March Madness is a single-elimination tournament between the 68 Division 1 collegiate basketball teams in America. This tournament was created in 1939 by the National Association of Basketball Coach, and was the idea of Ohio state coach Harold olsen. This tournament, like in the name, is mostly played in March.
It has become extremely common in popular culture to predict the outcomes of each game, even among non-sports fans; it is estimated that tens of millions of Americans participate in a bracket pool contest every year. Mainstream media outlets such as ESPN, CBS Sports and Fox Sports host tournaments online where contestants can enter for free. This sporting event has become such an important part of sports that during this time, employers have noticed changes in behavior from their employees, such as longer lunch breaks, increased sick days, and rescheduling conference calls around game times.
The tournament teams include champions from 32 Division I conferences, and 36 teams which are awarded at-large berths. These “at-large” teams are chosen by NCAA selection committee, then announced in a nationally televised event on the sunday and dubbed Selection Sunday. The 68 teams are divided into four regions and organized into a single elimination bracket, which pre determines, when a team wins a game, which it will face next. Each time is ranked within its region from 1-16,. After the “First Four” round, the tournament occurs during the course of three weekends, at pre-selected neutral sites across the United States. The winners advance on through the “Sweet Sixteen” and “Elite Eight” in the upcoming weeks.
This year, March Madness has been more popular than ever since the Covid-19 Lockdowns are keeping us at home. The biggest games came 15 seed Oral Roberts, who defeated the number 2 seed Ohio State. They later won their next game, but their historic run came to an end by the third. Now, after the final four where Gonzaga beat UCLA in overtime with the buzzer beater 3 point shot from Jalen Suggs, and Baylor beating Houston, we are in the Championship round to decide who will win. Millions are placing their bets now, and it will be an incredible game to watch.