What is March Madness?
Hardly any collegiate sports draw as a lot of attention as the NCAA’s March Madness event.
The tournament contains more than 20 percent of the total teams in the top level of school basketball. With 64 participating teams playing a total of 67 games, the Big Dance is unmatched with regards to the amount of action-packed inside such a relatively short time frame.
Besides, the breakneck pace of the tournament attracts a wide audience. Indeed, even casual fans of the sport or those who didn’t have earlier information on the competition regularly end up addicted to bracket rivalry.
This article is for those who are confused by the perplexing nature of March Madness.
First up is the absolute base – NCAA stands for National Collegiate Athletics Association. This non-benefit organization serves as the overseeing collection of school level sports teams.
Under the NCAA, colleges are ranked in each sport on a scale of Division I to Division III. All teams that take part in March Madness are Division I ranked teams.
In fact, the genuine ‘official’ title for March Madness is the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Tournament. Following decades of colloquial use, the NCAA adopted the term ‘March Madness’ in 2011.
The first tournament happened in 1939 between just eight teams. The opposition’s size remained the same for 12 years. It at that point expanded steadily before reaching the present composition of 64 teams in 1985. An extra four teams have joined since, necessitating the preface ‘First Four’ games.
How are the teams seeded?
Division I basketball teams enter the NCAA Tournament in two ways. They either enter automatically or experience at-large bidding.
Teams that earn automatic participation are those who have won their local meeting tournaments. These regional competitions are used to seed 32 of the teams.
The other 36 teams are at-large bids, chosen through a rigorous selection process. A special selection board of trustees oversees this process.
The NCAA forms the board of trustees from administrators suggested by each meeting. The 10 members selected to serve pore over statistics and records to choose the 36 teams. Their final decision comes after all postseason games have been finished. The day this occurs is called Selection Sunday.
How is the NCAA Tournament organized?
The list of 68 teams is finished before the finish of Selection Sunday. The selections board of trustees at that point shifts to their second occupation. Ranking the teams from the first to the 68th.
This time-consuming process involves comparing each team against each other. Alluded to as scrubbing¸ it produces information used to plan the initial games. Split into four distinct regions, each initial bracket contains 16 teams. These regions are East, West, Midwest, and South.
The scrubbing process grants these teams individual bracket ‘seeds’ from 1st to sixteenth. Teams are then paired off with their opposite number.
As such, the sixteenth team goes against the first and so on down the line. This system rewards higher seeded teams for their past performances. In principle, their first game will be an easy assignment.
The lowest ranking teams take part in the preliminary ‘First Four’ games. This eliminates four teams before the main phase of the tournament kicks off.
Of note, 2018 stands as the main year in which a sixteenth seed team has defeated a No. 1 seed.
That was the point at which the UMBC Retrievers became the first No. 16 team to advance to the second round of the tournament by beating the heavily favored Virginia Cavaliers in the first round.
How does the NCAA Tournament Works?
From March 17-18, First Four teams will face off to battle for a chance to participate in the March Madness appropriate. The winners of those games will at that point enter the first round of the national tournament.
What follows is total madness.
With the cast of 64 teams total, the first round of the tournament will start on March 19 and will end on March 20. In that short timeframe span, 64 teams will face off in 32 separate games with surviving teams earning a chance to proceed onward to the second round of the tournament.
The second round will be played from March 21-22, with the losers returning home and the winners advancing to the third round or what’s popularly known as the “Sweet 16” round.
The Sweet 16 round is another two-day (March 26-27) event which will chop down the field down to just eight. These eight teams will play in the Elite 8 round (March 28-29).
At this point in the tournament, each loop fan’s heart beat faster and harder, however the NCAA is still just structure towards the crescendo. The best part is yet to come.
Out of the remaining eight teams, four will make it to the national semifinals — The Final Four.
Prior to the Final Four on April 4, there will be a five-day rest in the middle of that round and the Elite Eight to give time for the surviving teams to check their pulses, the media to publicity it all up, and the bettors to make up their psyche about which team they will be trusting next.
Final Four will bolt horns at the 2020 NCAA Championship Game on April 6 to choose unequivocally which team is the nation’s best.
Some Facts About March Madness
1.Your odds of rounding out an ideal bracket are bad. In fact, the is lower than your odds of winning the lottery, getting struck by lightning, and having a boa constrictor develop through the pipes in your latrine all on the same day. Wallethub says your chances of nailing each pick are 1 in 9.2 quintillion!
- The NCAA tournament may be the ultimate time-burgler. Wallethub estimates that hourly corporate losses will amount to generally $1.9 billion as a result of workers whose efficiency has been occupied by March Madness.
- The NCAA says it doesn’t want you to gamble on your bracket. Its official policy position is that “Fantasy leagues, March Madness brackets, sports pools, online sports bets and sports parlay cards are all forms of sports wagering. In the event that you put something at risk, such as a passage charge, for a chance to win something consequently, you violate the NCAA sports wagering bylaws.”
- No base seed has ever unseated a top seed in the first round. Everyone wants to resemble an immense smartypants by effectively picking a No. 16 over a No. 1, yet it is an act of hubris.
