March Madness refers to basketball tournaments involving many teams that generally take place in March. It’s also referred to as the Big Dance.
Basketball fever affects players and sports fans alike as these games begin. The NCAA, or National Collegiate Athletic Association, organizes this competition. The NCAA has registered the term as a trademark. The competition, which is held each spring and is marked by the thumping of basketballs and the roaring of the audience, is based on the single-elimination premise. As this event develops, millions of fans are watching with bated breaths.
The origin of March Madness
March Madness dates back to 1908 when it was a minor event organized by the Illinois High School Association through invites. This yearly event included a number of high school boys’ basketball teams. The event expanded from humble beginnings to a statewide institution in the late 1930s, with 900 schools competing. In fact, numerous teams known as the “sweet sixteen” were popular and drew sold-out audiences.
All of this occurred prior to the arrival of professional sports teams in the nation. Even more astonishing is the fact that it was all shown on television and the average fan was still riveted. Basketball mania had clearly reached epidemic proportions!
When was the term originally written down?
Henry V. Porter, inspired by this sporting frenzy, wrote an essay called “March Madness” that was published in Illinois Interscholastic, an IHSA journal, in 1939.
Henry Porter was the Assistant Executive Secretary of the Illinois High School Association at the time. Newspapermen rapidly adopted the word and used it often in their publications. This became a typical event name during the Golden Era of the 1940s and 1950s.
The IHSA began formally using the phrase in its activities and merchandise in 1973. Jim Enright published “March Madness: The Story of High School Basketball in Illinois” in 1977, which was an official chronicle of the boy’s basketball tournament. In 1989, another book, “March Madness: The Official Video History of the IHSA Basketball Tournament,” was released. Both the book and the film were promoted and sold across the United States. The IHSA trademarked the slogan “America’s Original March Madness” shortly after.
March Madness is a registered trademark owned by both the NCAA and the IHSA. The word has become synonymous with the NCAA, thanks to Brent Musburger’s annual coverage of the tournament. Intersport Inc. had already trademarked the name prior to IHSA and NCAA in the 1960s. Both of them, though, purchased it back.
The NCAA has expanded “March Madness” beyond boys’ basketball tournaments to include girls’ basketball finals as well. The tournaments have been ingrained in the American psyche, sending millions of people into a passion each year.
Guide To The NCAA Tournament And Its History
In 1939, the NCAA Division I men’s basketball tournament was held for the first time. There were eight teams in all. Oregon has won the NCAA tournament for the first time, defeating Ohio State in the final.
The field was increased to 16 teams in 1951, and it continued to grow over the following few decades until 1985 when the contemporary version of a 64-team tournament was introduced. A solitary game was added prior to the first round in 2001, as the Mountain West Conference entered Division I and got an automatic bid, bringing the total number of teams to 65. Three additional teams were added in 2011, along with three more games, to complete the First Four.
David Barrett wrote the March Madness anthem song in 1986, and it was initially used for the NCAA men’s basketball tournament in 1987. The song is played after each tournament, and it is accompanied by a compilation of the finest events of March Madness.
The most well-known March Madness letdown is not even close to being a tie in this one. 16-seed UMBC upset 1-seed Virginia 74-54 in the 2018 NCAA tournament. After going 135-0 in collegiate basketball history, it was the first time a 16 seed defeated a 1 seed in the tournament’s history. It’s hard to think of a more deserved underdog.
The upset of a 16-seed was supposed to be impossible, yet UMBC not only achieved it against the tournament’s top overall seed, but the game was also not close, with a final score of 20 points. You’ll be at the top of the March Madness upsets list as a result of this.
The greatest March Madness comeback
Duke was behind 39-17 to Maryland with 6:37 left in the first half of an NCAA t
tournament game in 2001. The Blue Devils would come back to win the game 94-84. That 22-point comeback is the biggest in the tournament’s history.
Surprisingly, Duke is on the losing end of the runner-up, as the Blue Devils lost an 18-point first-half lead against Seton Hall in 1989, losing 95-78.
With 407 points, Christian Laettner holds the record for most points scored in an NCAA tournament career. Laettner averaged 17.7 points per game in 23 NCAAT games from 1989 to 1992 (reminder: if a team makes it to the title game, they can only play six games every year, for a total of 24 games over a four-year span).