The Scoop on March Madness

Khadija Mganga, Reporter

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If you aren’t a sports enthusiast you may be embarrassed to ask, “What’s is March Madness?” March Madness is the time of the annual NCAA college basketball tournament, generally throughout the month of March.

The NCAA basketball tournament began in 1939. In 1939 the tournament involved  8 schools playing in single-elimination to determine the NCAA men’s division 1 basketball championship. The first tournament began on March 17, 1939. The school to win first ever NCAA men’s basketball tournament was the University of Oregon who defeated the Ohio State University. The score was 46-33.

As the tournament became known, it started to grow to grow in size and  popularity since then. Henry B. Porter was the person who to come up with the term March Madness. But it didn’t make it on TV until broadcaster Brent Musburger used it during coverage in 1982 tournament.

In 2005 the tournament became the largest event for gamblers. Most of the betting happened during the tournament. Only eight teams were invited on the first 12 years. The numbers start to grow until it hit 68 teams involved, in 2011. It’s played at multiple places across the country.

The first round consists of 32 games and gets cut to the “Sweet 16” in the second round. The “Sweet 16” are the 16 teams that won the first round to move on to the second round. Similarly the the third round, the “Elite Eight” only happens if you won the second round. The fourth round consists of the “Final Four,” which has the final four teams of the tournament.  The last two teams standing play for the national championship. The team has to win six games straight to earn the title.

There are two ways a team can earn a bid in the NCAA tournament. One way is, you have to win their conference tournament if eligible for postseason play. They are known as automatic qualifiers. After all regular season and conference tournament games are played, the selection committee decided which team that isn’t an automatic qualifier have the pedigree to earn an invitation to the tournament.

Many people enjoy trying to pick the winner of the tournament by filling out brackets with their friends.  Sometimes this is for bragging rights and sometimes the winner may get money.  Either way it causes excitement or “madness” for the tournament. 

This year, the Duke Blue Devils are favored to win it all, but every year there a lot of upsets and underdogs that beat the top seeded teams.  A majority of GM students are going with favorited Duke in their brackets, but basketball coach Mr. Shulz, who has won his bracket in the past, also stated to look for Virginia, Tennessee, Gonzaga, and North Carolina to perform well.  

Now that you know the scoop on the NCAA tournament, join the madness and fill out a bracket with your friends.  Let us know who your final four picks are in the comments below.

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