The NCAA Men's basketball tournament, sometimes better known as March Madness, is one of the great basketball events in the world.
Every March, 65 college basketball teams are selected by the NCAA
Selection Committee to participate in the tournament. Each team is
seeded and placed in brackets in four different regions. You either win
or you go home.
The urgency of single-elimination adds to
the excitement of the venue. Every year without fail, there are games
that go to the final second with one team making a last-second shot or
a "buzzer beater" to clinch the win.
Another staple of the
tournament is "Cinderella". A Cinderella team is one that has a high
ranking, so therefore is not expected to do well. But sure enough, this
upstart team will beat a couple of favorite teams on their unexpected
tournament run. Another iconic term that came out of March Madness is
the Final Four.
This is the national semifinal which
features the winners from each of the four regions. The Final Four has
become an accomplishment in itself and is almost its own event as it
takes place at a designated location. This year's Final Four will be
held at Ford Field in Detroit, Michigan.
makes an annual appearance at the tournament, in terms of champions,
the biggest programs have always ruled the roost. No program has many
as many titles as UCLA(11). From 1964 to 1975, under head coach John
Wooden and with players such as Lew Alcindor (Kareem Abdul Jabaar) and
Bill Walton, they won 10 championships. Kentucky is another school who
has had great success at the tournament. UK has won seven titles in
four different decades. Kansas has a long-time winning tradition
in college basketball as well. In the 2008 tournament, the Jayhawks
beat the Memphis Tigers 75-68 in overtime in one of the most memorable
championship games ever.
March Madness is not only a sporting
event but a nationwide cultural event, largely due to numerous
Tournament Pools. These pools are typically run at an office or amongst
friends. Each person fills out their predictions for the tournament,
picking a winner for all 63 games. Whoever gets the most points, wins
the pool. Millions of people across the country fill out their brackets
in hopes of winning prize money. As a result, the tournament
draws great interest across America from people, whether or not they
know anything about college basketball.
It is estimated that
American companies lose $4 billion dollars due to low productivity
because people pay so much attention to this tournament.