: At the time of composing, this was totally valid. In any case, never again, and kudos to the prognosticators out there who pegged the sixteenth seeded University of Maryland–Baltimore County Retrievers to topple top-seeded University of Virginia in the first round of the 2018 tournament. Incidentally, I wasn’t among them. My bracket is a post-apocalyptic wasteland.
- The lowest seed ever to win the tournament was the #8-ranked Villanova. The Wildcats brought home the coveted net in 1985. The exceptionally next year, eleventh seeded LSU became the lowest seed to crack the Final Four. That feat was repeated by George Mason in 2006 and VCU in 2011.
- 2008 may hold the record for being the most predictable tournament ever. It is the main time that all four No. 1 seeds—Kansas, North Carolina, UCLA, and Memphis—secured horns in the Final Four.
- The phrase “March Madness” was first instituted regarding the NCAA in 1982 when sportscaster Brent Musburger articulated it during his tournament coverage. The phrase was ultimately at the center of a 1996 legal entanglement with the Illinois High School Boys Basketball Championship, which had been using it since 1939. The court proceedings prompted the highly unusual decision granting each party its own separate rights to the “dual use trademark.” We consider it our business to give educators the unfair advantage they’ll have to win the teacher’s lounge pool.
- 1939 was also the inaugural year of the NCAA tournament. Just eight teams went after the title, with the Oregon Webfoots rising victorious over the Ohio State Buckeyes.
- In spite of the fact that it is regarded today as the consolation bracket, the National Invitation Tournament (NIT) predates the NCAA by one year and was seen by many as the superior of the two tournaments well into the 1950s. In fact, somewhere in the range of 1943 and 1945, the respective winners of the NIT and NCAA tournaments faced off against each other so as to secure a genuine national championship title.
- Until the mid-1950s, teams were allowed to participate in both the NIT and NCAA tournaments. City College of New York is the main school to land titles in the two brackets, accomplishing the singular feat in 1950.
- New York College won the two tournaments in 1950. However unfortunately, you couldn’t call New York College’s dual triumph a distinction. The next year, four of the program’s players were arrested in a point-shaving scandal. That ultimately implicated 30 players at seven schools.
- Notre Dame shooting guard Austin Carr set a tournament game record by sinking 61 points in a first round matchup with Ohio. No player has since threatened that record. NBA Hall of Famer David Robinson came closest in his Navy days with 50 points during a 1987 contest.
- University of Michigan’s all-time scoring leader, forward Glen Rice holds the record for points scored in a single tournament at 184, a mark he set in 1989. Duke power forward Christian Laettner owns the career record for 407 points scored across 23 tournament games. Certainly, the most famous of these points was his bell beater to secure the 1992 championship over Kentucky.
- In case you’re a fan of defense, you would not have been impressed with the second round 1990 matchup among LMU and Michigan. The two consolidated for a 149-115 score, the highest total in tournament history.
- The University of North Carolina holds the record for the worst loss in tournament history. The Tar Heels are broadly perceived for their historical greatness yet they also hold this ignominious distinction. In 1941, they set a record for ineffectiveness which still stands, logging a humiliating 20 points in a losing exertion against Pittsburgh in that year’s East Regional Semifinals. Sportscaster Brent Musburger begat the expression “March Madness” when he articulated it in a broadcast in 1982.
March Madness Facts
- Indiana boasts the youngest head coach to win a national title. At the point when head coach Emmett “Branch” McCracken guided the Indiana Hoosiers to a championship in 1940, he wasn’t that far out of school himself. At 31, he became the youngest man ever to coach toward a national title. He drove his team to another title in 1953.
- Just three men can claim champion status as both player and coach: Joe B. Hall registered the two achievements with Kentucky, the tempestuous Bob Knight with Ohio State and Indiana respectively, and the venerable Dean Smith, first on the court with Kansas and subsequently on the sideline with North Carolina.
- Just one coach has ever won the two championships in the NCAA and NBA—current Southern Methodist University play-caller, Larry Brown who did it with the Kansas Jayhawks in 1988 (NCAA) and the Detroit Pistons in 2004 (NBA).
- In spite of the fact that the tournament has been held for almost 80 years, just 35 schools have ever won the top prize.
- Fantastically, no #5 seeded team has ever won a championship. Just Butler (2010), Indiana (2002), and Florida (2000) have risen from that modest ranking to the title game. None were victorious.
- The University of Connecticut is the main school to have fielded people’s national championship teams in the same year… and they’ve done it twice! The Huskies ran the table in 2004 and 2014.
- Before this year, the tournament has been played 77 times and the University of Kentucky has been welcomed 55 times. 17 of these appearances have finished in Final Four berths and eight in championships.
- Marquette and Kentucky have faced off 10 times in the tournament’s history. Amazingly, in spite of Kentucky’s eight championships and Marquette’s solitary 1977 title, the Golden Eagles hold a tournament edge on the Wildcats by a record of 6-4.
- Kentucky is really acceptable yet with 11 titles, UCLA is the tournament’s most decorated champion. Ten of those titles were earned under legendary coach John Wooden, and seven of them came in succession. UCLA was the main school to top the ladder between 1967-1973.
- Americans will eat a ton of pizza and drink a great deal of beer in March. We as a whole know who the real winners are. According to Wallethub, while American beer companies produce an average of 14 million barrels a month, that number will bloat to somewhere between 17-18 million barrels in March. Pizza orders also increase by 19%.