- This article is about the NCAA Men's Division I Basketball tournament in general. For this year's tournament, see 2006 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament. For other NCAA basketball tournaments, see NCAA Basketball Tournament.
The 20-day tournament, colloquially known as "March Madness" or the Big Dance, has become one of the United States' most prominent sports events.
The tournament, whose field includes regional conference champions and other top teams, is staged in a single elimination format. Since its 1939 inception, it has built a legacy that includes dynasty teams and dramatic underdog stories. In recent years, friendly wagering on the event has become something of a national pastime, spawning countless "office pools" that attract expert fans and novices alike. All games of the tournament are broadcast on the CBS broadcast television network in the United States.
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, win-loss records and RPI data.
The two lowest-seeded teams (typically teams with poor records that qualified by winning their conference tournament championships) play a pre-tournament game to determine which will advance into the first round of the tournament, with the winner advancing to play the top seed in one of the four regions. This play-in game was added in 2001 and has been played in Dayton, Ohio each subsequent year.
A total of 65 teams qualify for the tournament played in March and April. Thirty of the teams earn automatic bids by winning their respective conference tournaments. Because the Ivy League does not conduct a postseason tournament, the regular-season conference champion receives an automatic bid. The remaining teams are granted "at-large" bids, which are extended by the NCAA Selection Committee.
The tournament is split into four regions and each region has teams seeded 1-16, with the committee making every region as comparable to the others as possible. The best team in each region plays the #16 team, the #2 team plays the #15, and so on.
Two teams play a play-in game game on the Tuesday preceding the first weekend of the tournament, with the winner of that game advancing to the main draw of the tournament and plays a top seed in one of the regionals. This game has been played at the University of Dayton Arena in Dayton, Ohio since its inception in 2001. These two teams share equally in the share of funds as if they had qualified for a first round game, and wins in the opening round game are considered wins in the NCAA tournament. Thus, properly, the tournament has 65 teams, although in practice most brackets only include the 64 teams, with one spot blank (to be filled in after the play-in game). Since no #16 seed has ever beaten a #1 seed in the men's championship, the result of the opening round game is largely deemed irrelevant for bracket-filling purposes.
Since 2002, the tournament has used the so-called "pod" system, in which the eight first- and second-round sites are distributed around the four regionals. Before the 2002 tournament, all teams playing at a first- or second-round site fed into the same regional tournament. The pod system was designed to limit the early-round travel of as many teams as possible.
In the pod system, each regional bracket is divided into four-team "pods". The possible pods by seeding are:
- Pod #1: 1v16, 8v9
- Pod #2: 2v15, 7v10
- Pod #3: 3v14, 6v11
- Pod #4: 4v13, 5v12
Each of the eight first- and second-round sites is assigned two pods, where each group of four teams play each other. A host site's pods may be from different regions, and thus the winners of each pod would advance into separate regional tournaments.
The first- and second-round games are played on the first weekend of the tournament, either on Thursday and Saturday or Friday and Sunday. The teams which are still alive after the first weekend advance to the regional semi-finals (the Sweet Sixteen) and finals (the Elite Eight) played on the second weekend of the tournament (again, the games are split into Thursday/Saturday and Friday/Sunday).
The winners of each region advance to the Final Four, where the national semifinals are played on Saturday and the national championship is played on Monday. Before the 2004 tournament, the pairings for the semifinals were based on an annual rotation. Since 2004, the pairings are determined by the ranking of the four top seeds against each other.
The brackets are not reseeded after each round. The tournament is single-elimination and there are no consolation games—although there was a third-place game as late as 1981, and each regional had a third-place game through the 1975 tournament. The single-elimination format produces opportunities for Cinderella teams to advance despite playing much tougher teams. Meanwhile, despite the numerous instances of early-round Tournament upsets, including four instances of a #15 Seed defeating a #2 Seed, no #1 seed has ever lost in the first round to a #16 seed. The closest call came in 1989 when Georgetown University defeated Princeton University 60-59 and when University of Oklahoma beat East Tennessee State 72-71.
