What is March Madness?

With March quickly approaching March Madness is right around the corner! It is time to turn on those TV’s and make your brackets. To help you out this basketball season I am going to give you some information on what March Madness is, how it works, and some of the terms that you should know in order to properly understand and participate in it.

What Is It?

March Madness is the name for the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) basketball tournament. The tournament is a single-elimination tournament that currently features 68 college basketball teams from the Division I level of the NCAA. The term “March Madness” was born out of the millions of fans that go crazy for the tournament each year.

How Does It Work?

In total there are 1,066 colleges that are divided into three categories and they must follow specific rules of their division. Each tournament is based on a single-elimination format which means if you lose a game you are out. The process of selecting who plays in the tournament involves a team either winning their conference tournament, or a team being handpicked by the NCAA committee. Setting up a bracket for the tournament is simpler than I thought. Simply find a bracket you like, and fill it out by choosing who you believe will when each round.

The Lingo

In March Madness a “seed” refers to the position in which a team stands within a certain bracket. In Round 1 of the tournament, the highest seeded teams are matched up with the lowest seeded team possible.

  • A “cinderella” refers to situations in which competitors achieve far greater success than would reasonably have been expected.
  • The “final four” are the last four teams that are left in the tournament.
  • An “automatic bid” is a team that has won their conference’s postseason tournament and they are automatically placed in the NCAA or March Madness tournament.
  • The day on which the teams for that year’s tournament and their seeds are announced is known as “Selection Sunday”.

Now that you have a little more information on what March Madness is, how it works, and the lingo I hope you feel more confident making your brackets this March Madness season! Tournament Bracket matchups will be announced on Sunday, March 12th, between 5:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. The tournament begins on Thursday, March 16th at around 12:20 EST and the championship game will be on Monday, April 4th. Good luck!