Well, we are officially in the middle week of March. And you know what that means? It’s time for the biggest televised tournament in College sports; March Madness.
Viewing parties are arranged, brackets are filled out, all bets are being finalized, underdogs are ready to defeat champions, and everyone is excited for the hype that is in the air.
While most men are quite knowledgeable about the tournament, women may not be as into it. And if you find yourself in a relationship with a die hard fan or living in the same house as one, you do need to be semi-educated on the event. If you aren’t, don’t worry, here are the basic facts you need to know.
64 teams teams will compete for the title of NCAA champions. A list of the teams competing and their schedules can be found on the official NCAA website found here.
How it’s divided is by 4 conferences:
- South (Atlanta), includes teams like Virginia, Miami, Kentucky, Arizona and Creighton.
- East (Boston), includes teams like Virginia Tech, Alabama, Marshall, Florida and Texas Tech.
- West (Los Angeles), includes teams like Xavier, Ohio State, North Carolina, Houston and Missouri.
- Midwest (Omaha), includes teams like Penn State, Kansas, Charleston, Duke and Oklahoma.
Once all 64 teams duke it out, the tournament is narrowed down to 32 teams. Next comes the Sweet 16. From the Sweet 16 we go to the Elite 8 where the winners of each of the 4 games will go to conference finals, otherwise known as the Final Four. This is where things get very intense because only four teams are left to fight for that final game. The Final Four games are set for March 31 and April 2 in San Antonio, Texas.
The winner from the South and East conference final and the West and Midwest conference final will go to the finals to claim their NCAA Championship.
The Bracket System
The word “bracket” is as common as the word “basketball” during this tournament, mainly because this is how one places bets. It’s actually one of the most common bets in the US per year, prompting offices, families and online forums alike to have competitions.
Once the first round is selected with rankings of the teams and is released by the NCAA (aka yesterday), betters begin to fill out their selections. When it comes to filling out your bracket things can get very tricky. It’s important to know that you must make all your predictions before the tournament starts and submit them before the first game begins on Thursday.
With that being said, take your early bets very seriously. More times than not fans watch their teams get eliminated in upset games, especially early on. Just because a team is ranked better than the one they are facing doesn’t mean they will always win and most times they actually lose.
Tips on How to Pick Your Teams
- Virginia is at the top of predictions and rankings for the winning team, so many people are predicting they will take the big win. Villanova, Kansas and Xavier joined Virginia as No. 1 seeds.
- Popular teams that traditionally do well include North Carolina, West Virginia, Michigan State, Purdue, Cincinnati, and Kentucky. Duke is another popular team, but they are in a tough bracket so selecting them is very risky.
- If you are into checking statistics, always look for defense and rebounding categories. Offence wins games, defense wins championships.
- Don’t pick the hosting school to win just because they are hosting. They switch locations every year and those teams never do that well in the tournament.
- If you aren’t sure about a match up, just pick the least likely team to win because their chances of winning are still valid. The underdogs always make the best victories.
And remember, just because a team has a high ranking does not mean you should pick them when placing your bets. Upsets happen every year.
And now you are ready for the madness to consume our lives over the duration of the next few weeks. The upsets are among us folks, and I taste some sweet victories coming our way. Fill out your bracket ASAP and spit some March Madness knowledge with the guys at the bar for some free drinks.
Featured Image via NCAA March Madness