Tournament Format History編輯
The NCAA tournament has expanded a number of times in the last 65 seasons. This is a breakdown of the history of the tournament format:
- 1939-1950: eight teams
- 1951-1952: 16 teams
- 1953-1974: 24 teams (sometimes 22-25 teams)
- 1975-1978: 32 teams
- 1979: 40 teams
- 1980-1982: 48 teams
- 1983: 52 teams (four play-in games before the tournament)
- 1984: 53 teams
- 1985-2000: 64 teams (in 1991 three play-in games before the tournament)
- 2001-Present: 65 teams (with a Play-In Game to determine whether the 64th or 65th team plays in the first round)
For a complete history of the tournament bracket design the NCAA has a description here 
模板:Details A special selection committee appointed by the NCAA determines which 65 teams will enter the tournament, and where they will be seeded and placed in the bracket. Because of the automatic bids, only 34 teams (the at-large bids) rely on the selection committee to secure them a spot in the tournament.
Winners of the NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Championship編輯
NCAA Tournament Appearances
NCAA Tournament Victories
Disambiguation: "March Madness comes from the phrase 'Mad as a March Hare'. In England, the phrase March Madness may refer to wasteful spending at the end of a budget year. The rest of this article covers the use of the term in reference to the NCAA basketball tournament, also known as the Road to the Final Four.
March Madness is a popular term for season-ending basketball tournaments played in March (Brent Musburger is generally regarded as the individual who first used that phrase in conjunction with the college tournament, using it during CBS Sports' coverage of the tourney back in 1982 - see below), especially those conducted by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and various state high school associations. Supposedly, the phrase was not associated with the college tournament when it first originated in 1939, when an Illinois sportswriter wrote "A little March Madness [may] contribute to sanity." March Madness is also a registered trademark, held jointly by the NCAA and the Illinois High School Association. The trademark has sparked a pair of high-profile courtroom battles in recent years.
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.
Brackets and Picks編輯
During March Madness, many people enjoy predicting the outcome of the NCAA tournaments. Bracketology is the art of picking the correct teams that will be in the tournaments. The 65 (including the 2 teams who compete in the play-in game) participating teams are announced by the selection committee on Selection Sunday, although some teams are known to have made it already by winning their conference tournament (See: At-large bid, Automatic bid). The teams are seeded from 1 to 16 in 4 regional groupings around the country. The eventual winners of the four regions then meet at the Final Four in a predetermined location. The four seeds play out the tournament through single eliminaton until a National Champion is crowned.
As a tournament ritual, the winning team cuts down the net at the end of the regional championship game. Each player cuts a single strand off of the net for themselves, commemorating their victory.
Many people fill out tournament brackets in office pools. Entrance fees and legality of the pools themselves vary. Whoever accumulates the most points by accurately predicting the outcomes of the games wins the grand prize, most often pooled from the entrance fees. Points are assessed in different ways; one example is given below:
- First round: 2 point per winning team.
- Second round: 4 points per winning team.
- Third round: 8 points per winning team.
- Fourth round: 16 points per winning team.
- Fifth round: 32 points per winning team.
- Sixth round: 64 points for predicting National Champion.
The point total steadily increases by round in order to reward those players who correctly picked teams that would go further in the tournament.
If at the end of the tournament two players have the same point total, a tie is often broken by the total number of total points scored in the Championship Game.
History of the Term 編輯
H. V. Porter, an official with the Illinois High School Association (and later a member of the Basketball Hall of Fame) was the first person to use March Madness to commemorate a basketball tournament. A gifted writer, Porter published an essay named March Madness in 1939 and in 1942 used the phrase in a poem, Basketball Ides of March. Through the years the use of March Madness picked up steam, especially in Illinois and other parts of the Midwest. During this period the term was used almost exclusively in reference to state high school tournaments. In 1977, the IHSA published a book about its tournament titled March Madness.
Fans began connecting the term to the NCAA tournament in the early 1980s. Evidence suggests that CBS sportscaster Brent Musburger, who had worked for many years in Chicago prior to joining CBS, popularized the term during the annual tournament broadcasts.
Only in the 1990s did either the IHSA or NCAA think about trademarking the term, and by that time a small television production company named Intersport, Inc., had beaten them both to the punch. IHSA eventually bought the trademark rights from Intersport and then went after big game, suing GTE Vantage, Inc., an NCAA licensee that used the name March Madness for a computer game based on the college tournament. In an historic ruling, Illinois High School Association v. GTE Vantage, Inc. (1996), the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit created the concept of a "dual-use trademark", granting both the IHSA and NCAA the right to trademark the term for their own purposes.
