The Madness of March
March 10, 2011
It’s the 2nd week of March, and the minds of basketball fans are likely preoccupied with thoughts of conference tournaments, Selection Sunday, and "bracketology." If you are a basketball novice or a passive fan, you may be wondering what exactly all the "hoopla" is about.
As the Big XII Men’s Basketball Tournament got underway at the Sprint Center this week, other conference tourneys also kicked off all across the country. The results of these competitions will help the NCAA selection committee determine which 68 college teams get to compete for the title of National Champion.
Selection Sunday is this coming Sunday, March 13th. At 5 p.m. Central time, CBS will air the Selection Sunday special, which will announce which teams are invited to the 2011 NCAA Tournament as well as what level each team is seeded. The higher seeded teams are generally ones that have the best season records, played well in their respective conference tournaments, and are expected to go far in the playoff structure of the NCAA Tournament.
It takes weeks and dozens of games to whittle the field of 68 teams down to just one. The first and second rounds of the tournament eliminate over half of the teams, leaving just 32 to compete. The third round cuts the competition even further to 16. The fourth round is known as the "Sweet Sixteen" and results in only eight teams remaining to move on to the fifth round, also known as the "Elite Eight". The Final Four describes the sixth round, which leaves only two teams to contend for the national title.
Many fans like to predict what teams will advance through the tournament. The common way to do this is to use a bracket to fill out predictions, and keep track of who is winning and losing. There are many approaches to filling out a bracket. Some fans pay close attention to the scores and highlights during basketball season, and make their selections based on what they have observed. Others take the opinions of local and national sportscasters into account. Math whizzes might take a statistical analysis approach to filling out the bracket, while some pick based on favorite teams, mascots, and jersey colors.
What makes it fun for those who participate in this kind of "bracketology" is that no matter the basis for the predictions, there are often so many surprises and upsets that all who participate are likely to make some accurate forecasts.
Now, if you need some help getting into the mood for some March basketball mayhem, check out these library resources on the subject.
Blue Springs South Branch