March Madness

March Madness

Gabe Tartaglia

It’s March, which means the  beginning of spring. But for sports fans this also means it’s time for March Madness. According to the official NCAA website, the term ‘March Madness’ was first used to reference basketball in 1939 by an Illinois high school official, Henry v. Porter.March Madness’ didn’t become associated with the NCAA tournament until Brent Musberger used it to cover the first March Madness tournament in 1982. 

The first NCAA tournament was in 1939 with a field of only eight teams. It ended with the University of Oregon beating Ohio State by a score 46-33. Since this the field of teams has grown from 16 teams in 1953 then to 32 in 1975. It finally grew to the 64 teams we know and love in 1985. 

Kentucky leads all teams in appearances (58) and wins (129). While UCLA leads all teams with championships (11) despite not winning one since 1995. Current Duke Blue Devils head coach, Coach K (Mike Krzyzyewski) leads all coaches in tournament wins with 97 which is 18 more than second place coach UNCs Roy Williams who has 79.

In order to qualify for the tournament, teams must do one of two things;either win one of the 32 division I divisions or two, receive an at-large bid from the tournament committee.

The year’s tournament will start Sunday, March 13th with the play-in games officially narrowing down the teams to the 64. The teams, ranked 1 through 16 and divided into four regions, will play head to head until the final two teams face off for the NCAA championship on Monday, April 4th. According to CBS, Gonzaga is currently a 6-favorite to win the entire tournament followed by Duke and Purdue at 9-1. Defending champions Baylor close out at 11-1 odds.