March Madness is the name given to the events surrounding the single-elimination Division I college tournaments that are held each spring in the United States. Headlined by both the NCAA Men’s Division I Basketball Championship and the NCAA Women’s Division I Championship, it was nicknamed March Madness during the 1940’s, when both tournaments were the most popular events at the time.
The Men’s Division dates back to 1939, while the Women’s Division wasn't inaugurated until 1981. These tournaments determine which team is the best out of all the major basketball colleges. Currently there are 68 college basketball teams in the Men’s Division and 64 in the Women’s. There are two ways to qualify for the tournament; they can either have automatic entry as conference champions, or they can be chosen by a selection committee in a nationally televised event, known as ‘Selection Sunday’. This committee also determines where all 68 teams are seeded and placed in a bracket.
The first round is known as the First Four, which refers to the number of games played, not the number of teams. First held in 2011, it pits the lowest four selected teams up against the lowest four automatic bid teams. These games are held to determine who will go on to the next stage of the tournament, known as Round of 64. Round 64 is officially the first round of the tournament, when the highest ranked team will go head-to-head with the lowest ranked team in all regions, then the second highest ranked team will face off against the second lowest ranked team and so on. This reduces the number of teams to 32 for the second round of the tournament, known simply as Round of 32.
Round 32 consists of all teams who won on the same day going toe-to-toe, for example, all of the teams that competed on the Friday will face off, while all the teams that played on the Thursday will play each other. The winners of these matches will advance through to the “Sweet Sixteen” round and then onto the finals, known as the Elite Eight. This format trickles down until there is only one winner, the NCAA Men’s Division Champions or the NCAA Women’s Division Champions.
The University of California, Los Angeles, holds the record for the most titles in the Men’s Division, winning the trophy 11 times. While the University of Connecticut holds the record in the Women’s Division, snaring the Championship nine times.
|YEAR||MEN'S WINNER||MEN'S RUNNERS UP||SCORE|
|2009||NORTH CAROLINA||MICHIGAN STATE||89-72|
|YEAR||WOMEN'S WINNER||WOMEN'S RUNNERS UP||SCORE|
|2011||TEXAS A&M||NOTRE DAME||76-70|