Monday, March 16, 2015

March Madness

Nostalgia - 2001 Sweet Sixteen, UCLA vs. Duke in Philly

For those outside of the US, March Madness is the nickname of the month-long college basketball tournament pitting the best teams against each other across the land in a series of single-elimination contests. From 347 eligible university teams, 68 teams are selected to participate based upon a season of games and achievements. Those teams are seeded in four regions from 1 to 16, with the #1 seed playing the #16 seed and so on. Each round cuts the field in half, from 64 to 32 over the first weekend, then the Sweet Sixteen to the Elite Eight over the second weekend, to the Final Four and the National Championship game over the third weekend. Then a champion who wins the six games required to win all the games from tournament start to finish.

This year's favorite to win the tournament is University of Kentucky, the only college basketball team this year to win every game in its season. Kentucky is hoping to become the first team since 1976 to win every one of its games, a significant achievement. But there are several more college teams with odds to win, helped by the anything-can-happen single-elimination format of the tournament. 

All the while, millions will watch with hopes of winning their own championship, the office pool for selecting the most winning teams from the 63 tournament games played to crown a champion. That combination of betting fever and unpredictable game results from the competing college teams is what defines March Madness.

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