What is about cheering for the underdog that gives us intrinsic happiness?
In 2013, a 15 seed pulled off what no one had done before. FGCU came into the NCAA tournament and took basketball fans on a ride of their life. FGCU only made it to the Sweet 16 that year but their historic run filled the hoop dreams of thousands of fans.
If you’re from the East Coast you’ve always known Mount St Mary’s as the tiny university up on the hills of Catoctin, Maryland. Somehow through strength of schedule and competitiveness in tough games, Mount St. Mary’s found itself with a bid to the NCAA Tournament. A blue collared and hard working basketball team earned their way to the big stage. This was an exciting year to be apart of this basketball program making history.
Listed as a 16 seed and <1% to make it to the championship game, this team was more than excited to even be on the same stage as the defending champions in their first round game in the tournament. Villanova pulled away in the second half and knocked Mt. St. Mary’s out of the dance in their first round.
The entire state of Maryland was rooting for them (along side the overrated University of Maryland) because these sports fans wanted to be apart of a 16 seed making history.
So why do we cheer so loudly for the Cinderella Story? In my opinion that happiness of a 16 seed winning the tournament would be one of the most exciting things to witness compared to the tournament favorite easily making their way through the bracket. The truth is people are sappy. They love a good story with an exciting background.
Happiness as told by Aristotle is, dependent on oneself. For many sports fans happiness can be found through an exciting victory or a historic run in the NCAA tournament.