March Madness is one of the most exciting times of the year, in the world of sports. It’s the time of year when the best college basketball players in the country converge to duke it out on the court. At the end of the month-long tournament, only one college is left standing at the top of the totem pole, with bragging rights for the rest of the year as NCAA Division 1 champs.
Each spring, 68 college basketball teams (including those from Ivy League schools) take part in the March Madness tournament. As with Ivy League football recruiting, only the best of the best student athletes make it onto the basketball teams. These teams are the cream of the crop, the highest-rated Division 1 NCAA teams culled from around the United States and chosen to participate in the championships.
The tourney teams include the champions from 31 Division 1 conferences who receive automatic bids, and 37 other teams who are chosen by a special NCAA selection committee. There are four regions into which the 68 teams are divided, and the entire tournament is single elimination, so one loss means the team is no longer allowed to play in tournament.
Each weekend in the March Madness lineup eliminates a full 75% of the teams playing, and the field narrows from a field of over 60 to the “Sweet Sixteen,” followed by the “Final Four,” out of which emerges an NCAA champion.
Recruiting for College Basketball
March Madness is the culmination of years of training and preparation by talented student athletes, most having been recruited to play at the various schools. Often, athletes will use a wide variety of tools, including recruiting websites, in order to help them get into the top-tier schools. Recruiting websites can, in fact, make cracking into the world of college basketball significantly easier. College basketball is a multi-million dollar industry, and March Madness is the year’s biggest event.
How Are Players Recruited?
Players are recruited by basketball scouts, often from an early age. In order to be recruited at a top basketball school, a student athlete must show exceptional athletic and academic skill. In fact, at Ivy League universities, recruiters use a system called the Ivy League Academic Index in order to judge a player’s recruitability according to their academic achievements. At Ivy League schools, especially, players must show significant basketball and academic prowess in order to be considered.
The Madness of March Madness
March Madness has become a phenomenon over the past few decades. With humble beginnings in the year 1939, the NCAA championships have since become one of the most watched and talked about sports events of the calendar year. Bets and pools have increased the madness of March Madness, and the games are televised and hyped to no end. It’s safe to say that during the March Madness period, participating students can feel overwhelming pressure to succeed. That being said, doing well in the tournament could mean the opportunity for fame and fortune in the NBA.