It’s that time of year again, the time when terms like “bracketology” and “March Madness” are thrown around on a daily basis. This time may be very annoying to you, as your normal TV programs are interrupted by college kids running up and down a basketball court. But you don’t have to sit on the sidelines this year. With our help, you’ll learn all about March Madness and participate in what makes March not just another boring month without football.
“March Madness” is, quite simply, a term that was coined to explain the frenzy that overtakes America as one huge tournament that consists of sixty-five division one college basketball teams that compete in a one-and-done competition to see who is the best college basketball team in the country. Win and you move on to the next round, lose and you go home crying in agony. Teams for both the men and women’s tournament are chosen by a selection committee, which is composed of select university athletic directors and conference commissioners. Each tournament has its own committee. The selection committee meets between the Thursday and Sunday prior to the date selected for the tournament’s first game. Its job is to filter out the teams deserving of an invitation. The decisions are announced live on TV March 15. The majority of the teams receive an automatic bid into the tournament by winning their respective conference. The selection committee determines the other tournament entries by many different qualifications such as wins on the road, wins vs ranked opponents and how well a team finishes the regular season. Teams that do not get selected have the possibility to be invited to the National Invitational Tournament (NIT), which most Americans refer to as “Not in Tournament.” The NIT tournament is obviously less prestigious than March Madness.
After the selection process enters the term “bracketology.” Where the teams are put into different “pods” and “seeds” to determine who they will play and what general area of the country they have to travel. The selection committee will try to keep the teams as close to home as possible so more fans can attend thus making more money. There will be 6 total rounds that winners of each game plays in that cuts down the number of teams by half each time (from 65 to 32–16–8–4–2–1) until a champion is crowned. Believe it or not, there are actually professional “Bracketologists” out there that get paid to predict the committee’s selections. There is also a book that explains how you can apply bracketology into your everyday life.
Now after selection Sunday you only have a couple days to fill in your bracket sheet of who you think will win. Some people get very scientific about how they fill in your bracket but it is nothing to stress about. With a little intuition and good luck, you will do just fine and have a great time competing against friends, family and coworkers.
- A No. 16 seed has never won a tournament game.
- A No. 8 seed is the highest seed to win a national championship (Villanova, 1985).
- A No. 11 seed is the highest seed to advance to the Final Four (LSU, 1986).
- No. 1 seeds represent 13 of the 26 national champions between 1979 and 2004.
- The only year that at least one No. 1 seed didn’t advance to the Final Four was 1980.
CBS Sports has compiled some tips to help you master your brackets. Here are a few:
- Don’t think that a low-seeded team is going to win because it’s never won, and it’s the team’s turn.
- Be on the lookout for injuries. The loss of key players could mean the difference between winning and losing.
- Remain objective. Don’t pick your favorite team to win the whole tournament when it starts out as a No. 16 seed.
- Look back into the past. If two teams played against each other earlier in the season, review the previous games. That could give you a good idea of what could happen again.
- Make sure you have fun.
So now you know a little bit about March Madness and are ready to participate. Here are some helpful links to do just that.
If you would like to create your group of future bracketologists or you just want to get your feet wet in the whole “March Madness” phenomenon, CBS sportsline has a great online bracket manager you can participate in for free. Just follow this link and CBS will guide you through the registration process. With this online manager software you can invite friends to join, customize your scoring system, trash talk with all your friends and most importantly, CBS does all the grunt work for you in calculating who has the most points by the end of the tournament to determine who out of your group did the best.
Still confused about all this March Madness works? Check out the videos we have in the Basketball section of GuysGirl.com to watch a video of the explanation of how March Madness works.
If your like me and usually have a wager put on your picks, you might want to do a little more research on the teams you will be picking. By clicking this link, you can access scores, records and bits of information and projections on the top twenty-five teams.
Good luck this merry March Madness season and as always GuysGirl.com is here to help with any questions you may have.