March Madness

photo courtesy of google images

               March is an exciting month.  With March bringing in Mardi Gras, the beginning of Lent, spring break, St. Patrick’s Day, the annual Sadies dance for underclassmen, and dress shopping for those preparing for prom, there is something exciting every single week.  Yet, there is a day where something else equally exciting begins for all basketball lovers and sports fanatics alike—March 19th.  On that day, the start of the NCAA Division 1 Basketball Tournament shoots off, more commonly known and loved as March Madness. 

               Before being affectionately known as March Madness by sports fans, March Madness was originally and officially called the NCAA Division 1 Basketball Tournament.  NCAA Division 1 Basketball Tournament is not at catchy as the simple yet effective name of March Madness.  Coined in 1939 by Henry V. Porter, a high school basketball official, March Madness became officially synonymous with the NCAA Division 1 Basketball Tournament in 1982 when CBS broadcaster Brent Musberger used the term during a coverage of a game.  March Madness began in 1939 and is an annual college basketball tournament for all Division 1 schools, where the Oregon Ducks beat Ohio State.  At first, only eight teams competed, but it doubled to sixteen in 1951, eventually reaching the modern-day roster of sixty-eight teams in 2011.  The tournament becomes madness for basketball fans and sports fans alike, as teams nationwide compete to move their way up in the brackets. 

March Madness is comprised of sixty-eight college teams competing to win.  In the past, teams like Villanova, North Carolina, and Duke have taken the title of being March Madness champions.  Despite not being champions, teams like Loyola of Chicago, University of Miami, Florida State, and Kansas gave basketball fans nationwide a run for their money with their impressive win streak during March Madness 2018.  This basketball season, basketball experts predict Gonzaga, Virginia, Duke, and Kentucky will make it to the top, while North Carolina, Michigan State, Michigan, and Tennessee will be runners-up. 

With sixty-eight teams competing and a plethora of new college and university names to learn, enjoying the exciting weeks and matches of March Madness can seem daunting.  How does one keep up with all of the wins, losses, major upsets, and big wins?  For those who love being organized, the March Madness bracket is for you.  A March Madness bracket is the big bunch of brackets one might see a college basketball fan frantically filling out, or perhaps even your mom or dad fill one out annually.  The handy little organizer helps one to keep track of all the wins and losses, from the Sweet Sixteen, when only sixteen basketball teams are left, to the Elite Eight, when it dwindles down to only eight teams competing for a spot in the finals, then to the Final Four, when four teams compete to go to the finals, leading to the March Madness Final: when two teams square off to see who will win the title of the March Madness winner.  The brackets are also used to help basketball fans and sports fanatics write down their predictions of which teams will advance, and which teams will lose.  No matter if you are predicting or keeping up with the teams, the brackets are an easy way to keep up with and enjoy the season of March Madness.

March Madness is a fun and exciting way to watch basketball, get acquainted with unfamiliar colleges, and spend the beginning of spring.  The excitement of which teams will win and move on in the brackets while eating your favorite snacks is a relaxing and laid-back way to spend part of your Spring Break.  No matter if you are rooting on Villanova or a cinderella team like Florida Gulf Coast University, basketball fans, sports fanatics, and just regular spectators alike can all enjoy the competitive game of college basketball.

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