NCAA Basketball And March Madness

A jumbotron displays the NCAA March Madness logo. Photo credit to @jrice_photography on Unsplash.
A jumbotron displays the NCAA March Madness logo. Photo credit to @jrice_photography on Unsplash.

The excitement that the NCAA’s March Madness tournament brings is unparalleled, with unpredictable upsets and intense matchups between some of the best college basketball teams in history. It’s a story that involves close calls and buzzer-beaters on one end while showcasing emerging stars and potential Cinderella stories on the other.

The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), which is the main governing body for college sports in the US, started nearly 117 years ago in 1906. Since then, the NCAA has grown in size and influence with men’s basketball and football – two of the biggest college sports – now under its umbrella, as well as baseball, lacrosse, track & field and many other sports.

The NCAA remains one of the key organizations setting standards for things like rules of play, eligibility criteria for participation in its competitions, and more. The NCAA Division I Men’s basketball tournament is one of the most anticipated sports events of the year. Over three weeks in March and April, 68 teams from across the country battle it out in a single-elimination tournament for glory and college pride.

The idea for the NCAA tournament came from a college basketball coach named Harold Olsen, who was looking for a way to promote the sport and generate more interest among fans. In 1939, the NCAA agreed to sponsor the tournament, and the first games were played in eight different cities across the United States.

The “March Madness” term was coined in the tournaments first year by a high school official in Illinois, Henry V. Porter, when he wrote about his experience watching an intense basketball game between two local rivals. Porter used this phrase to describe how exciting and unpredictable these games could be. It quickly caught on and became popular among fans across the country.

By 1982, it had been adopted by broadcaster Brent Musburger to refer to the NCAA tournament itself and has since become synonymous with college basketball in general. Now featuring 68 teams from across the nation divided into four regions, this three-week tournament is jam-packed with 63 games of intense competition. The ultimate goal? Reach that dominating Final Four and fight for college basketball’s national championship crown.

One of the tournament’s hallmarks is filling out brackets with family and friends – trying to guess-timate which team will win each round and who will ultimately come away with the coveted national title. This practice has become so popular that it spawned its own industry. You can now buy custom-made brackets or fill out digital versions online if you want to avoid creating your own. But regardless of how you do it, predicting winners is part of what makes watching March Madness so fun.

As we look back over the years of March Madness history, some moments are especially memorable. One in particular is when Michael Jordan hit “the shot” against Georgetown in 1982. Another is Villanova winning as an eighth seed team against Georgetown in 1985. In 2018, we saw something that had never happened – the University of Maryland-Baltimore County (UMBC) became the first No. 16 seed to beat a No. 1 seed with their impressive 74-54 victory over Virginia.

From Cinderella stories to record-breaking performances, it’s no wonder why this tournament is at the top of every sports fanatics’ agenda each year. It’s a true rollercoaster ride that has given us some unforgettable moments over time.

We’ve already seen some remarkable outcomes over the years, but as technology advances and team training sharpens, we’ll undoubtedly get treated to even more jaw-dropping moments during this highly anticipated tournament. This year’s tournament will kick off on March 14th and take us through an exhilarating ride until April 4th. Get ready for heart-stopping finishes, and plenty of upsets.

Written by Editorial Team

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