March Madness


There are many things that are used for entertainment. These could be technology devices, board games, movies, books, or anything that one finds intriguing. One thing that is particularly popular in the entertainment industry is the topic of sports, and among sports, basketball is very prominent around the world. The game is unpredictable and there is nonstop action. A large amount of strategy is required to play well and win, and watching the combination of that and effort creates an exhilarating game. Depending on the person, one may prefer the  professional level of basketball or the college level. Both display talent, but college basketball is more appealing in my opinion because the players give 100% of their effort to win. Pertaining to college basketball, the largest event is March Madness and millions watch it every year. 

March Madness is essentially a NCAA Division I men’s basketball tournament held every year starting in March and ending in early April. It consists of 68 teams (for the men’s) and 64 teams (for the women’s) that qualify either by winning their conference title or by being chosen as an at-large entry by the NCAA’s selection committee. The first men’s tournament was held in 1939, but it was overshadowed for most of the first two decades of its existence by the National Invitation Tournament(NIT), which was considered more prestigious and usually featured the best teams in the country.The first tournament had eight teams, and Oregon was the first NCAA tournament champion, beating Ohio State for the title. In 1951, the field doubled to 16, and kept expanding over the next few decades until 1985, when the modern format of a 64-team tournament began. In 2001, after the Mountain West Conference joined Division I and received an automatic bid, pushing the total teams to 65, a single game was added prior to the first round. In 2011, three more teams were added, and with them, three more games to round out the First Four.

The men’s tournament format consists of four subsets known as regions, each of which contains 16 teams that are seeded number 1 to number 16 by the selection committee and then matched up according to seed, with the number 1 seed playing number 16, number 2 playing number 15, and so on. As the rounds progress, they are given specific names. For example, when there are 16, 8, and 4 teams left, the names include the “sweet sixteen,” “elite eight,”and “final four.” Many may argue that nothing compares to the suspense behind watching one’s favorite team play for a chance to win the national championship. That is precisely why people show interest in March Madness. 

It is a common practice for fans to fill out tournament brackets with their predictions before the event begins and to enter their brackets into different pools with friends, family members, and coworkers. Fun fact, studies have shown that American workers become less productive during March Madness, as large numbers of basketball fans frequently monitor the status of their brackets or discuss the tournament while on the job. I’m sure it’s the same for school because everyone seems to watch and talk about it. Despite whether one watches March Madness or not, it’s a large event that has a rich history and entertains many.