While North Carolina celebrates its win over Gonzaga in the NCAA March Madness basketball tournament, Hillsdale’s own March Madness just announced the winners. The winner of this year’s drama- and film-themed Mossey Madness is the original “Star Wars” trilogy, which triumphed over “Hamlet” in the championship round. The student bracket winners are senior Noah Diekemper in first place, senior Haley Talkington in second, and freshman Josiah Leinbach in third place.
This year’s plays and movies ranged from classic to cult classic. All the contestants were well-known, and most were cultural icons. In the plays, there were famous Shakespeare plays, Ancient Greek tragedies, Oscar Wilde comedies, and more modern plays such as “A Streetcar Named Desire,” “Raisin in the Sun,” and “A Man for All Seasons.” The movies ranged from the great classics of “Casablanca” and “12 Angry Men,” to “Shawshank Redemption,” Alfred Hitchcock thrillers, and finally cult classics like “The Princess Bride,” “Monty Python and the Holy Grail,” “Star Wars,” and “E.T.”
The struggle came down to the Final Four with “Hamlet” beating “Death of a Salesman,” and “Star Wars” winning over “To Kill a Mockingbird.” Second place winner Talkington said she chose Hamlet as her final winner. “I was surprised,” Talkington said. “It was my first time to play. It’s funny because I work at Jitters, so getting second place means I get money for a place I already get free coffee at. Does anyone want to trade prizes?”
Professor of English Stephen Smith said he comforted his Shakespeare class after “Hamlet”’s loss.
“Hamlet has immortal soliloquies, sure, but [“Star Wars” has] lightsabers. Beginning middle end,” Smith said. “Besides that, Denmark had no real answer to Chewbacca. The Gravedigger may be an ‘absolute’ knave, but put that joker up against the galaxy’s favorite wookie? I don’t think so,” Smith said.
Mossey Madness started two years ago, in March of 2015.
“The first year I featured books that were or had been assigned in classes at Hillsdale College. Last year was authors, and this year is plays and movies,” Wade said. Anyone who is affiliated with Hillsdale College could participate by filling out a bracket.
While the NCAA March Madness was full of upsets, Mossey Madness was calmer.
Wade said there were no major upsets in her opinion, but there were some nail-biters that have were a real struggle.
“People had a very hard time with ‘The Princess Bride’ and ‘Monty Python and the Holy Grail’ … ‘Star Wars,’ ‘Lord of the Rings,’ I think that was particularly evil on my part,” she said.
Quinn Crago, a freshman and participant, said, “I was surprised that ‘The Godfather’ and ‘Shawshank Redemption’ lost so early.”
Though the championship game was an odd matchup, Mossey Madness was rather calm and there were no surprising Cinderellas this year.
The first place prize, going to Diekemper, was a $30 Amazon gift card, second place Talkington received a $20 gift certificate to AJ’s/Jitters, and third place Leinbach won a $10 gift certificate to AJ’s/Jitters.
Mossey Madness was a fun opportunity for any bracketologist. Freshman Nolan Ryan said he enjoyed the unique Hillsdale flavor of Mossey Madness.
“I participated in the tournament because I thought it was really awesome that Hillsdale took March Madness and put its own spin on it,” Ryan said.