The NCAA "March Madness" Basketball Tournament
Every year the month of March signals an event like no other, the NCAA Basketball Tournament. It is more fondly known as "March Madness". Why? All one has to do is watch the games that are decided by teams who possess the ball last, miracle shots, buzzer beaters and the most of improbable winners advancing to the next round. 68 teams begin the single elimination tournament and those teams that make it are determined in a variety of ways. First every team plays within a conference during the regular season and a team's final conference record determines a winner. In the smaller conferences with teams that have much smaller enrollment that the larger schools the winner of the regular season is not guaranteed a bid to the tournament because at the end of the season each conference holds a tournament just like the NCAA tournament to determine the what is an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament. Often times the regular season champs are upset in the conference tournament preventing them from receiving a bid. It can be a painful experience for the team's from smaller conferences. When that occurs a team is at the mercy of a committee comprised of school administrators, coaches and people from the media who pick teams from those that have not earned an automatic bid.
Every season there are the obvious teams who will battle for the # 1 spot. What makes this such a diverse and favorite of fans is the regional factor. The 68 teams are divided into regions where they will play their games that covers the entire map of the country. The most tense moment occurs on what is known as selection Sunday, where the committee announces who the 68 teams will be and the regions they will play in. Each round consists of two potential games for the winning teams to play and if they win both games they advance to the next round of two games to be played in a brand new region. Teams that continue winning can potentially visit three different regions and arenas. A team must win a total of 6 games without a loss in order to claim the crown as NCAA champions. It is the ultimate goal set by coaches and players to make the tournament when they begin their seasons in early December and by the time the tournament begins teams have all played at least 30 games already. It takes three weeks for the tournament to run its course and crown its champion. The games get underway Tuesday with play in games for teams that were on the fringe of receiving bids and must earn their spots while the remaining 64 teams will commence on Thursday.
By the time the first weekend is over the field of 68 will have been reduced to only 16. Those 16 teams are referred to as the Sweet 16 and at the end of the following weekend the field will be down to 8 teams, known as the Elite 8. At the conclusion of the third weekend of games there remain 4 teams known as the Final 4. Teams that make it that far have only 2 more games to win it all!! This tournament every year features upsets of team's most predicted to advance further along with plenty of Davey's slaying Goliath's along the way. Villanova looks to repeat as champs and won their regular season and conference championship and has only lost 3 games this season. North Carolina won the regular season in the ACC but was upset by its arch rival Duke, in the conference tournament. Duke and N.C. are both threats to win it all along with a well coached Notre Dame team. The Pac 12 has 3 teams that will make deep runs in the tournament led by regular season champs Oregon followed closely by Arizona and UCLA. Kansas, who bounced back and forth between number 1 & 2 team all season was upset in the first round of their conference tournament despite winning the regular season championship for a record tying 13th consecutive season. No team has ever won the NCAA when losing in the first round of their conference tournament a daunting stat for Kansas to overcome. Gonzaga, a small college from a weaker conference is a fan favorite every year and have made the tournament 19 consecutive seasons without making it to the Final 4. This season they enter with a 29-1 record and they won their conference tournament so there is belief this could be their year?! Every team enters the tourney believing they can win it all but realistically there are perhaps 10-12 teams of the original 68 teams with true legitimate chances of being champions. History has proven though that anything can happen and there are no sure things in March Madness. Tickets for any and all games in every region are just a phone call away to Captain Ticket. Whether you want courtside seats or just get into the building to experience the excitement and energy each game generates Captain Ticket is the # 1 source for it all!!
NCAA BASKETBALL TOURNAMENT HISTORY
The tournament was created in 1939 by the National Association of Basketball Coaches and was the idea of Ohio State University coach Harold Olsen. The first 12 years of the tournament only 8 teams were invited to participate. Through the years the number of invites grew and reached 65 teams in 2001. Since then it has been expanded to 68 teams with the last 4 teams invited forced to participate in play in games in order to "earn" their spots in the tournament. In the beginning the NCAA tournament did not determine the champions of each season that distinction belonged to another tournament known as the NIT, National Invitational Tournament which took place at Madison Square Garden each year. As the NCAA tourney grew over time it supplanted the NIT as the one that would determine the champions. In the 1950's the number of teams grew from 8 to 16 and then 40 teams in the 1970's and then 64 in the early 80's. The credit for the phrase March Madness went to Henry Porter an assistant executive secretary with the Illinois High School Association who found the excitement surrounding high school basketball in the state worthy of an essay where the phrase was first seen in print. Brent Musburger is credited with saying the two words together in 1982 while commentating on a television broadcast. There was actually a court battle over the copyrights to the phrase March Madness between CBS and the IHSA that was settled by giving CBS the college basketball copyrights and the IHSA the high school copyrights. No matter who your team is and where they are playing their games Captain Ticket can get you there in the best seats at the best prices!
NCAA BASKETBALL TOURNAMENT FAN FUN FACTS
Though the NCAA frowns heavily on it the truth is the tournament's popularity is predicated on the gambling that takes place on the games. Starting with office pools where people fill out their brackets, picking winners all the way through to the eventual champion with cash prizes given to the first three finishers more often than not. People plan their annual vacations around the tournament and spent the entire year looking forward to it. Many converge upon Las Vegas casinos sports books where one can watch and wager on every game being played in the friendly confines of a casino while being served food and drinks from sun up to sundown! The crowds get raucous and the cheering is intense with thousands of dollars on the line in wagers on every game. The fortunes of one can rise and fall on the outcome of a last second, buzzer beating shot. It is a documented fact that there are more sicks days taken, vacation days requested and call offs from work than any other time of the entire year. It is one in seven people who call in sick to watch the tournament! Some workplaces allow their employees to watch games during the work day to try and control a shortage of manpower. UCLA holds the record for the number of all time NCAA Championships with 11. Never in the history of the tournament has a # 16 seed defeated a # 1 seed. The average cost of a 30 second commercial for advertisers is 1.5 million dollars and that figure could be even bigger this year? Harvard made its first appearance in 1946 and the first champions were University of Oregon in 1939. Be part of all the action with tickets from Captain Ticket!!
HOW TO GET CHEAP "MARCH MADNESS" TICKETS
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