All posts for the month March, 2012

What Is March Madness? A Summary

Published March 15, 2012 by jcrosland


What is March Madness? A contagious disease? An exaggerated euphemism for spring cleaning? Well, it’s neither.

According to, March Madness is:

“The NCAA Men’s Division I Basketball Championship is a single-elimination tournamentheld each spring in the United States, featuring 68 college basketball teams, to determine the national championship in the top tier of college basketball. The tournament, organized by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), was created in 1939 by the National Association of Basketball Coaches, and was the brainchild of Ohio State University coachHarold Olsen.[1] Held mostly in March, it is known informally as March Madness or the Big Dance, and has become one of the most prominent annual sporting events in the United States. The NCAA has credited Bob Walsh of the Seattle Organizing Committee for starting the March Madness celebration in 1984.[2]


“Tournament teams include champions from 31 Division I conferences (which receive automatic bids) and 37 teams which are award at-large berths. These “at-large” teams are chosen by an NCAA selection committee… The 68 teams are divided into four regions and organized into a single elimination ‘bracket,’ which predetermines when a team wins a fame, [and] which team it will face next.”

The elimination process then narrows down into the “Final Four.” These four remaining teams duke it out in an all-or-nothing competition for the title of national champion.

Since 1968, the tournament has been partially shown on television. Today, widespread coverage by networks such as CBS, TBS, TNT, and truTV (under the NCAA March Madness brand) allows for all games to be viewed nationwide. Thanks to the growth in television coverage, the popularity of March Madness has skyrocketed.

At the moment, UCLA holds the record for the most NCAA Men’s Division I Basketball Championships with 11 national titles. Coming in second is the University of Kentucky, which holds seven national titles. Indiana University and the University of North Carolina tie for third place with five national titles. Duke University comes in fifth with four national titles.

How well do you know your March Madness facts? Here is some trivia (courtesy of

No team as a #16 seed has ever defeated a #1 seed since the field was expanded to 64 teams, though on four occasions, a #16 seed has come within a single basket of winning:

#1 seeds and the Final Four

Rank #1 vs. other ranks

All four #1 seeds making it to the Final Four

Has happened only once, in 2008, when Kansas, North Carolina, UCLA, and Memphis all won their regionals. (Memphis’s season was later vacated by the NCAA due to use of anineligible player, Derrick Rose)

Two #1 seeds making it to the championship game

Has happened six times:

  • 1982 North Carolina defeated Georgetown
  • 1993 North Carolina defeated Michigan
  • 1999 Connecticut defeated Duke
  • 2005 North Carolina defeated Illinois
  • 2007 Florida defeated Ohio State
  • 2008 Kansas defeated Memphis

Teams #1 in national polls

The following teams entered the tournament ranked #1 in at least one of the AP, UPI, or USA Today polls and won the tournament:[31]

  • 1949: Kentucky (AP)
  • 1951: Kentucky (AP/UPI)
  • 1953: Indiana (AP/UPI)
  • 1955: San Francisco (AP/UPI)
  • 1956: San Francisco (AP/UPI)
  • 1957: North Carolina (AP/UPI)
  • 1964: UCLA (AP/UPI)
  • 1967: UCLA (AP/UPI)
  • 1969: UCLA (AP/UPI)
  • 1971: UCLA (AP/UPI)
  • 1972: UCLA (AP/UPI)
  • 1973: UCLA (AP/UPI)
  • 1974: NC State (AP/UPI)
  • 1975: UCLA (AP)
  • 1976: Indiana (AP/UPI)
  • 1978: Kentucky (AP/UPI)
  • 1982: North Carolina (AP/UPI)
  • 1992: Duke (AP/UPI)
  • 1994: Arkansas (USA Today)
  • 1995: UCLA (AP/USA Today)
  • 2001: Duke (AP/USA Today)