven classes brackets to fill out for the schoolwide competition. The winning class receives a “majestic feast” comprised of an item of food chosen by the students.

This year, Atwood’s class chose an ice cream feast, according to freshman Iara Rattner.

The biggest upset on Rattner’s class bracket was Wofford because Rattner did not expect them to win the Southern Conference. Wofford ended up defeating Seton Hall University in the round of 64 and then losing to the University of Kentucky in the round of 32, the second of five rounds in the tournament challenge. However, the class was not frustrated by the loss, rather it became a joke for the students.

“We thought of all of these inside jokes so now Wofford is the joke of our class,” Rattner said. “I think we all got to know each other better.”

While Rattner’s class predicted the University of Virginia’s win, junior Daniel Chodorow did not due to their performance in the NCAA championship last year. Just a year ago, the first seed team lost to the sixteenth seed, which was the University of Maryland – Baltimore County at the time, in a stunning upset.

Chodorow did not participate in completing the class bracket, but if he had, he would have chosen Duke University as the winning team because, according to Chodorow, they are “the most popular and have really good players.” However, Chodorow would not have been disappointed if he had lost.

“There is some sort of prize and I’m not in need of that prize,” Chodorow said. “I don’t really participate in the money brackets so it wouldn’t be a big deal to me.”