Following the ruling, the NCAA and IHSA joined forces and created the March Madness Athletic Association to coordinate the licensing of the trademark and investigate possible trademark infringement. One such case involved a company that had obtained the Internet domain name marchmadness.com and was using it to post information about the NCAA tournament. After protracted litigation, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit held in March Madness Athletic Association v. Netfire, Inc. (2003) that March Madness was not a generic term and ordered Netfire to relinquish the domain name.
Television has been integral to the success of the NCAA men's basketball tournament. The first television broadcast was in 1946, when WCBS-TV broadcast the men's national championship game between North Carolina and Oklahoma A&M (now Oklahoma State). Regional television broadcasts began in 1952, and the championship game was televised nationally for the first time in 1954. In 1969, the championship game was broadcast on network television for the first time, on NBC. NBC also televised selected regional games, with NCAA Productions, the in house production arm of the NCAA, broadcasting first and second round games to the markets where the universities are from. In 1980, ESPN began showing the opening rounds of the NCAA tournament, which established ESPN's following among college basketball fans and was the network's first contract signed with the NCAA for a major sport. In 1982, CBS obtained broadcast television rights to the tournament. In 1991, CBS assumed responsibility for covering all games of the NCAA tournament, with the exception of the "play-in" games. The play-in games are televised by ESPN, except for the first one, which was aired on TNN.
Currently, CBS broadcasts all 63 games of the NCAA tournament. Most areas see eight first round games, seven second round games, and four regional semifinal games (out of the possible 56 games during these rounds). Coverage preempts regular programming on the network. Games are assigned to each television market based on local interest and the presence of a university in the tournament. In all other markets, a featured national game is selected, designated on-screen by a yellow highlighting and the announcer stating "most of you will see..." CBS will then start people with that game and "whip-around" to other action around the tournament if there is more competitive action elsewhere. Each station is also informed of predetermined jump points should their game of local interest become uncompetitive. At these jump points, stations have the option of joining the whip-around coverage. Because of the number of students and alumni watching the game near a university, stations in markets where a university or college playing in the tournament stick with that game, regardless of how competitive it is.
In 1999, DIRECTV began broadcasting all games otherwise not shown on local television with its Mega March Madness premium package, at $49. The DIRECTV system used the subscriber's zip code to black out games which could be seen on broadcast television. Prior to that, all games were available on C-Band satellite and were picked up by sports bars. In 2003, CBS struck a deal with Yahoo! to offer live streaming of the first three rounds of games under its Yahoo! Platinum service, for $16.95 a month.  In 2004, CBS sold access to March Madness On Demand for $9.95, which provided games not otherwise shown on broadcast television. The service was free for AOL subscribers.  In 2005, the service charged $19.95 but offered enhanced coverage of pregame and postgame interviews and press conferences.  In 2006, March Madness On Demand was made free, but dropped the coverage of interviews and press conferences. The service was profitable and set a record for simultaneous online streams at 268,000. 
The Final Four has been broadcast in HDTV since 1999, with all regional games broadcast in HDTV since 2005. In 2005 and 2006, four first and second round sites were designated for HDTV coverage. Viewers with a digital television on a station offering HD coverage will see a HD game, which may be different from the game shown on analog television. From 2000 to 2004, only one first/second round site and one regional site was designated an HDTV site. Some digital television stations choose not to participate in HDTV broadcasts of the first and second rounds and the regional semifinals, and split their signal into digital subchannels to show all games going on simultaneously. Most notably, WRAL-TV in Raleigh, North Carolina has split its digital signal four ways since 2000 to show all of the games. 
The entire country sees the regional finals, the national semifinals, and the national championship. At the end of the tournament, a highlight reel of the best moments from the tournament is played, to the backdrop of the song One Shining Moment.
See also List of NCAA Final Four Broadcasters
Final Four 編輯
The term Final Four refers to the last four teams remaining the playoff tournament. These are the champions of the tournament's four regional brackets, and the only teams remaining on the tournament's final weekend. (The term has been applied retroactively to include the last four teams in tournaments from earlier years, when only two brackets existed.)
Some claim that the phrase Final Four was first used to describe the final games of Indiana's annual high school basketball tournament. But the NCAA, which has a trademark on the term, says Final Four was originated by a Cleveland Plain Dealer sportswriter, Ed Chay, in a 1975 article that appeared in the Official Collegiate Basketball Guide. The article stated that Marquette University “was one of the final four” in the 1974 tournament. The NCAA started capitalizing the term in 1978.
