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History of NCAA Basketball Tournament

March Madness has slowly evolved from a standard and little known playoff system for college basketball teams to a huge media and marketing frenzy.

The history of NCAA basketball tournament is absolutely rich with history. Every year there are several historic and memorable moments, so breaking down decades of NCAA basketball tournaments is obviously not easy.

The history of NCAA basketball tournament has definitely changed over-time. The number of teams has greatly expanded, but one crucial and important concept has not. The tournament still uses a single elimination format, making each game as important as the first.

The NCAA basketball tournament is rare and special, because very few sports on any professional or amateur level include so many teams in a single elimination setting.

The recipe of single elimination may as well represent disaster. Anybody can lose, at any given moment. Underdogs are made and live on as legends for centuries in college basketball.

In fact, the only upset scenario that has yet to happen is the #1 versus #16 opening round game, as the #1 seed still holds an undefeated advantage.

But, what about this year you ask? It probably will not happen again, but I cannot say that for sure. That’s the beauty of college basketball and the history of the NCAA basketball tournament.

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As Kevin Garnett so appropriately said last year after winning the NBA Finals, “Anything is possible!”

The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) first developed by the National Association of Basketball Coaches in 1939, became the official name of the post-season tournament a year later.

Since the first tournament in 1940, the NCAA tournament has relied on several interesting nicknames by which it is more commonly referred to as. The “Big Dance” and “March Madness” are the two most popular.

Why is the NCAA basketball tournament so popular?

I think the answer is plainly, “it’s for everyone.”

The NCAA tournament includes everyone, and by that I mean, EVERYONE!

The smallest schools get a chance to compete against the biggest and most dominant universities in all of college basketball. Every year little schools upset much bigger schools. Players who do not get the same exposure become famous because of their March highlight reel. Coaches are born and earn promotions because of their heady decisions in March. Thousands of fans call in sick or take vacation to watch the opening round.

The history of NCAA basketball tournament is as deep as the ocean.

In recent years, friendly and serious gambling has heavily taken over the Big Dance for better or for worse.

Go to any office or small business in March, and I guarantee more than half if not all of the employees are taking part in a March Madness Pool. Half of these so called fans may not know a thing or two about basketball, but the time March comes around, they are experts on the college game.

NCAA tournament pools allow fans and casual spectators the opportunity to fill in a blank bracket before the opening round begins. All you will find on the bracket are the teams and their first round matchup. It’s the “expert’s” challenge to fill in the bracket with the appropriate winners and eventual national champion.

While filling in a perfect bracket is nearly impossible, the challenge is to see how many games you can call correct. The further the tournament goes, the harder the challenge becomes. Picking the right national champion is also considered an honor because the team must win six extremely difficult games in a row to win it all.

All NCAA basketball tournament games are broadcasted on CBS in the United States. The 65 teams invited to the tournament earn automatic berths through conference tournament championships or through at-large berths as selected by the NCAA tournament selection committee.

UCLA, with 11 national titles, is the most dominant university in NCAA tournament history. The University of Kentucky (seven) and Indiana University (five) compose the top three champions.


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