Discover the college basketball obsession that takes over the country once a year by reading our guide to the chaos of the NCAA’s March Madness tournament.
People who rarely follow sports, especially college athletics, are likely confused each year when they hear the phrase “March Madness.” They may assume there is a spring event taking place, but instead, the phrase refers to a college basketball tournament that takes place every year at the same time.
The beauty of the march madness event is that you get sports fans and gamblers from around the world interested in college basketball. There are countless bets placed on games during this event, and at a far greater frequency than during other times of the college basketball season.
Not only does the NCAA make a great deal of money from the event, but March Madness is also an outstanding showcase for the players. They get a national audience, especially if their team wins one or two games and they make it into the Sweet 16.
Below is a deeper explanation of how March Madness works.
The Thrill of Knockout Sport
Part of the reason the March Madness tournament is such a resounding success is because of the format. There are countless sports in the USA where the playoffs happen over seven games, where one team has to win four times to progress to the next round and eventually lift the trophy.
While those formats are appealing to sports enthusiasts, as they help the best team win over a long period of games, they do detract from the spectacle. The NFL is an example where the playoffs are one-off games, and they result in massive TV audiences and a lot of neutral interest.
The NCAA March Madness event is very similar. There are 64 teams that start out at the beginning of the bracket and have qualified based on their results so far this season. Those teams are then whittled down to a Sweet 16 in knockout matches before the 16 best teams in the country at the time battle it out to see who can go all the way.
Colleges Establish Dynasties
There are many colleges in the United States, such as Duke and the University of North Carolina, that have established dynasties with this tournament. Duke has won the March Madness event six times, while UNC has five to its name, along with Indiana. Kansas is next with four wins in its history.
While the tournament is one that relies on unpredictability, as anyone can beat their opponent on a given day, there are some teams that will always be among the top seeds. These teams have huge fan bases around the local area and nationwide, as they often recruit the best players from high school for their program.
Anyone who follows and bets on college basketball knows that teams such as the Duke Blue Devils are always up there. You can bet on them to have a successful tournament in most instances, even though a shock exit in the first round can happen as well!
Who Can Make It To the NBA?
There is so much interest in March Madness, which eventually progresses from its Sweet 16 into the final eight, semi-finals and then a showpiece final to decide who is the best college basketball team of the year.
The excitement of the games definitely plays a part, but many fans tune in because they want to see the superstars of the future. They are curious about the players that have a serious chance of being in the NBA in one or two years. There have been occasions where high-profile celebrities even went to games to see up-and-coming talents such as Zion Williamson in years past.
Any avid fan of the sport and casual follower of basketball would be hyped about seeing the players that could dominate the NBA for the next decade.
Everyone Loves an Underdog
The underdog stories are also a very important aspect of March Madness. The fairytale of a 16th seed beating a number one seed has never gotten old, especially when they put in a performance that is full of heart and passion. Neutrals love to see the usual suspects beaten in the early rounds, as it makes for a very surprising and exhilarating bracket throughout the competition.
March Madness is an event where the entire nation appears to stop and become engrossed with college basketball in a way that does not happen for the rest of the year. People having competitions to see who can come up with the most accurate bracket also add to the fun, as some groups may even bet on who can come closest to predicting the eventual outcome of the tournament.
If you are a basketball fan and have never seen March Madness, you may want to catch the Sweet 16 and other rounds of the competition in 2023.