Currently, the men's tournament begins with 65 teams. The two teams deemed weakest by the NCAA Selection Committee play the first game (the "play-in game") in Dayton, Ohio, and the field is narrowed down to 64 teams. The women's tournament starts with 64 teams, with no play-in game. The tournament proceeds by means of single elimination play on consecutive weekends in March at preselected sites in the United States.
In the men's tournament, all sites are nominally neutral: teams are prohibited from playing tournament games on their home courts (though in some cases, a team may be fortunate enough to play in or near its home state or city). Under current NCAA rules, any court on which a team hosts more than three regular-season games is considered a "home court" (conference tournament games are not counted for this purpose). In the 2006 tournament, Villanova was able to play its first two games at the Wachovia Center in nearby Philadelphia, a venue where it had played three regular-season home games. A fourth home game at that facility would have disqualified them from playing there.
On the third weekend, traditionally a Saturday and Monday for the men's tournament and a Sunday and Tuesday for the women's tournament, the final four teams meet in semifinals on the first day and the championship on the second. For several years in the men's tournament, the teams eliminated in the semifinals met in a consolation game prior to the championship; this was discontinued in 1981.
Final Four Records編輯
Final Four Single Game - Individual
- 58, Bill Bradley, Princeton vs. Wichita St., N3rd, 3-20-1965
- Points by a Freshman
- 33, Carmelo Anthony, Syracuse vs. Texas, NSF, 4-5-2003
- Field Goals
- 22, Bill Bradley, Princeton vs. Wichita St., N3rd, 3-20-1965
- Field Goals Attempted
- 42, Lennie Rosenbluth, North Carolina vs. Michigan St., NSF, 3-22-1957
- Three-Point Field Goals
- 10, Freddie Banks, UNLV vs. Indiana, NSF, 3-28-1987
- 27, Bill Russell, San Francisco vs. Iowa, CH, 3-23-1956
- 18, Mark Wade, UNLV vs. Indiana, NSF, 3-28-1987
- Blocked Shots
- 7, Tommy Amaker, Duke vs. Louisville, CH, 3-31-1986
- 7, Mookie Blaylock, Oklahoma vs. Kansas, CH, 4-4-1988
- Final Four Triple-Doubles
- Oscar Robertson, Cincinnati vs. Louisville, N3rd, 3-21-1959: 39 pts., 17 rebs. & 10 asts.
- Magic Johnson, Michigan St. vs. Pennsylvania, NSF, 3-24-1979: 29 pts., 10 rebs. & 10 asts.
Key to initials: NSF- National Semi-Final; N3rd - National Third-Place Game (Discontinued after 1981); CH - Championship Game.
Other Final Fours編輯
In recent years, the term Final Four has come into use for the last four teams in other elimination tournaments. Tournaments which use Final Four include Euroleague in basketball, national basketball competitions in several European countries and now-defunct European Hockey League. Together with the name Final Four, these tournaments have adopted an NCAA-style format in which the four surviving teams compete in a single-elimination tournament held in one place, typically, during one weekend.
- In 1966, Texas Western became the first Division I school to ever win the championship with a starting lineup of all African-American players. This story was the inspiration for a movie, Glory Road.
- Since Indiana went undefeated in 1976, no team entering the tournament undefeated or with only 1 loss has gone on to win the national championship. In 1979, Indiana State entered the national championship game undefeated (33-0) before losing to Michigan State. Both Illinois (in 2005) and Duke (in 1999) entered their national championship games with 37-1 records, only to lose in the final game. Massachusetts (35-1) in 1996 (later vacated) and UNLV (34-0) in 1991 both lost their national semifinal games.
- The 1976 tournament was also the last to feature two unbeaten teams—eventual champion Indiana and Rutgers. Rutgers went 31-0 before losing in both the semifinals (to Michigan) and the third-place game (to UCLA).
- Since the NCAA started seeding teams (1979), only four times has the championship matched two #1 seeds: 2005 North Carolina vs. Illinois, 1999 Duke vs. Connecticut, 1993 North Carolina vs. Michigan and 1982 North Carolina vs. Georgetown.
