One of our all-time favorite traditions has to be the month long celebration of school spirit called March Madness! But if you’re not up on your Ducks or Bulldogs, don’t fear! With so many ways to participate, everyone will want to brush up on their college sports history and fun facts. Here’s our breakdown!
What is March Madness?
March Madness refers to the time in which the NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association) hosts its annual college basketball tournament. It’s a single-elimination tournament that features 68 of the best Division I teams.
The tournament starts with an event called Selection Sunday where governing members of each conference to determine which of their teams deserve to be sent, based on season play, to the national tournament. They give these teams seeds (or rankings) and assign who will play who. These games are then played over the course of mid-March and into early April .
The excitement of the tournament is so huge that different parts of it have its own designation. For example, Selection Sunday has become a massive event similar to the NFL Draft where fans and alumni gather to watch as their team gets seeded. Sweet Sixteen, Elite Eight, and Final Four are also parts you may have heard of as they designate the lead up to the national championship game and crown the winners of the regions.
Then there is the national championship. It’s one of the biggest nights in sports television and often rivals the Olympics and Super Bowl in terms of viewers. Many college campuses, regardless of if there team made it all the way, host watch parties or events. And if you’re lucky enough to see your team pull through, you’ll be guaranteed a lifetime of parties, events, and school spirit lead up.
What about that bracket?
One of the most celebrated traditions for March Madness is playing along with a bracket games. Basically, you sit down before the tournament begins to pick out the winner of each matchup. Each correct match-up gets you a point.
Millions of people attempt to see the future or use their basketball knowledge to win. Even the President famously fills out his bracket for the world to see! But don’t worry if you’re not an expert yet — USA Today says that there is a one in 9.2 quintillion chance of getting the bracket perfect.
The first bracket game was thought to have been played in 1977 at a bar in Staten Island, but now it is a national pastime! Businesses that play along offer huge contest wins like cash or prizes, but many colleges also offer their own versions. If your school is missing out, don’t be afraid to propose a bracket tournament for fun university swag — or even consider hosting a March Madness party yourself!
How to Win at March Madness
If your university or college isn’t Division I, don’t be too disappointed. Division II, III, and Junior College tournaments also have their own high-energy championship series. And if your school doesn’t make it, don’t sweat it. March Madness is for everyone — whether you go to your favorite tournament team’s school or not.
Have fun, try your best to pick a winner, and get into the spirit! March Madness as a college student or college-student-to-be is one of the most exciting parts of the school year!
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