What’s March Madness?

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March Madness is the US college basketball tournament featuring 64 teams competing in a single-elimination event. The tournament generates buzz due to the uncertainty of outcomes and the possibility of Cinderella teams making deep runs. The tournament is played across the country, and winning conference championships guarantees a spot. The Sweet 16, Elite 8, and Final 4 rounds lead to the national championship. March Madness generates interest and campus parties.

March Madness refers to the excitement of the last few weeks of the US college basketball tournament which features many notable schools. It’s called the madness simply because there are so many games going on across the country, usually at the same time, in quick succession during the month of March. Winning teams don’t have to celebrate too much, because a loss means the end of the season. The NCAA Basketball Tournament is a single-elimination event.

The end-of-season tournament offers a very different atmosphere than college football, where only two teams have a shot at winning the national championship at the end of the regular season. At the start of the post season in basketball, there are effectively 64 teams that have a shot at the national title. If one gets hot and the others get cold, anything can happen. So, March Madness generates a lot of buzz because there’s always a certain amount of uncertainty.

The NCAA Tournament touches all four corners of the country, with games in various geographical regions. Schools may or may not be assigned to their home geographic region, depending on how the draw is constructed. Usually, the number one seeds in each quarter of the draw are assigned to play their opening games near their home regions, but nothing is guaranteed.

Additionally, conference tournaments often take place just before the NCAA basketball tournament. This gives teams who wouldn’t normally make another 64-team field goal before the NCAA Tournament begins, further adding to the urgency of March Madness. Teams that win their conference championships automatically receive a berth in the tournament, regardless of their regular season records.

Another thing that adds to the buzz around March Madness is the fact that every year a team seems to come out of nowhere to make a deep run into the tournament. This team is often called the Cinderella team, because it surprises everyone. While these teams rarely win it all, they make for some memorable moments, thus adding to the intrigue of March Madness.

In addition to the March Madness term, various rounds of the NCAA Tournament also have distinctive names. The third round, in which 16 teams are left, is called the Sweet 16. The next round is referred to as the Elite 8. Then there is the Final 4.
The Final 4 plays two games over three days to determine the national champion and close out March Madness. As with sports victory, March Madness continues with late-night campus parties in the successful college town. Basketball rivals soccer in terms of its ability to generate interest. Therefore, many people join in frivolity.

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