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Posted by: Maricopa Lawyers on Mar 11, 2016

It’s that time of year again. March Madness is happening, and it’s time to break out the brackets and make your predictions for the Big Dance. Whether you’re a longtime expert on the event, or have heard your friends and coworkers talk about their “brackets” and have no clue what all the excitement is about, we’ve got some interesting facts about how March Madness became a thing.

The Beginnings of the College Basketball Tournament

The NCAA has hosted a single-elimination tournament to determine a national champion every spring in the United States since 1939, when eight teams battled it out with the Webfoots from the University of Oregon won the national title over Ohio State. Today, the tournament features 68 college basketball teams that takes place mostly in March and has become one of the most famous annual sporting events in the US.

Where “March Madness” Came From

The term was first used by Henry V. Porter of the Illinois High School Association to describe the excitement surrounding the Illinois high school basketball tournament. The phrase spread to the collegiate level in 1982, when CBS broadcaster Brent Musberger used it during the CBS coverage of the NCAA tournament. After a bit of a legal battle between the NCAA and the IHSA, the college tournament retained the phrase.

Rounds of the Tournament

When filling out a bracket, the entire tournament is considered, which includes:

  • The First Four
  • The First Round
  • The Second Round
  • The Regional Semi-finals (participating teams are known as the “Sweet Sixteen”)
  • The Regional Finals (participating teams are known as the “Elite Eight”)
  • The National Semi-finals (participating teams are known as the “Final Four”)
  • The National Championship

The tournament is single-elimination, increasing the chance of an underdog “Cinderella team” advancing, which is when a lower-ranked team beats a stronger team and advances.

Tournament play is set to get started, so be sure to fill out your brackets and get ready to enjoy the games!