Spring means March Madness

Published 12:38 am Tuesday, March 14, 2006

By Staff
When you think March, most people think of winter coming to an end and warm weather on the way. But if you're a sports fan, you're probably only thinking about two words - March Madness.
This is the time of year when college basketball fans go nuts! This 20-day tournament, which features 65 college basketball teams, has become one of the country's most prominent sports events.
The tournament bracket is made up of champions from each Division I conference, which receive automatic bids. The remaining slots are at-large berths, with teams chosen by an NCAA selection committee. The selection process and tournament seedings are based on several factors, including team rankings and win-loss records.
The two lowest-seeded teams (often the teams below .500 who win their conference tournaments to gain the automatic bid) play a pre-tournament game to determine which will advance into the first round of the tournament, with the winner advancing to play the best team overall. This play-in game was added in 2001 and has been played in Dayton, Ohio each subsequent year.
The term March Madness is a popular one for season-ending basketball tournaments played in March, especially those conducted by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and various state high school associations.
March Madness or “Big Dance” refers to the frenzy these tournaments ignite among sports fans and, at least at the college level, sports gamblers. As it applies to college basketball, the term originally referred to the conference basketball tournaments, which occur in March just before the NCAA tournament begins, but in recent years has been used to refer to the NCAA tournament itself (the first weekend of which involves some 49 games, and which actually runs into early April). The term is now used in reference to both the men's and women's tournaments.
The Niles Daily Star will keep you up-to-date with all of the games and results. We will have a bracket for both the men's and women's tournaments, which will be posted on or by our sports page.