The calendar has turned to March. This means many things. We turn our clocks ahead, the winter weather is all but over (fingers crossed) and the biggest sporting event in college sports takes place. Of course we’re talking about the Men’s college basketball championship. This tournament has been a national event since its inception in 1939. That year there was only 8 teams, not the 68 that we have today. Imagine the fights on social media if that were still the case!
The NCAA tournament wasn’t always the top dog when it came to postseason success. The NIT tournament took precedence for most years until the mid 1970’s when the NCAA barred teams from playing in any other tournament. In 2005 the NCAA purchased the rights to the NIT and made it a showcase for the teams that just missed the big dance.
The tournament is played in a number of cities across the U.S. making it possible for all regions to partake in the madness. For the site of the final four there are some requirements that have been implemented since 1997. All sites must have a dome stadium and fit at least 70,000 people. Kansas City has hosted the most final fours with 10. Indianapolis will overtake KC in 2035 because there is a NCAA rule that states that the tournament must be in the NCAA Headquarters City every six years.
The tournament consists of 68 teams seeded from 1 to 16. And then the madness begins…A No 16 seed has never defeated a #1 in tournament history. Princeton almost pulled off the feat against Georgetown in 1989 losing 50-49. Seven times a #15 has defeated a #2, the most recent in 2013 when Florida Gulf Coast bested Georgetown. The highest seeded team to ever reach a final four is #11 done twice (LSU 1986 & George Mason 2006). The lowest seeded team to win the tournament was Villanova (8) in 1985.
There has been a number of great performances in the tournament history. Like when Loyola Marymount and Michigan put together the highest scoring game in tournament history in a second round game in 1990. The final score was 149 to 115 with Loyola Marymount claiming the victory. Or when twice a game went to 4 overtimes (1956 & 1961). The best scoring tournament for a single player goes to Michigan’s Glenn Rice with 184 in the 1989 tournament. Christian Laettner holds the career record with 407 points over 23 games in the early 90’s. Notre Dame’s Austin Carr scored 61 points in a single game in 1970. There have been 3 players who have won the tournament and went on to win the championship as a coach. Joe B. Hall did it with Kentucky as a player and a coach, Bob Knight as a player with Ohio State and as a coach with Indiana and the late Dean Smith with Kansas as a player and North Carolina as a coach. See why it’s called March Madness?
But for most of us, this tournament is more about filling out a bracket with friends and coworkers and meeting to have a beverage & snacks while watching the games as they unfold. The amount of time spent filling these out and watching the first weekend’s games is estimated to cost business’ up words of 1.2 billion dollars an hour at times. The odds of filling out a perfect bracket is 1 in 9,223,372,036,854,775,808 (that’s quintillion). This is why some companies offer really large amounts of money if you can pull off the feat. The odds of finding the perfect sports bar to watch your perfect bracket fall apart is a bit lower. Add in getting some amazing food and great beer choices and it becomes almost as difficult as predicting the winners.
For March madness help, come to Spring Brook Sports Bar & Grill. We’ll help you fill out your bracket, make you an amazing burger and pour you a delicious beer. Who cares who wins, really!?