March 27, 2018 9:14 pm

Wednesday: Explore The Money, The Minds, and The Madness of the NCAA

This week on Playing with Science we’re diving into the money, the minds, and madness of the NCAA and March Madness. Hosts Gary O’Reilly and Chuck Nice are hosting a crack team of guests to break down what goes on behind the tournament that captivates millions of people every March.

Ben Ratner's photo of Chuck Nice, Gary OReilly and Leah Lagos in the Playing with Science studio.

Chuck Nice, Gary OReilly and Dr. Leah Lagos in the Playing with Science studio. Photo Credit: Ben Ratner.

To start things off, bracketologist and frequent Playing with Science guest, Chris Dobbertean gives his Final Four predictions and helps us make sense of the madness that has transpired up to this point. Disclaimer: this episode was recorded before the Elite Eight games but, as you’ll hear, Chris did a pretty good job of predicting the Final Four.

After that, Andrew Zimbalist, Professor of Economics at Smith College and author of Unwinding Madness: What Went Wrong with College Sports and How to Fix It, weighs in on the current state of the NCAA.

Being a former college athlete myself, this segment was particularly interesting to hear given my experience with scholarships and being embedded in a monetary system that favored certain sports. It’s a hard problem to fix and Andrew offers some valuable solutions.

Following that, Chuck and Gary welcome Heather Berlin, StarTalk All-Stars host and neuroscientist, to explain what’s going on in an athlete’s brain during an intense pressure situation like competing in the Final Four and how that can impact performance.

Last, but not least, we explore the psychophysiological gains that can be made through bio-hacking with clinical & sport psychologist Leah Lagos. Leah also discusses “busy brain,” using stress tests, and how we can train our brain to give the best performance at the right time.

This episode is full of insight on the micro and macro levels of competing in one of the biggest sporting events of the year, and it’s one you don’t want to miss!

Please join us tomorrow night for NCAA – March Madness, Money, and Minds right here on our website, as well as on our Playing with Science channels on Apple Podcasts, Google Play Music, SoundCloud, Stitcher, and TuneIn. If you’re an All-Access subscriber, you can watch or listen to this episode ad-free.

That’s it for now. Keep Looking Up!
–Ian Mullen

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