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What is March Madness?

College basketball at its best

What is March Madness? College basketball at its best

"The love?"

"What is love?"

Or: "Where is love?"

Unfortunately, I don't have the answer, but I can tell you that a player or a basketball fan, sooner or later, get hit by the arrow of cupid and goes crazy for a whole month.
Have you ever heard of the March Madness?

The name refers to one of the most important, exciting and amusing events of the American sport: the Division 1 men's basketball university tournament, held every year since 1939.
It is a knockout tournament of 68 teams competing in seven rounds for the national championship and the ultimate round is known as Final Four.

So far, it's all very nice. But how are the teams selected? There are two ways a team can gain access to the NCAA tournament.
The 32 Division I conferences all receive an automatic offer assigned to the team that wins the conference tournament at the end of the season. Let's take a step back, though: it's not very complicated, but let me explain better. Division I only welcomes universities that can meet the minimum financial assistance awards for their athletics program and there is a maximum they cannot exceed. Then they must line up teams in at least seven men's sports and seven women's or six men's and eight women's, with at least two team sports for each genre.

The first way to access the MM is "a run-up to the dream", regardless of how a team went during the regular season. In fact, if they are eligible for the "postseason" and win the conference tournament, they receive an offer for the NCAA tournament (automatic classification).

The second way is an invitation. The NCAA committee meets during the "Selection Sunday", after all the regular games of the season and the tournament have been played. Here we decide the other 36 teams that have the pedigree to participate in the tournament. Here begins the second phase of falling in love caused by the "Cinderellas".

Yes, the Americans called this tournament "The Big Dance" and the college that will go there for the first time take the name of the famous folk tale. The emotional involvement in this tournament starts on the Sunday before the start of the dance, because seeing the reaction of some students after receiving the call with the invitation is a moving thing. These two are the most important criteria for tournament selection.

But there is a lot more behind these selections, because it creates a strange synergy with which the "Gods of the Basket", which are the most bizarre of the Pantheon, go to weddings and often use a lot of spicy to flavor the dish, especially in the first round where the so-called "upset" happen. In other words, a team called an "underdog" (disadvantaged) beats a pseudo-favorite or a highly-rated one and here comes into play the "Bracket", the prophecy board to which everyone can participate. The former president Barack Obama engages every year with the forecasts and he did not let slip the possibility to have his say also for this edition:

The ingredient that links this sport to these guys in a magical atmosphere is the fans, crazy or usual. The stadiums hosting the tournament will never be empty and obviously, the emotions are in the order of seconds, because often the games are so balanced that you go to the last shot to win, in the most classic and spectacular "Buzzer Beater", with the initials in capital letters. Moreover, from this tournament, you have the chance to admire the champions of the future of the sport. There have been Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, Carmelo Anthony and many others.

But yes, but yes! YUP! Let us wallow ourselves to love for College Basketball and enjoy March Madness as it should be, with a lot of madness!

Ah, I forgot! There is a poem that contains all this:


"The gym lights gleam like a beacon beam

And a million motors hum

In a goodwill flight on a Friday night;

For basketball beckons, "Come!"

A sharp-shooting mite is king tonight.

The Madness of March is running.

The winged feet fly, the ball sails high

And field goal hunters are gunning.


The colors clash as silk suits flash

And race on a shimmering floor.

Repressions die, and partisans vie

In a goal acclaiming roar.

On a Championship Trail toward a holy grail,

All fans are birds of a feather.

It's fiesta night and cares lie light

When the air is full of leather.


Since time began, the instincts of man

Prove cave and current men kin.

On tournament night the sage and the wight

Are relatives under the skin.

It's festival time, sans reason or rhyme

But with nation-wide appeal.

In a cyclone of hate, our ship of state

Rides high on an even keel.


With war nerves tense, the final defense

Is the courage, strength and will

In a million lives where freedom thrives

And liberty lingers still.

Now eagles fly and heroes die

Beneath some foreign arch

Let their sons tread where hate is dead

In a happy Madness of March."