A Complete Breakdown of March Madness

As sunshine and warm breezes begin to fill our days, it is just another sign that the school year is coming to a close. With this, basketball season (everyone’s second favorite college sport) is wrapping up. The NCAA, National College Athletic Association, has cycled through its usual March Madness month all the way down to the Final Four, to be played over the past weekend. If you have not heard about the hype that is college basketball, I will break March Madness down for you.

Starting in 1939, March Madness stems from NCAA Division I basketball where the 345 D1 schools are whittled down into only 68 teams. These 68 teams will compete in seven single elimination rounds to be the National Champion. To decide which teams are allowed to compete, bids are given to qualifying teams. There are two types of bids, automatic bids, given to the 32 conference winners regardless of their past season’s performance, and at-large bids which are chosen by a committee known as the March Madness selection committee. The selection committee is made up of 10 school and conference administrators who serve 5-year terms. This committee gives out at-large bids by looking at team’s statistics and rankings. All 68 teams are announced on Selection Sunday, March 11, for this past season, along with the dates and sites of all the games for the season. Bracket mania begins immediately after the teams are announced.

Courtesy: Sporting News


Most avid college basketball fans predict who they believe will win the tournament by using a bracket system, like many of us use to predict the Bachelor. The bracket system closes the Thursday before the games begin in order to keep the predictions as fair as possible. According to the NCAA, no one has ever gotten a perfect bracket but there is a first time for everything. If you need any help creating a bracket for the next season, there are an abundance of websites dedicated to helping fans choose the best teams.

Sadly, collegiettes, if you are not following all the constant basketball updates, Florida State was knocked out of the Elite Eight by Michigan two weeks ago. Michigan, ranked Number 3 overall, has made it to the Final Four where they will play Loyola Chicago, ranked Number 11, in the semifinals on Saturday night. Afterward, Number 1 Villanova will play also Number 1, Kansas. According to Sporting News, Villanova is favored to win the tournament by 48.97%. Shortly after is Michigan, favored by a solid 25.89%, Kansas at 14.21%, and Loyola Chicago at the lowest 10.92%. If Villanova won, it would be their second national championship within three years, an amazing feat to say the least. Even with these odds, I believe the game is still unpredictable at this point. Look at Loyola Chicago, the ultimate Cinderella, making it all the way to the semifinals. Personally, I am rooting for Loyola Chicago because I love a good underdog story. The Final Four games are set to air on Saturday, March 31 with the National Championship, the following Monday, April 2.