College basketball is a very popular sport in certain areas of the United States. It also has one of the most popular tournaments in sports. The championship tournament is nicknamed March Madness.
Most college basketball teams are part of a conference. Some of the top all time college basketball conferences include the ACC and the Big East. Teams like Duke, North Carolina, Georgetown, and the University of Connecticut have made these conferences powerhouses over the years. There are several major conferences in college basketball. Here is a list of some of them:
- Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC)
- Big 12 Conference
- Big East Conference
- Big Ten Conference
- Conference USA
- Mid-American Conference
- Mountain West Conference
- Pacific 10 Conference (Pac-10)
- Southeastern Conference (SEC)
- Western Athletic Conference (WAC)
The most popular part of the college basketball season is the post-season tournament. It’s every team’s goal to get to the tournament and then, hopefully, advance to the championship. Currently 68 teams get into the tournament. This may seem like a lot, but even with that many teams getting in, there are still many disappointed teams who felt like they deserved a chance.
Selecting the Teams
Teams can get into the tournament in two ways. First they can be the championship of their conference and get in automatically. All conferences, even the smallest, get their champion into the tournament. This is part of what makes it madness in that even small schools can get in. The other way to qualify is to be selected. There are several at large bids which a committee then uses to select the remaining top schools. Every year there is some sort of controversy about who got in and who didn’t.
The tournament is held in March, hence the name March Madness. It is single elimination; if you win, you move on; if you lose, you go home. Teams are seeded so that the best teams play the worst at the start. However, there are always some upsets which is where the name Madness came from.
Final Four, Sweet Sixteen
As teams move on and the number of teams gets reduced, there are names for how far a team has gone. Getting to the final sixteen teams, is called the Sweet Sixteen, the final eight is called the Elite Eight, and the final four is called, well, the Final Four. Making it to the Final Four is a big deal. Coaches can make careers out of one trip to the Final Four. Again, this is why the tournament got the nickname, March Madness.
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