The NCAA basketball tournament, well known in the sports world as March Madness, is one of the greatest annual forms of competition for the year.
No matter the sport, professional or collegiate, the NCAA basketball tournament provides non-stop, chest pounding, and hair raising competition for nearly a month of each year.
The NCAA basketball tournament now allows 65 teams to enter each year. The standard number of 64 teams was bumped up to 65 when another conference was added in 2001.
The “play-in” game, as it is well documented pits two teams against each other every year in Dayton, Ohio. The winner earns a number 16 seed, and will play a number one seed from one of the four regions.
The two teams that take part in the “play-in” game generally have poor records, but won their conference tournament therefore automatically qualifying them for the tournament.
The key dates for the 2009 NCAA basketball tournament are Selection Sunday (March 15), the opening round (March 19-20), final four (April 4), and national championship (April 6).
In college basketball, making it to the Final Four is one of the greatest honors of the season, because the tournament starts out with 65 of the best teams in the entire nation and only four remain. While it’s difficult to get all the way down to the Final Four and lose, it’s still quite an honor to even make it that far.
The 2009 NCAA basketball tournament will open up March 17th in Dayton, Ohio for the annual “play-in” game. The game matches the 64th and 65th (as defined by the selection committee) best teams in the tournament against each other. The winner earns the 16th seed in one of the four regions.
The first and second rounds of the tournament are often considered the most entertaining and fun to watch. Why? Well those four days represent the most college basketball action of the entire March Madness and also pose the biggest opportunity for small, underdog schools to upset heavy favorites.
No matter the year, you can always guarantee at least one or two underdogs will upset a much higher seed in the first or second round.
The first round begins March 19th and ends on the 20th. The second round begins a day later on the 21st, and concludes on the 22nd. The bracket for the NCAA basketball tournament consists of four regions, and in each region, two separate host sites are designated. The two separate host sites in each region host eight teams for those four days.
The NCAA basketball tournament is a single elimination tournament, which basically means, “win or go home.”
Here’s a list of the first and second round host sites for the 2009 bracket of the NCAA basketball tournament:
• Greensboro, NC
• Kansas City, MO
• Philadelphia, PA
• Portland, OR
• Boise, ID
• Dayton, OH
• Miami, FL
• Minneapolis, MN
After the second round commences, only 16 teams remain, which is often referred to as the “Sweet Sixteen.”
The 16 remaining teams head to regional host sites which will host both the “Sweet Sixteen” and the ensuing “Elite Eight.” The “Sweet Sixteen starts on March 26th and the “Elite Eight” begins on March 28th.
The host sites for the regional bracket of the NCAA basketball tournament are:
• Boston, MA (East Regional)
• Glendale, AZ (West Regional)
• Indianapolis, IN (Midwest Regional)
• Memphis, TN (Southeast Regional)
The regional champions compose the Final Four teams. The Final Four takes place this year in Detroit, Michigan at Ford Field. The semifinal games take place on Saturday, April 4th and the NCAA National Championship game takes place on Monday, April 6th.