What Is March Madness?

A little bit of history about the NCAA basketball tournament.

Every year in March the NCAA hosts a tournament for all of the premiere college basketball teams for both men and women. Sixty four teams start out in the tournament and they play until there is one team left. It is a very exciting time for the players, coaches, fan and the media.

Here Is How The NCAA Basketball Tournament Works:

There are four divisions with 16 teams in each division. Each team is ranked according to the expectation of where they will end up within their specific bracket or region. These rankings are known as to how they are seeded or ranked within their specific region with 1 being the top seed and 16 being the worst. Each game a team wins allows them to go on within the bracket. The original 64 teams lead into 32 teams, 8 teams remain within each bracket.  When there are sixteen teams left in the tournament there are called the Sweet Sixteen.  The winners of those games are called the Elite 8 and then the Final Four play in a semi-finals game leading up to the championship.

The games are electrifying and the enthusiasm seems to grip the nation for just three weeks of exciting action. People take time off of work to watch the games. Fans spend time making bracket selections at the office, online or with friends.  Wherever you are during March madness time, all conversation seems to revolve around bracket picks and how your bracket is doing.  It definitely is a type of madness that takes over.

March Madness Strategies for Picking Winners

10 Ways To Help You Predict The Winners Of Each Bracket

Bracketology is a term that was coined to name the process of predicting the winners in each of the brackets. There are sports shows dedicated to their pick strategies along with analyzing the strengths and weaknesses of the various teams and players in the tourney.

Any team can win although some have a better chance than others. There are always upsets. The key is to pick the upsets at the right round. You don’t have to be an expert to pick the winner of each game. It is fun to play the brackets and to see how many winners you have.

Are there any strategies that work better than others? Maybe, but in the end it can be any teams tournament to win.

  1. Pick the teams who have been winning because they have momentum in their favor. This is a great strategy to pick teams because when a team has things rolling, they often keep it rolling and maybe right into the final four.

  2. Pick by team colors. Every team has a color scheme for their uniforms and school. Choose which one you like best between each team. Sometimes this strategy works just as well as any especially when teams are a toss-up.  We have a bracket pick contest in our family every year and that is exactly how my 10 year old niece picked her and won the whole thing.

  3. Pick according to the mascots. This is another good way toInspiring Basketball PosterCredit: Allposters pick teams when you are undecided. Do you like the Wildcats or maybe the Buckeyes? The Jayhawks, the Hoosiers or the Irish can be amongst your favorites. It’s a fun way to pick especially when you don’t know a lot about basketball but you still want to play in the bracket pool.

  4. Pick the teams that are favored (the ones with the lower seed numbers). Keep in mind though, that the favorites don’t always win.

  5. Pick your personal choices just because you like them. If you have a favorite team or one that you have been a loyal fan to all season could make your picks easier to make.

  6. Look at the location where the games are being played. Some teams will have a natural home field advantage because they are located at venues nearby the school. Those teams will have a lot of crazy and loyal fans because they are the hometown favorites. The energy from the fans often propels their teams to victory.

  7. Sports Books or odds makers are pretty accurate when they make their odds. Use that information to help you make good picks especially when you have an 8 seed playing a 9 seed.

  8. Choose teams that have a player that is considered to be a Super Star. These teams are often led to victory by the strength of one player.

  9. When selecting between two teams, choose the one that has more experience in the NCAA tourney. Sometimes all the hoopla surrounding the games can interfere with a team’s overall focus. Choosing the one that has been to the March Madness 
    tournament before will be better at handling all the pressure.

  10. Read a guide that that analyzes historical data of how far seeds advance in the tournament. Pick in terms of those with the best odds of winning according to events of the past. 

A Great Video That Captures The Spirit of What Is March Madness

Interesting Facts About The March Madness Tournament You Probably Don't Know

  • Odds are over 9 Quintillion To 1 of picking every winner correctly.

  • All winners of the March Madness tournament get to keep the actual board from the court where the championship was played.

  • The NCAA takes all the money they make from the NCAA tournament and reinvests it in the schools and conferences that participate. They keep no profits.

  • The term “March Madness” has been used since 1939. Another popular term is “The Big Dance.”

  • Number one seeds win over 50% of the games they play in the tournament.

March Madness Basketball Tournament Excitement

How To Pick Winners in the March Madness Tournament
Credit: Pixabay

Additional Tips for Making March Madness Bracket Picks

  • Try to keep upset picks contained to the first couple of rounds. The underdogs rarely make it to the Elite 8 or final four.
  • Over 85% of the top seeded teams advance in the first and second rounds. Use that fact to help you make your picks. The odds are in your favor to pick the favorites.
  • Leave teams that are seeded #13 to #16 off your bracket. They win less than 15% of the time.
  • A #16 team has never won a first round game in the history of the tournament so that can help you make your choice in at least four games.

Picking the winners in the March Madness is not a science. You don’t have to have a lot of skill or even know what you’re doing to any degree. You can even flip a coin to predict the winners of the NCAA basketball tournament.  It is a great way to pass the time in March as we look forward to the coming of Spring. It is definitely one of the most exciting periods of the year for sports.