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What Is March Madness?
US Sports

What Is March Madness?

March Madness is a term we’ve all heard before but what exactly is it? March Madness is a college basketball tournament held in March which features teams from all around the United States of America.

It decides which team will be the National Champion and crowned the basketball team in college sports.

Gaining popularity since the rise of the internet due to the various competitions fans can partake in, March Madness is a festival of basketball which runs from March 17 through to early April.

What Happens During March Madness?

64 of the best college basketball teams either qualify or are selected for the tournament. The entrants are decided based on their conference record and also based on how many top-level wins they have had during the season.

Secured spots are given to the teams that win their conference throughout the season and it’s always exciting to see which teams that didn’t automatically get into the tournament. There have been numerous “Cinderella” stories because some of the teams selected to compete aren’t nationally recognized.

The selection committee is made up of a 10-member panel, which forms the bracket for the tournament. The bracket is the schedule for each game throughout the competition. Winning teams will progress through the rounds and be able to see which teams they could possibly play later in the tournament.

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March Madness Tournament Schedule

The 2019 March Madness dates have been released, with the Final Four and National Championship set to take place from April 6-8.

Selection Sunday – March 17
First Four – March 19-20
1st/2nd Rounds – March 21-24
South Regional – March 28-30
West Regional – March 28-30
East Regional – March 29-31
Midwest Regional – March 29-31
Final Four and National Championship – April 6-8

March Madness Bracket Explained

The “First Four” are the four teams which have only narrowly been selected into the tournament, but they don’t play an official Round 1 game unless they win their Final Four game.

Should they win, they then play the #1 seed in their division. 2018 saw a big upset when 16th seed UMBC defeated top-ranked Virginia by 20 points in the first round.

The Regional Finals are the two teams from that conference battling for a spot in the Final Four, which as the name suggests, are the last four teams left in the competition.

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The winners of the two Final Four games will play for the National Championship title.

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What To Expect During March Madness?

You should expect to see plenty of upset results as the lesser-fancied teams have everything to play for and nothing to lose.

In years gone by, the selection committee has been criticized for giving the big conference teams preferential treatment in the rankings, but as March Madness always shows, the smaller teams are just as good as the big boys.

Crowds are pumping throughout the entire tournament as loyal fans and students enjoy the action. Although it’s only college athletes on the court, the crowds get into the basketball much more enthusiastically than they do in the NBA.

There’s a certain atmosphere that only March Madness brings. It’s a fast-paced tournament than can be hard to follow, but it’s wall-to-wall action and bettors make sure they’re ready for the challenge every season.

Best Teams To Follow During March Madness

There are teams that always make an appearance during March Madness and it’s not surprising to see their names on the past winners’ list.

The likes of North Carolina, Duke, Kentucky, Kansas and Michigan are always firm fixtures during the tournament and due to their high popularity and media coverage, bookmakers will have them at short odds throughout the tournament.

North Carolina is a good team to follow as they aren’t as hyped as Duke and Kentucky, but the 2009 and 2017 champions always make a deep run.

There is rarely an upset tournament winner. The last team to win the National Championship and have more than 10 losses throughout the season was Kansas in 1988, which had 11 losses on the season.

Bettors should look at the favorites when making their selections, but be weary of upsets throughout the tournament. Not every top seed will progress through to the later stages of March Madness so it’s key to pick out the individual matchups.

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Past March Madness winners

Below are the last 15 winners of March Madness. Villanova, Florida and Duke have two wins a piece and North Carolina and Connecticut have three titles each.

2018 – Villanova
2017 – North Carolina
2016 – Villanova
2015 – Duke
2014 – Connecticut
2013 – Louisville
2012 – Kentucky
2011 – Connecticut
2010 – Duke
2009 – North Carolina
2008 – Kansas
2007 – Florida
2006 – Florida
2005 – North Carolina
2004 – Connecticut

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