March Madness

Image created by Mary Kubeny.

Image created by Mary Kubeny.

Mary Mills, Staff Writer

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March is always an exciting month for college basketball fans. March Madness is the informal term that refers to the N.C.A.A. Division I men’s and women’s basketball championship tournaments.

The 81st annual edition of the tournament began on March 19, 2019 and will finish with the championship game on April 8 at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Sarah Baker is a senior at UNCC who has been a basketball fan since the day she could crawl.

“My favorite thing about the tournament is seeing the underdog teams come out and beat the top-ranked teams to make the tournament more interesting. It’s fun to pull for a team that goes far normally but it’s also very hard because it makes you a nervous wreck when you’re watching,” said Baker.

The single-elimination tournaments begin each March and consist of fields of 64 teams for the women’s tournament and 68 for the men’s teams that qualify either by winning their conference title or by being chosen as an at-large entry by the NCAA’s selection committee.

Selection Sunday is the day when the NCAA College basketball tournament participants are selected, placed, seeded accordingly, and announced. Both CBS and ESPN cover the selections for the men’s tournament live. ESPN also covers selections for the women’s tournament live on Selection Monday.

After Selection Sunday takes places, there are then many rounds to follow. The First Four is the next round which is where the first four teams are eliminated.

The fifth round of the tournament, when just four teams remain, is known as the Final Four. This is the penultimate round of the tournament, when the winners of each regional face off for a chance to play in the championship game.

Dustin Brewer, sophomore at North Carolina State University, is a huge Duke basketball fan and looks forward to March Madness every year.

“The final four is my favorite part of the tournament because it is very competitive and suspenseful. You never know who is going to win because of upsets that occur along the way to the final. I also love filling out brackets with my family to see who has the best predictions,” commented Brewer.

The teams included in the final four this year for men’s basketball were Virginia versus Auburn and Texas Tech versus Michigan State. The two lucky winners who were able to advance to the final were Virginia and Texas Tech. Virginia placed in the final with the luck of a one point lead in the final four game.

One of the things fans look forward to most about the tournament is filling out brackets. A bracket is a form that can be completed online or printed out and completed by hand which the participant predicts the outcome of each game in the tournament. His or her predictions are compared against others in the pool, and whoever has the best predictions wins the contest.

Some March Madness contests are free to enter, others require an entry fee. They typically enter their brackets into office pools with friends and coworkers.

These two teams, Texas Tech and Virginia, have really worked hard at making it to the final round of the tournament and are definitely going to have a competitive game.

The NCAA Championship game will take place at 9:20 pm broadcasted live on CBS.

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