- Only twice since full seeding of all tournament teams began in 1979 have no #1 seeds made the Final Four: 1980 (Louisville - 2, Iowa - 5, Purdue - 6, UCLA - 8) and 2006 (UCLA - 2, Florida - 3, LSU - 4, George Mason - 11)
- Since Kentucky won their championship in 1978 as the #1 team going into the tournament, only four teams have won the National Championship while being ranked #1 in the polls going into the tourney - 1982 North Carolina, 1992 Duke, 1995 UCLA and 2001 Duke.
- No #16 seed has ever defeated a #1 seed since the field was expanded to 64 teams, and only four #15 seeds have ever defeated #2 seeds:
- Since the inception of the 64-team tournament in 1985 each seed # has played a total of 88 first-round games. The #1 seed has beaten #16 all 88 times (100%). The #2 seed has beaten the #15 seed 84 times (95%). The #3 seed has beaten the #14 seed 73 times (83%). The #4 team has defeated #13 70 times (80%). The #5 seed has been victorious over the #12 seed 59 times (67%). The #6 seed has won 61 games against #11 (69%). The #7 team has won 53 times against #10 (60%). The #8 team has only beaten the #9 seed 41 times (47%).
- The lowest seed to win the championship since the tournament field was expanded to 64 teams in 1985 was Villanova, seeded 8th in 1985.
- The 1985 Villanova team is also tied with the 1980 UCLA team for the lowest seed to reach the title game (although UCLA's participation was later vacated).
- The lowest seeds to reach the Final Four since it was expanded to 64 teams are LSU in 1986 and George Mason in 2006, both seeded 11th.
- Since the expansion to 64 teams in 1985, there has never been a case where all four #1 seeds made it to the Final Four. The closest it has ever come to this was in 1993 when three #1 seeds (Kentucky, Michigan, North Carolina) and a #2 seed (Kansas) made it. On two other occasions, three #1 seeds made it to the Final Four accompanied by a #4 seed: 1997 (#1 seeds: Kentucky, Minnesota, North Carolina; #4 seed: Arizona) and 1999 (#1 seeds: Connecticut, Duke, Michigan State; #4 seed: Ohio State).
- The only team to beat three #1 seeds in a single tournament was 4 seed Arizona in 1997.
- All team, official, and committee travel for the tournament (and for the NCAA as a whole year-round) is handled by a single travel agency: Short's Travel Management in Waterloo, IA.
- While lower seeds have made the Final Four in the 64-team era, the University of Pennsylvania's 1979 appearance is notable as they made it as a #9 seed--out of 10 teams in their region. In fact, they defeated the #10 seed, St. John's University in the regional final, following three upsets by each team.
- The 2006 tournament was the first tournament in an even-numbered year since 1990 in which one of the #1 seeds did not lose in the second round. (This means that from 1990-2004 inclusive, a #1 seed was upset during the tournament's first weekend every other year.) Since the tournament expanded to 64 teams, no #1 seed has lost in the second round in an odd-numbered year.
- Prior to 2004, each quadrant of the tournament bracket was identified geographically, e.g. West, Midwest, South, East. With the 2004 tournament, the quadrants were identified by the city in which the regional finals were held, e.g. Phoenix, St. Louis, Atlanta, East Rutherford in 2004; Albuquerque, Chicago, Austin, Syracuse in 2005, etc. The official reason for this was that the regional identifications had begun to confuse fans now that first and second round sites were no longer tied to a particular quadrant; for example, even though in 2002 the Indiana University Hoosiers played in the South regional finals held in Lexington KY, it began the tournament playing in Sacramento, CA, until then a city considered part of the West part of the bracket. Another possible reason for the shift in identification is that not infrequently the regional final sites did not fit easily in geographical boundaries. For example, in the 1986 tournament, the West regional finals site was Houston, TX, almost due south of the Midwest site, Kansas City, MO. The following year, the Midwest regionals site was in Cincinnati, OH and the Southeast site was in Louisville, KY, 90 miles to the southwest. In 1994, the Southeast regional finals site, Knoxville TN, was actually the northernmost of the four sites (West: Los Angeles, Midwest: Dallas, East: Miami).
- Greatest margin of victory in a championship game: 30 points (UNLV 103–Duke 73, 1990).
- Smallest margin of victory in a championship game: 1 point
- NCAA Men's Division I Tournament Bids By School
- List of NCAA Tournament Final Four Participants
- NCAA Men's Division II Basketball Championship
- NCAA Men's Division III Basketball Championship
- NCAA Women's Division I Basketball Championship
- Selection Sunday
- Selection process
- Elite Eight