SPORTS

A Guide to March Madness 

Article by Zoie Galloway

Featured Image from https://www.cbssports.com

Recently, everyone has been discussing “March Madness”. The terms brackets, seeds, upsets, sweet sixteen, and final four are constantly being mentioned. You might be familiar with the idea of March Madness; however, you might not be informed on all the aspects. The Weekly Talon wants to break down the tournament from an outside perspective.

What is March Madness?

March Madness refers to the NCAA Division 1 basketball tournaments that annually begin mid-March. It is a single-elimination championship that includes two separate tournaments; men and women. Each tournament consists of 68 Division 1 teams that compete to win it all. 

Setting Up Your Bracket

Not only is there intense competition on the court but off of the court as well. Like with many major sporting events, people bet and attempt to predict the outcome of each game/tournament. This is where the term “bracket” comes into play. A basketball bracket is a tree diagram that represents a series of games and teams. These diagrams have a sequence of branches that are grouped together in twos. The branch stemming out from the grouping of branches represents the winner of that game. Eventually, each bracket that is completed will dwindle down to consist of only two teams that will play in the final game. According to ASTV, to fill out a bracket, “choose which team you think will win in each round and write their name on the next matchup line”. It is common to predict winners by their seed, but seeds don’t always determine winners. 

Upsets

One of the main reasons this tournament is full of madness is because the games are so unpredictable. Low seeds represent good teams while high seeds represent teams who are ranked on a lower level, skill-wise. When a high seed defeats a low seed or when teams that most people expect to win, lose, this is known as an ‘Upset’. In 2022, a major upset was St. Peters- a #15 seed, defeating Kentucky, a #2 seed.

Teams to Look Out For…

The 2021 Men’s NCAA tournament was won by Baylor, who this year, has already been eliminated. The Women’s tournament was won by Stanford, who has continued their winning streak into the 2022 championship. If you have not been keeping up with the tournament, so far, the teams that are playing well in the Men’s tournament are UNC-Chapel Hill, Duke, Michigan, Gonzaga, and Kansas. The teams playing well in the Women’s tournament are UNC-Chapel Hill, Notre Dame, NC State, Stanford, and Texas. Each of these teams have been consistent with play-making and playing well overall. As the tournament continues to dwindle down the number of teams, the competition will become steeper and the games will come closer in score. 

What’s Next!?

The Sweet Sixteen begins Thursday, March 24th, 2022. This term refers to the sixteen remaining teams in the tournament. There will be a total of 8 games played in this round. The Elite Eight will occur after the Sweet Sixteen winners have been established, and that will consist of the remaining eight teams of the tournament. The Semifinals occur after the Elite Eight games and are composed of the Final Four teams in the tournament. The last round is the final round and will consist of two teams. The team that wins this round is named the NCAA Division 1 basketball tournament winner. The final game will take place on April 4, 2022.

If you have not been keeping up with the tournament, it is not too late to start! The games will continuously outdo each other. With the Sweet Sixteen approaching, now is a better time than ever to get soaked into the Madness of March basketball!

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