It might seem like spring fever because of the month, but maybe the anticipation of the NCAA men's college basketball tournament is the cause of fans going nuts as we leave winter behind. March Madness is an exciting time of year for college basketball fans and non-fans alike. It's easy enough to get swept up in the excitement of these fast-paced games, particularly when you understand what is on the line. Here is what you need to know about March Madness, how you can set up your own competition or bracket, and some tips for creating a fun basketball party around this tournament.
What is March Madness?
March Madness is the annual NCAA men's college basketball tournament. This is a 3-week tournament that narrows the field from 68 teams down to just one champion. This year, the first round of the tournament kicks off on March 16. Unlike the NBA playoff series the format for March Madness is one and done. You lose and you go home! The Final Four will take place in Phoenix, at the University of Phoenix Stadium, with the championship game on April 3.
March Madness began in 1939 when the National Association of Basketball Coaches created the tournament. The winner of that first tournamant was the University of Oregon. The NCAA took the tournament over after the first year.
Last year's tournament saw Villanova beat two #1 bracket seeds as they eventually knocked off North Carolina 77-74 in the final for the title. UCLA has won the most titles in this tournament with 11 including 7 in a row and 10 over 12 years between 1964 and 1975. The most active powerhouse team in recent years is likely Duke, who has won five championships between 1991 and 2015.
How to Run a March Madness Bracket
Participating in a pool is traditionally one of the best ways that fans get actively involved in March Madness. Whether you set up a pool in your office or with your friends and family, it's fairly easy to administer. Simply print out the March Madness Bracket for your participants or shoot it off in an email. Have each person complete their bracket, selecting the winner for each game. In case there is a tie at the end, ask for a total points score in the championship game to use as a tie-breaker.
As the tournament progresses, you'll score each correct pick according to a points system. The first round = 1 point, second round = 2 points, third round = 3 points, fourth round = 4 points, fifth round = 6 points, and sixth round = 10 points. Add up the points per round and then for the entire tournament to find your winner.
March Madness Fun With Family and Friends
There are several fun ways to celebrate March Madness with co-workers or loved ones. Anytime during the tournament could be a good time to throw a party. But don't forget the food and beverages. Sports parties aren't complete without comfort foods like wings, nachos, pizza, and potato skins.
March Madness Fundraising Event
In addition to the fun and excitement of March Madness, incorporate a local charity or fundraising event into the annual event. Here's an example of how one person raised more than $2,000 for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of Kansas City.
Your organization can pledge to donate all of the "winnings" from a bracket challenge to a particular local charity. For example, each person will pay $25 to particpate, and that money goes to charity. Another option is to choose a charity from brackets for good.
If you're an active bunch, host your own charity basketball tournament in the month of March and get some momentum off of the NCAA excitement. While people learn about your organization, they can also have fun and play a basketball game for a good cause.
Enjoy March Madness and the time with your loved ones! Best wishes and good luck on your picks from the team at IntelliQuote!
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